UBC Vancouver campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, & unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.
UBC Library & the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies program invite the community to a public panel event inspired by a remarkable collection of letters. The Joan Gillis fonds was acquired in 2018 by UBC Library & contains 149 letters & 10 photographs, sent to donor Joan Gillis by a group of young Japanese Canadian friends she met while attending Queen Elizabeth Secondary School in Surrey. These letters, written from farms, work camps, & internment camps in British Columbia, Manitoba, & Alberta after the students were forcibly dispersed from their homes, provide us with a rare glimpse into the lives of young Japanese Canadians during this dark period.
As we acknowledge the 80th anniversary of the forced dispersal, internment, & dispossession of Japanese Canadians from the coastal regions of British Columbia, we are most grateful to the following panel members from the Japanese Canadian community for providing their responses to these letters at this event. We hope that this event will give us an opportunity to reflect on the histories, effects, & legacies of the historical injustice. The event will also launch an online exhibit featuring select letters from the Joan Gillis fonds.
- Laura Ishiguro, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of British Columbia
- Angela May, artist and PhD Student in English & Cultural Studies, McMaster University
- Carolyn Nakagawa, poet and playwright, Nikkei National Museum Education Program Developer
- Lisa Uyeda, Collections Manager, Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre
- Nicole Yakashiro (Moderator), PhD Student in History, University of British Columbia
If you require access accommodations, please contact us. We will do our best to accommodate requests. This event is sponsored by the UBC Equity Enhancement Fund and the UBC Public Humanities Hub Seed Grant.