Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Content focus of rights museum

Chinese group wants story told

  • Print

With both fundraising and construction moving toward completion, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is turning its attention toward the exhibits it will put on display.

Museum officials met Sunday with representatives from across the country from the Chinese Canadian community to begin discussions how to tell their story.

Joseph Du, president of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre, where the talks were held, said he'd like to see a pair of human rights issues that are close to his heart addressed at the museum -- the head tax, a fixed fee charged to each Chinese person entering Canada starting in 1885, and the Chinese Exclusion Act, a U.S. law that banned immigration from China.

"It's about education. People will learn from history and hopefully won't make a similar mistake," Du said. "We hope (the discussions) are the beginning, like a seed that will flower and turn to fruit."

It's important to realize there are three distinct groups of Chinese Canadians, said Jan Walls, professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University, who taught Chinese history and literature for 40 years. There are the first immigrants to come to Canada as carpenters and millwrights in 1788 and their descendants; there are those who worked on building Canada's national railway in the 1880s and their descendants; and those who came across the Pacific Ocean from Hong Kong, Taiwan and more recently from the Chinese mainland, as university graduates and experienced business people.

"These are three different categories with very different impressions of what being a Chinese Canadian means to them," he said. "A very important part of being a Canadian is our sense of harmonious diversity. Diversity without harmony is cacophony and harmony without diversity is monotony."

Angela Cassie, the museum's director of communications, said it has been working with a New York-based research team, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, on its content, both for its opening and beyond. She said such dialogue is an important part of the content development process and will ensure the exhibits are accurate.

"We have professional researchers and academics at the museum. If you think of the hundreds of stories we need to research, we're working with contractors who are experts in their fields to help us refine them. It's important to touch base with the communities (to be represented at the museum). It's a human rights-based approach, you're not just studying people as subjects," she said.

Cassie said the Friends of the Museum continues to work toward reaching its $150-million fundraising goal. It recently hit $130 million in donations from the private sector.

Construction at The Forks continues to progress and is on schedule for completion late next year. Cassie said the museum will announce its much-anticipated opening day in the next two to three months.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 27, 2011 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

The Whiteboard - Jets' 5-on-3 penalty kill

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How will you be spending the holiday season? (select all that apply)

View Results

Ads by Google