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.
The Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies (INSTRCC) at UBC was created to engage and empower students to conduct crucial and groundbreaking community-based research relevant to Chinese Canadian communities. In addition, INSTRCC seeks to gather and share the stories and histories of Chinese Canadians, their families, and their communities so future generations will be aware of the rich and complex stories that make up diverse 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 materials that anyone can easily access to learn about the importance of Chinese Canadians. As one of the community engagement initiatives that works with the Asian Canadian and Asian Canadian Studies (ACAM) program at UBC, INSTRCC prepares students to work on community-engaged projects both locally and globally, providing transformative learning experiences that help shape students understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.