News Releases

Family Stories Told by Head Tax Youth – July 30, 2012
Vancouver. Forty youth from head tax families across Canada were recognized today for their contributions to the CCNC “Our Stories” Head Tax Education Project. These talented young people submitted essays, poems and videos about their family’s experience with the Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act (see list below).

“The family stories reveal the real-lived heart-aches that resulted from family separation and the misery and racism caused by the Head Tax,” Victor Wong, CCNC Executive Director said today. “The youth are now more aware of the experiences of their ancestors and older family members, and the essays will help to educate the general public, including the Chinese Canadian community.” CCNC has set up a temporary website to showcase the youth essays: https://ccncourstories.wordpress.com/our-stories-features/youth-essays/.

The youth essays will be a special feature at a new online portal, one which will also include stories from the Head Tax families living on the Prairies and in the North, the Maritime experience, the story of Yip Sang, reflections from redress activists, a new video on the paper sons and daughters, genealogy research and other resources. Earlier this year, CCNC and local partners produced photo-exhibits in Vancouver and Montreal, organized the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act, and established a Facebook site to showcase the contents of the website: http://www.facebook.com/groups/347379135324518/

The CCNC “Our Stories” Head Tax Education Project project is made possible through funding from the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), part of the Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch. The CHRP program funds community-based commemorative and educational projects that provide recognition of the experiences of ethno-cultural communities affected by historical wartime measures and/or immigration restrictions applied in Canada, and that promote these communities’ contributions to building Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Victor Wong at national@ccnc.ca or Sid Tan at sidchowtan@gmail.com

List of Youth Participants:
BC: Christine Chan, Julia Chan, Nicole Chan, Aidan Crowe, Angela Jung, Jordan Lam, Brandon Lam, Naiya Lee Tsang, Sahali Lee Tsang, Jodie Leong, Isaac Louie, Jordana Lowe, Arielle Quan, Katelyn Seto, Melissa Tong, Zuva Turner-Tan, Caroline Wong, Colten Wong, Devon Wong, Shannon Wong, Jordan Yee, Kayla Yee, Lynnea Yee, Mitchell Yee, Alicia Yip, Daniel Yip, Emily Yip, Leslie Yip, Sophia Yip, Vivian Yip
Prairies: Aimee Gee, Benjamin Gee
Ontario: Debbie Yam, Eric Yam, Simon Yam, Jonathan Lee, Samantha Jade Gee Hamilton
Quebec: Kurtis Leung-Ho
Atlantic: Jessica (Chan) Douglas

http://www.ccnc.ca/content/pr.php?entry=254

Chinese Canadians Mark Repeal of Exclusion Act – May 13, 2012
TORONTO. The Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) will be leading a delegation of representatives of community groups to Ottawa to mark the 65th anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Chinese Exclusion Act which separated families for 23 years was passed by Parliament on July 1, 1923 and implemented one year later. It was finally repealed on May 14, 1947.

“Chinese families endured long periods of separation due to the legislation, education opportunities were lost and the community stagnated,” Victor Wong, CCNC Executive Director said today. “We pay tribute to the community’s efforts 65 years ago to organize and lobby for the repeal of this racist legislation.”

On Monday (May 14, 2012), the federal Parties are expected to make Statements in the House of Commons at 3pm after Question Period to recognize this important anniversary.

CCNC is organizing the “Our Stories” project to educate Canadians about the contributions of Chinese Canadians and the community’s experience with the Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act. CCNC has established a Facebook site to showcase the project’s content: http://www.facebook.com/groups/347379135324518/.

CCNC also applauds the efforts of local groups to organize the numerous events for this year’s Asian Heritage Month. The many events reflect on the need for inclusive education that speaks to the Asian Canadian experience. CCNC urges educators and provincial education authorities to ensure that our community’s contributions to the building of Canada is accurately reflected and included in the school curriculum.

(Partial) List of Asian Heritage Month Festivals:
Vancouver: http://www.explorasian.org/
Calgary: http://asianheritagecalgary.ca/
Manitoba: http://www.asianheritagemanitoba.ca/
Toronto: http://vmacch.ca/
Ottawa: http://www.asianheritagemonth.net/
Montreal: http://accesasie.com/
New Brunswick: http://www.ahsnb.org/

Founded in 1980, CCNC is a national non-profit organization with 27 chapters across Canada and a community leader for Chinese Canadians in promoting a more just, respectful, and inclusive society. CCNC and allies are one of the co-recipients of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation’s 2008 Award of Excellence for its work on the Chinese Head Tax redress campaign.

For more information or media interviews, please contact:

Victor Wong, Executive Director at (416) 977-9871
Alice Choy, National Director at (514) 781-2688
http://www.ccnc.ca/content/pr.php?entry=253

CCNC Call For Submissions from Youth – Wednesday May 2, 2012
CCNC is seeking stories from youth from head tax families on their family’s experience with the Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act. We are able to pay a small honoraria – from $300 to $500 to a young person (24 years or under) or a student (30 years or under). We’re looking for writings of 800-1,000 words with a couple family photos.

CCNC has compiled a youth anthology before, please see: http://www.ccnc.ca/cc150/your-anthology/index.php.

You can also check out the Chinese Canadian Veterans’ stories here: http://www.ccmms.ca/veteran-stories/.

Here is an outline that you could use to frame your essay:
1. Describe your family’s background: origins, year of immigration, and immigration pattern. How did the Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act affect your family?
2. Describe the first years in Canada: what was your family occupation, where did they live, how were they treated? What were the challenges and how did they overcome them?
3. How has the Chinese Canadian community changed over the decades? Do you/your peers identify with the community? How do you relate to Chinese newcomers and community/family members who immigrated to Canada?
4. Is there discrimination in Canada today? Explain.
Collecting these stories will help us to connect the generations; it will also help the head tax families to network with each other.

Please send us an email first to indicate your interest.
Contact: Victor Wong national@ccnc.ca; (416) 977-9871
http://www.ccnc.ca/content/pr.php?entry=252

 

CCNC Launches “Our Stories” Head Tax Education Project – Tuesday May 1, 2012
CCNC is launching the “Our Stories” Head Tax Education Project to recognize the contributions and to commemorate the experiences of Chinese Canadian communities affected by the Chinese Head Tax, Newfoundland Head Tax, and Chinese Exclusion Act, and to educate Canadians about these experiences.

CCNC will be creating a web-site which will include an online national community portal, archive and library, resources and tools for genealogy research. The special web-features will include stories from the head tax families living on the Prairies and in the North, the Atlantic experience, youth essays and a new video on the paper sons. A traveling photo-exhibit will be created and installed in Vancouver and Montreal. CCNC will produce a commemorative book to illustrate the history of Chinese Canadian communities and the Head Tax redress campaign.

This national project will feature the personal stories from head tax families as they recount the efforts by Chinese Canadians to establish their communities during the Chinese Head Tax, Newfoundland Head Tax, and Chinese Exclusion Act eras.

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/347379135324518/

Contact: Victor Wong national@ccnc.ca; (416) 977-9871

This project was made possible through funding from the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), part of the Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch. The CHRP program funds community-based commemorative and educational projects that provide recognition of the experiences of ethno-cultural communities affected by historical wartime measures and/or immigration restrictions applied in Canada, and that promote these communities’ contributions to building Canada.

http://www.ccnc.ca/content/pr.php?entry=251

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