Bamboo Shoots: Chinese Canadian Legacies in BC

Bamboo Shoots: Chinese Canadian Legacies in BC is an educational resource for teachers of Grades 5 and 10. This resource offers a rich gallery of historical photographs, and a wealth of archival documents and personal stories that accompany five lessons at each grade level. By accepting the invitation to teach Bamboo Shoots, you and your students will be part of a legacy initiative to acknowledge the contributions of Chinese Canadians and the historical injustices they faced. We invite you, as teachers, to share these stories of Chinese Canadians that help tell a more complete history of BC.

Purpose

Bamboo Shoots: Chinese Canadian Legacies in BC is the result of an educational legacy initiative following the May, 2014, BC government's formal apology for historical wrongs committed against BC’s Chinese Canadian community.

 

Prior to the formal apology, consultation forums were held with representatives of Chinese Canadian communities across the province. Community representatives commented on the wording and delivery of the apology, and offered suggestions and advice on legacy efforts resulting from the apology.

The overwhelming consensus at every forum was the need to update the BC Kindergarten to Grade 12 social studies curriculum, and provide supporting educational resources to better reflect our rich multicultural heritage, as well as to acknowledge the contributions Chinese British Columbians have made to our cultural, economic, and social fabric. The BC Ministry of International Trade, responsible for multiculturalism, led this important legacy initiative in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Education, BC teachers and the Royal BC Museum.

Bamboo Shoots, the title of this resource, is used as a metaphor for the movement of people. Like bamboo, families send out shoots by moving to new places, establishing communities, and contributing to the development of BC. Like the bamboo plant, Chinese Canadians have demonstrated their flexibility, strength, and resiliency as they built their legacy in this province.

 

 

"We can’t undo the actions of the past—but we can acknowledge them, apologize, and learn from them," said Premier Clark. "Today, we rightly recognize and celebrate cultural diversity—and that’s why all sides of the legislature were able to come together to offer our deepest regrets to members of the Chinese community for historic wrongs."

Grade 5 Teaching Materials

The Grade 5 Bamboo Shoots unit is a comprehensive and flexible teaching resource designed to help you bring Chinese Canadian history alive in your classroom. The unit contains adaptable lesson plans, blackline masters, and rubrics—as well as a timeline building game, relevant stories, and a rich collection of historical photographs and archival documents.
The lesson-specific materials that you see in the Grade 5 Gallery are available in the lesson download packages below, for offline use.

Overview

Here you’ll find materials that pertain to the unit as a whole. The Unit Overview provides context for the resource, information about learning outcomes addressed in each lesson, and suggestions for several ways to approach the unit. The Historical Backgrounders will give you some historical context for the topics addressed in the lessons.

Time Shuffle Card Game

This timeline building game will introduce students to a number of historically significant events in Chinese Canadian history and help them understand the chronological sequence of those events. The downloadable game cards need to be printed and cut out prior to use.

Royal British Columbia Museum Outreach Kit

Can graffiti be historically significant? Students will examine replicas of graffiti left by Chinese migrants detained in Victoria’s Federal Immigration Detention Hospital and determine its significance through a hands-on investigation of primary resources. For more information about how to access the Outreach Kit through the Royal BC Museum, visit http://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/schools/writing-on-the-wall-outreach-kits/.

CPR Workers

Lesson 1: Important Historical Events in BC for Chinese Canadians

In this lesson, students will research one event in Chinese Canadian history in BC. They will choose an image that represents or is symbolic of that historical event and they will make a presentation about the event.

Chinatown Arch

Lesson 2: Daily Life in Late 19th to Early 20th Century Victoria

Students will research what life was like for Chinese Canadians and other British Columbians in the city of Victoria in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Students will consider different aspects of daily life while gathering information and making inferences. Students will then conclude this lesson by creating three tableaux that incorporate roles and aspects of daily life.

  • Lesson Plan (PDF - 1.2 MB)
  • Download Package (Zip - 50 MB)
    Includes:
    • Lesson Plan (Word Doc)
    • Teacher Resource Package: Introduction to Victoria
    • Student Resource Package: The Chinese Population
    • Student Resource Package: The Songhees Population
    • Student Resource Package: The White Population
Plane Refugees

Lesson 3: Chinese Immigration Quest to BC

Students will explore the causes of immigration and compare them to the consequences Chinese immigrants encountered in Canada during 1853-1923 and 1947-1960.

Apology

Lesson 4: Apologies for Past Wrongs

In this lesson, students will decide if present-day governments should take responsibility for historical wrongs against Chinese Canadians. Students will also consider the various ways in which governments can take responsibility for historical wrongs. This activity will conclude with a U-shaped discussion.

Cemetary

Lesson 5: Places of Historical Significance in BC for Chinese Canadians

Students will select five places that are historically important to Chinese Canadians from the Heritage BC website or from their own ideas. Students will also evaluate the extent to which these local places are historically significant for Chinese Canadians in BC. Finally, students will create a commemorative design to memorialize the one place that had the most historical significance for Chinese Canadians.

Grade 10 Teaching Materials

The Grade 10 Bamboo Shoots unit is a comprehensive and flexible teaching resource designed to help you bring Chinese Canadian history alive in your classroom. The unit contains adaptable lesson plans, blackline masters, and rubrics—as well as a timeline building game, relevant stories, and a rich collection of historical photographs and archival documents.
The lesson-specific materials that you see in the Grade 10 Gallery are available in the lesson download packages below, for offline use.

Overview

Here you’ll find materials that pertain to the unit as a whole. The Unit Overview provides context for the resource, information about learning outcomes addressed in each lesson, and suggestions for several ways to approach the unit. The Historical Backgrounders will give you some historical context for the topics addressed in the lessons. The Concluding Assessment offers guidelines and rubrics for assessing students on their overall understanding of Chinese Canadian history in BC.

Time Shuffle Card Game

This timeline building game will introduce students to a number of historically significant events in Chinese Canadian history and help them understand the chronological sequence of those events. The downloadable game cards need to be printed and cut out prior to use.

Royal British Columbia Museum Outreach Kit

Can graffiti be historically significant? Students will examine replicas of graffiti left by Chinese migrants detained in Victoria’s Federal Immigration Detention Hospital and determine its significance through a hands-on investigation of primary resources. For more information about how to access the Outreach Kit through the Royal BC Museum, visit visit http://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/schools/writing-on-the-wall-outreach-kits/.

Lesson 1: Significant Events in Chinese Canadian History in BC

In Part A of this lesson, students will be introduced to a selection of key events in Chinese Canadian history in BC through a card game and follow-up activity. In Part B, students will discuss what makes a historical event significant, and determine the historical significance of events from the card game. In Part C, students will complete a living continuity and change timeline to identify progress towards, or decline away from, equity for Chinese Canadians in BC.

Lesson 2: Chinese Immigration to BC

In this lesson students consider the short-term and long-term causes, and the intended and unintended consequences, of Chinese immigration to BC. The students teach each other about one of four time periods of Chinese immigration history. They will also demonstrate the relationship between various causes and consequences, and have the option to share their personal or family stories of immigration to the province.

Lesson 3: Historical Perspectives of Chinese Canadians in BC

Students will investigate the historical perspectives of Chinese Canadians at different points in BC’s history to attempt to understand their views, beliefs, and attitudes. Students will analyze a variety of evidence about the circumstances, beliefs, worldviews, and values that existed at the time. They will also anticipate how different people thought or felt about specific events and issues in Chinese Canadian history.

Lesson 4: Judging Government Responsibility

In this lesson, students will decide if the government should take responsibility for historical wrongs against Chinese Canadians. In making this ethical judgment, students will consider the historical context, contemporary standards, the responsibility to remember and respond, and the lasting legacy of historical wrongs. Students will also consider the various ways in which governments can take responsibility for historical wrongs. This activity will culminate in a U-shaped debate.

Lesson 5: Memorializing Chinese Canadian History

In this final lesson, students will bring their historical significance thinking skills to their own community, or broader region in BC, to identify a place that they would propose for a memorial. Students will assess their site selections using criteria for geographic and historical significance, and considering local context and community. They will then draft a proposal for their choice of place to memorialize on an interactive map.

Grade 5 Gallery

This extensive viewing gallery presents historical photographs and archival documents related to the history of Chinese people in BC and Canada. These archival resources were acquired from the BC Archives, Royal BC Museum, University of BC Special Collections – Chung Collection, Library and Archives Canada, Vancouver Public Library, and regional museums in the province.

Although this gallery was designed to support the Grade 5 lesson plans in Bamboo Shoots, the archival collection housed on this website is valuable for anyone interested in learning more about this important and often untold story in BC’s history.

 
  • Lesson 1: Important Historical Events in BC for Chinese Canadians

    Student Backgrounders

  • Lesson 2: Daily Life in Late 19th to Early 20th Century Victoria

    Teacher Resource Package: Introduction to Victoria

  • Lesson 2: Daily Life in Late 19th to Early 20th Century Victoria

    Student Resource Package: The Chinese Population

  • Lesson 2: Daily Life in Late 19th to Early 20th Century Victoria

    Student Resource Package: The Songhees Population

  • Lesson 2: Daily Life in Late 19th to Early 20th Century Victoria

    Student Resource Package: The White Population

  • Lesson 3: Chinese Immigration Quest to BC

    Teacher Resource Package: Immigration Office Wall Poems

  • Lesson 3: Chinese Immigration Quest to BC

    Student Resource Package: Immigration 1853-1923

  • Lesson 3: Chinese Immigration Quest to BC

    Student Resource Package: Immigration 1947-1960

Grade 10 Gallery

This extensive viewing gallery presents historical photographs and archival documents related to the history of Chinese people in BC and Canada. These archival resources were acquired from the BC Archives, Royal BC Museum, University of BC Special Collections – Chung Collection, Library and Archives Canada, Vancouver Public Library, and regional museums in the province.

Although this gallery was designed to support the Grade 10 lesson plans in Bamboo Shoots, the archival collection housed on this website is valuable for anyone interested in learning more about this important and often untold story in BC’s history.

 
  • Lesson 2: Chinese Immigration to BC

    Archive Package: 1857-1884 (Early Immigration)

  • Lesson 2: Chinese Immigration to BC

    Archive Package: 1885-1922 (Head Tax)

  • Lesson 2: Chinese Immigration to BC

    Archive Package: 1923-1946 (Exclusion Act)

  • Lesson 2: Chinese Immigration to BC

    Archive Package: 1947-2014 (Post-World War II)

  • Lesson 3: Historical Perspectives of Chinese Canadians in BC

    Archive Package: School Segregation

  • Lesson 3: Historical Perspectives of Chinese Canadians in BC

    Archive Package: Loss of the Franchise

Acknowledgements

This resource was developed for the Ministry of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism by Open School BC, Ministry of Education in partnership with the Royal BC Museum, the Legacy Initiatives Advisory Council and BC teachers. View the full list of contributors.

The historical photographs, archival documents and images of curatorial objects in the galleries and in the teaching materials were acquired from various sources and have been reproduced with permission. These materials are intended for educational purposes only and the downloaded files and prints may not be shared, reproduced or used for any other purpose without permission from the copyright holders.

Third Party Copyright
Credits for all images on this website can be found in the gallery.

Images used in the homepage design:

  • Portrait of a group of young men and women, 192-
    Image 58912, CB Wand photo, Vancouver Public Library
  • Chinese fish peddlers on Carrall street Vancouver 1904
    Image 8005, Philip Timms photo, Vancouver Public Library
  • Chinatown, Victoria, ca. 1886. (Cormorant Street West of Government Street.
    This part of Cormorant is now Pandora Avenue.)
    Image D-04748 courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives
  • Petition for pardon for Ah Sing, accused of receiving stolen goods, Yale and Lytton, 1860s
    BC Archives, GR-1372 f 1353
  • Letter and envelope
    Images 966_87_17a and 966_87_17b courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives