Brian Smallshaw is a graduate student in the Department of History at the University of Victoria with an interest in Asian-Canadian history. He lived for many years in Japan and other countries in Asia prior to moving to Saltspring Island in British Columbia. His current studies centre on the dispossession of Japanese Canadian land on Saltspring Island during the Second World War.
Macayla Yan humbly acknowledges the unceded territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, on which her family and the work she does resides. She is a third generation trespasser of the stolen lands, and recognizes the inherent violence in this. Her family immigrated here from 香港, and before that came from 中山 and 台山. Macayla currently studies Psychology and Indigenous Studies at the University of Victoria, with the hopes of becoming a counsellor. As someone whose family is very much a part of Victoria’s Chinatown, she is excited to be part of the ACVI Project to explore, illuminate, and uphold the relationships between Asian and Indigenous communities on the south island. Outside academics, Macayla’s other passions include baking, community organizing, food sharing, listening to stories, and anti-oppression.
Jeff (Sho) is a yonsei writer and wanderer. He believes that through sharing food and story we can work to heal legacies of violence + trauma that have accumulated over generations within our collective body, mind and spirit. Currently Sho is settled on Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ Territory but his ancestral homeland (in one sense at least) lies somewhere in the depths of the united states of amerika. Sho is committed to finding ways to complicate Japanese Nikkei culture in order to uplift the wisdom of his people’s indigenous Uchinanchu ancestry. He believes that opening up space for diverse expressions of gender and sexuality is crucial to the work of reclaiming our histories + our futures. Sho tries to avoid the drama of everyday life through intentional meditations with his favorite new tunes and a steady flow of good tea + chocolate.
Connie Graham is a Research Assistant on the ACVI project. She recently graduated from Vancouver Island University with a BA in Anthropology and First Nations Studies. Previously, she did research for the Cumberland Museum and Archives that contributed to the development of a permanent exhibit on the history of the Canadian Collieries Railway as part of an internship through VIU’s Department of Anthropology. Through that same internship she provided research to the Village of Cumberland on the local Chinatown, to be used for improvements to the interpretive signage in Coal Creek Historic Park. Graham has a strong preference for community-based applied research projects. Her research interests include culture contact between non-European settlers and Indigenous groups, Indigenous self-determination, heritage language reclamation, ethnomusicology, and food sovereignty.
Owen Mar is a research assistant working on the the ACVI project. He is a second year University of Victoria student who currently is working on obtaining an undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in History. Owen’s primary interest in the project is aiding in giving voices to those who traditionally have been ostracized or overlooked by mainstream history. His interest in Asian/Indigenous Canadian history came from listening to the stories his grandfather, a third generation Chinese Canadian, told him about the racism and discrimination which he, his ancestors and his Indigenous neighbors faced in Canada during the 1850s to present day. Through the work done at ACVI, Owen hopes to be able to help uncover the stories of those who have been discriminated against in the hope of creating a more complete understanding of Canadian history for current and future generations of Canadians. Owen believes that a large part of preventing racism and discrimination lies in understanding the history of those around us. Outside of academia, Owen’s interests include peace education, climbing, cycling and working on cars.
Tad Suzuki and Faith Takishita
Tad Suzuki and Faith Takishita are librarians at UVic and VIC respectively. They have been creating a dynamic bibliography as part of the research project.