Hero I.

Richmond, British Columbia

Richmond Regional Heritage Fair

My Papa

photo video and interview with my mom on my Papa: Haruo Okano and his life growing up during the Japanese Canadian internment during the war and his life returning to West Coast for school and becoming a Fisherman.



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

I liked learning about my Papa as a fisherman. He fished for salmon in the Fraser River. My favourite is the net-mending needle because it was hand-made by my Great-Grandfather and we still have it.

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

That I am proud of my Papa but his life was not always easy or fair. People will sometimes judge you on the way you look and that is not right. He worked hard to have a good life for his family and I have a really good life compared to my Papa as the same age.

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

My Papa was the same age as me (10) when he and his family were removed from their home in Steveston by the government because they looked like their enemy, even though everyone in his family where Canadian citizens. My Papa worked hard as a fisherman so my mom could have a good life, I have a good life now - I live in a nice home and I play hockey and baseball because of my family.