Abrielle (Abby) C.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver Heritage Fair

Japanese Canadian Community: The History of a Blossoming Community Taking Root

My project is on how Canadian society is strengthened by different communities and the important strategy to study a historical community developing despite facing discrimination and racism. In particular with the recent arrival of Syrian refugees, we can learn how to support this new developing community; we can welcome new Canadians so that the whole country can grow in “gaman”.

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

The most interesting aspect of my project came symbolically. I was in awe of the beauty of the sakura trees blossoming all around Vancouver. Painting our West Coast skyline with pink, I thought back to the very interesting gift that the Japanese government presented at such an interesting time after WWI.

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

Building a strong nation, means building strong communities. I learned that there are key significant factors that determine a successful Canadian community. For the Japanese community to take root and blossom to the vibrant strong community that it is, there was grassroots, governmental and international cooperation.

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

Throughout my analysis I came across a more important comparison that should be considered. The Syrian refugees making their home in Canada will face struggles but I hope that we as a nation learn from our past. In particular, I hope we can learn from the Japanese Canadian community’s history. I hope we “do the Canadian [love, hope compassion] thing ”, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.