For over 200 years, migrants of Chinese heritage have travelled 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. Students have the opportunity to engage with what becomes, with every new project, an increasingly rich and complex history; to see that their stories are becoming officially recognized after having been overlooked for so long. INSTRCC students are connected to life experiences that make learning real.