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Chilliwack’s Chinatowns:

A Story of Diversity, Racism, and Arson

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the first Chinese immigrants in Canada made significant contributions to life in the Fraser Valley. Faced with discrimination and racial prejudice from British Columbia’s Euro-Canadian resettlers who settled on the traditional and unceded territory of the Stó:lō people, many Chinese workers persisted in the short term and chose Chilliwack as their home.

Front cover of the book, “Chilliwack’s Chinatowns: A History,” by Dr. Chad Reimer. The cover has a black and white photo of a young boy and a man standing hand in hand in front of a merchant’s store. Fruit stalls are to the left and vegetable stalls are to the right.

Chilliwack’s Chinatowns: A History by Dr. Chad Reimer.

Chilliwack’s Chinatowns: A Story of Diversity, Racism, and, Arson reveals the contributions of British Columbia’s early Chinese residents to Chilliwack’s collective memory. Based in part on Dr. Chad Reimer’s 2011 book, Chilliwack’s Chinatowns: A History, the exhibition aims to encourage discussion and dialogue within Chilliwack’s communities who today benefit from the efforts of early Chinese residents.

By viewing historic photographs, maps and artifacts and listening to interviews with community members, Chilliwack’s Chinatowns: A Story of Diversity, Racism, and Arson features the universal story of hard work in an era before official multiculturalism and showcases the life and challenges of Chinatown residents to highlight how acceptance and tolerance are necessary today.

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Chilliwack Museum and Archives
Chilliwack, British Columbia