Alenna M.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Red River Heritage Fair

The Komagata Maru

In 1914, under the rule of the Canadian Government stating that anyone who wishes to immigrate into Canada must come direct from their home country, the Komagata Maru made the next to impossible voyage to Canada from Hong Kong. After seven long weeks at sea the ship finally made it to Canada, but was denied access. The boat sat in the waters for eight long weeks then turned around and went home. This project covers this incident and also touches on anti-Asian discrimination and also how the Canadian Government has changed, for the better in under 100 years.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The most interesting thing that I learned from studying the 'Komagata Maru' was how poorly people were treated in the early 1900s. I love to learn about history and I do know lots about the Canadian Government but it truly shocked me how poorly they treated these people on the ship. Just because they were not Caucasian they got threatened, injured and some even died from disease. I do not believe anyone deserves to be treated that way.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

What I want people to learn from This project is how the Canadian Government has changed for the better. It allows us, as students and children, to experience and understand different religions and cultures. I have learned that we are in such a better position now than we have ever been and hopefully things will continue to go up!

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

I would like to note how much freedom we have now. With Human Rights and the Charter of Freedom, it allows today's generation to have a safe, healthy and happy life. Those aboard the ship did not have their rights respected and I am glad that things have changed for the better. However, I still feel empathy for those aboard the ship and all their families.