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B.C. commemorates 75th anniversary of Japanese-Canadian internment

By Contributor
October 29th, 2017

The Province has commemorated the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War by unveiling commemorative signage at the site of a former internment camp east of Hope.

“We can only grow as a society by recognizing our errors and learning from our past mistakes,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena. “Interpretive signage at the site of a former Japanese-Canadian internment camp is a powerful way to tell this important story to British Columbians, in the hope that we can one day end racism and social inequality.”

“This is the first permanent marker in B.C. to acknowledge the internment of 22,000 Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War, and will ensure our past is not forgotten,” said Laura Saimoto, chair of the Japanese Canadian Legacy Project Committee. “This signage is also important for our future, as it will help educate our younger generation and foster socially responsible citizens.”

The signage has been placed at the Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum, just east of Hope on Highway 3. This was the site of an internment camp that housed more than 2,600 Japanese-Canadian men, women and children from 1942 to 1946. The unveiling of the sign was attended by some of those who were interned, as well as local schoolchildren.

“Seventy-five years ago, Japanese-Canadians who helped build this country and province lost their rights, as they were segregated and uprooted from their homes,” said Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare. “These markers commemorate this painful period in Canadian history, while also providing an opportunity to reflect on the past and learn from it.”

More than 22,000 British Columbians with Japanese heritage were uprooted from their homes near the coast and unjustifiably interned at various camps throughout the interior of B.C. beginning in 1942. In 2012, a formal apology was extended by the Province of British Columbia to Japanese-Canadians interned during the Second World War.

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