Source D


From “ ‘These Feelings that Fill My Heart’: Japanese Canadian Women’s Memories of Internment”

Compiled by Pamela Sugiman and published by the National Art Association

“I am now able to relate the events of a five-year period in less than a page. After Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Government of Canada uprooted, dispossessed, and violated the rights of all person’s of the Japanese race living in Canada, regardless of nativity or citizenship. Some people were shipped to the relocation centre known as Hastings Park, the stench-filled former horse stables in the Pacific National Exhibition grounds in Vancouver. Others were sent directly to ghost towns in the BC interior. Some families lived in ‘self-supporting’ projects. Those who wished to avoid separation, endured taxing labor on the sugar beet farms of Alberta and Manitoba. Most people were given 24-hours notice to leave their homes and were each allowed to take with them one suitcase. By November 1942, approximately 22,000 Japanese Canadians had been uprooted from their BC homes and declared ‘enemy aliens.’ 75 percent of these were naturalised or Canadian-born citizens. The government also confiscated and later sold for a pittance, and without the consent of their Japanese Canadian owners, thousands of houses, farms, fishing boats, and other businesses. Furthermore, after some Japanese Canadians had been in the sites of internment for three or four years, they were forced to either accept low-wage employment and resettle east of the Rocky Mountains or depart for Japan, a country that was foreign to most.”

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