Vancouver, BC, Canada

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For over 200 years, migrants of Chinese heritage have traveled to Canada, particularly British Columbia, to live, to work, and to raise their families. They have come at different times and from different places in China and throughout the Pacific region. Many have called a variety of places home before coming to Canada, but once here, they formed vibrant communities that have significantly shaped Canadian society. Until now, however, there has never been a program at any Canadian university dedicated to teaching classes and conducting research focused on this important part of our collective Canadian history.

INSTRCC (Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian studies) was created to engage and empower students to conduct crucial and groundbreaking community-based research in Asian Canadian history relevant to the Asian Canadian community. In addition, INSTRCC seeks to give a voice to the stories and histories of Asian Canadians, their families, and their communities so future generations of Canadians and Asian Canadians will be aware of the rich and complex stories that make up integral aspects of Canadian history and identity. To achieve these aims, students are encouraged to use the latest digital technologies to distribute and create informative and engaging films, oral histories, family stories, websites, and databases that anyone can easily access to learn about the importance of Asian Canadians in Canada. INSTRCC students are connected to life experiences that make learning real.

In 2007, UBC officially launched the Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian studies (INSTRCC). Built from the ground up by students over a three year period, INSTRCC is the first stage of a permanent commitment to teaching and research focused upon the role of Asian Canadians in the building of Pacific Canada. Supported by the commitment of its participating students, faculty, and community donors, INSTRCC focuses on recovering the complex story of “Chinese Canada” as both a geographical concept--capturing the long-standing ties of the west coast of Canada with the Pacific region--and as a historical framework built from processes of migration and trade that have linked North America to Asia and the Pacific for hundreds of years.

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