City launches new Chinese Canadian History Resource Guide and companion school program

Last updated: May 26, 2022

The City of Burnaby is excited to announce the launch of the Chinese Canadian History Resource Guide to showcase and honour the contributions of Chinese Canadians towards the development of Burnaby. 

The guide, developed in partnership with a volunteer advisory committee of academic and community advisors coordinated by the Burnaby Village Museum, is valuable for anyone interested in learning more about our City's diverse history. It is also a curriculum resource for teachers and students of elementary and secondary schools.

"This guide tells the story of the Chinese Canadian community's journey, achievements and challenges and how they helped build Burnaby into what it is today," said Colleen Jordan, chair of the Community Heritage Commission. "I'm grateful to all the volunteer advisors and community members who made this project possible by sharing personal photographs and stories, helping us preserve our shared history." 

Among the earliest non-Indigenous residents of Burnaby, Chinese settlers helped develop a wide range of industries, including agriculture, forestry, produce distribution, and restaurants. They also helped feed City's residents by running farms and greengrocery stores, even as they overcame barriers that resulted from racism and discriminatory legislation.

Part of a multi-year research project initiated by Burnaby’s Community Heritage Commission, the guide uses photographs, historical documents, original illustrations, and online media resources to highlight the rich culture and history of Chinese Canadians. 

Drawing on this research and the historical sources highlighted in the guide, the Burnaby Village Museum has created a virtual program for school students called Museum Detectives. The program teaches students about Canada's past immigration policies, their effect on Chinese Canadians, and how this community persevered and prospered despite prejudice. It also includes a virtual scavenger hunt in the Way Sang Yuen Wat Kee & Co. herbalist shop. 

Learn more:
Chinese Canadian History Resource Guide
Burnaby Village Museum School Program
Media Contact:
Chris Bryan
Manager, Public Affairs
Public Affairs Office
604-570-3616 | [email protected]

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