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First Nations’ Languages and Territories of BC

There are over 203 First Nations communities in BC which form the main First Nations language groups. There are 6 main language families; Algonquian, Dene (Athabaskan), Wakashan, Salishan (Salish), Tsimshianic, and Language Isolates that are not related to any other (Ktunaxa and Xaad kil / Xaaydaa Kil). The First Peoples Cultural Council ( is an organization…

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Kaatza Station Museum Visit

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to visit the Kaatza Station Museum and Archive in Lake Cowichan. In their collection, they had a wide range of photos and articles about Chinese, Indian and Japanese workers. However, their display "The Chinese ... a forgotten treasure" stood out to me. It holds a large gravestone with Chinese…

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The Barber Shop Story

My grandfather, Karm Singh Manak, came to Canada in 1921.    He was an active member of the East Indian Citizens Welfare Association and the Khalsa Diwan Society in Victoria and Duncan.  He believed in equality for all Canadians regardless of their background and fought for voting rights and immigration law changes through the 1940s, 1950s…

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Toyo Takata – Esquimalt Is My home; Takata Japanese Tea Gardens, Esquimalt

Takata Tea House in Japanese Gardens, Gorge Kinsmen Park ca. 1920. Takata v9861814, Esquimalt Archives.                           Restored Japanese Gardens, Gorge Kinsmen Park, Esquimalt, 2015. Born in Esquimalt, in 1920, Takata's family returned to Japan in 1925 for a couple of years where Toyo received education in Japanese, before returning to Esquimalt. Toyo Takata attended Lampson School, Esquimalt High,…

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Yat Tong and the Cement Plant at Tod Inlet

Times Colonist Article / September 6th, 2015 Our History- The Chinese Secrets of Tod Inlet An interesting excerpt from Tod Inlet: A Healing Place by Gwen Curry (Rocky Mountain Books 2015)' in the TC yesterday: And another article on the CRD website if you are interested in learning more about 'The Many Perspectives of Tod Inlet' including the…

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Sechart and Cachalot Whaling

According to the recent book, Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History by Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy, whaling stations at Sechart in Barkley Sound and Cachalot in Kyuquot Sound employed scores of workers, "many of them Chinese, Japanese and aboriginal, to flense and render the [whale] carcasses." These are sites of close proximity of communities…

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