This section provides learning resources and materials that facilitate learning in the topic area of Chinese and Indigenous relations in Canada. The section includes texts, films, and academic research articles that highlight Chinese-Indigenous history, culture, and society. These resources are provided to help educators and learners explore new knowledge in the subject area.




Finding the Ideal Nesting Place: Chinese Encounters with Indigenous and Euro-Canadian Peoples in British Columbia, 1858-1947

Chan introduces that after the First Opium War (1842), Chinese individuals started to leave China in search of economic opportunities, arriving in British Columbia, Canada, where they participated in the Fraser River Gold Rush. Chan outlines how the Colonial settlers also found British Columbia to be a favourable location in their economic pursuit thus impeding on the homeland of the First Nations. The article introduces Chinese immigrants’ experiences in British Columbia by looking at the Chinese- Indigenous relationships. It is emphasized that British Colonial settlers attempted to assimilate and control Indigenous populations through discriminatory policies and reinforced exclusionary acts toward Chinese individuals as they were believed to be unassimilable. Chan looks at how despite complete exclusion, Chinese individuals in British Columbia continued to resist marginalization through exclusionary policies that targeted their economic involvement and personal pursuits. 

A Sorry State of Affairs: Chinese Arrivants, Indigenous Hosts, and Settler Colonial Apologies

Wong’s article highlights the issues behind the inauthenticity of settler-colonial state-sanctioned apologies through the viewpoint of contemporary injustice against early Chinese Canadian’s in Canada. Wong looks at the historical and political issues behind settler colonialism apologies by highlighting the problems within Stephen Harper’s statement of apology to all Chinese in Canada.  Chinese in Canada were impacted by the 1885-1923 head tax and the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act that barred all individuals of Chinese descent from entering Canada. The article highlights that issuing apologies for historical injustices reinforces the assumption that the present injustice of marginalized groups are not associated to the past or future maltreatment and discrimination.  . 

Re-Storying and Restoring Pacific Canada

This article outlines the issue of historical injustices faced by Chinese- Canadians and First Nations in Canada by looking at the efforts to acknowledge the historical mistreatment of the marginalized groups. Apologies for anti-Chinese legislation and settler colonial mistreatment of First Nations are seen as an issue of Canada’s historical past, therefore, reinforcing ignorance of present-day systemic racial hierarchies. The article outlines community-driven educational leadership in British Columbia and recognizes the Chinese-First Nations’ reciprocal relationships that were historically formed. The integration of educational leadership in the area of Chinese-First Nations relations is implemented with the hope of establishing mutual understanding and reciprocal engagement between Indigenous and non-indigenous individuals in present-day society.

Bad Feelings, Feeling Bad: The Affects of Asian-Indigenous Coalition

Diabo’s article looks at the effective alliances that Asian-Indigenous individuals may take through the examination of contemporary literature and film. By analyzing the efforts made toward the coalition of Asian settlers and First Nations in Canada, the article considers how feeling and emotions as a component of the cultural productions play a vital role in the process of coalition-building. This suggests that cultural productions such as literary texts have the responsibility of setting an effective tone for building Asian-Indigenous alliances. The article explores the notion of “feeling in debt” to those who have in the past been wronged to claim responsibility and acknowledge the historical problems in Canada.

Model minorities, models of resistance: native figures in Asian Canadian literature

Lo explores the representation of First Nations in Asian Canadian literature through the examination of Canadian racial formations. Through the literary works of Joy Kogawa and SKY Lee, the article links indigenous decolonization battles to anti-racism struggles by exploring the literary works of Indigenous protagonists and culture. Through the characters and culture, it suggests that the literature contests formations of Asian-Canadian marginalization.

Asian-Indigenous Relationalities: Literary Gestures of Respect and Indebtedness

Phung’s Research Article explores Asian and Indigenous relations through the representation of the marginalized communities in literature. Phung introduces the impacts of racism and colonialism on Chinese-Indigenous relations, revealing how racial internalizations and stereotyping resulted in colonial discourses and deterred the marginalized groups from establishing mutually respectful relationships despite their shared histories. Chinese-Canadian historical fiction and literature attempts to acknowledge and restore Asian-Indigenous relations through stories representing a range of historical perspectives on their relationships. These perspectives span from historical friendship to distrust among the marginalized groups. Through literature, the authors also acknowledge the historical Asian-Indigenous indebtedness through writings on the wrong-doings committed by Chinese immigrants against Indigenous people. Phung expresses that through literary acknowledgment of Asian-Indigenous relations the historical debts can not simply be repaid but functions as a sign of respect that she hopes will inspire future generations to reflect upon.

Decolonizasian: Reading Asian and First Nations Relations in Literature

Wong examines the issues regarding racial oppression faced by Chinese immigrants and Indigenous individuals living in Canada through literature. Wong introduces the obstacles and hardships that the Chinese and Indigenous groups face that resulted from their non-white heritage, such as historically enforced exclusionary acts and oppressive policies. The paper explores the inadequacies of multiculturalism in Canada and how cultural representation can have negative impacts through the restructuring of power relationships. In order to deconstruct oppressive systems, Wong explores how the issues of Asian-Indigenous individuals are addressed and represented in literature.




The Chinese and the Indigenous Peoples

This education resource on Chinese and Indigenous peoples in Canada examines the history of the First Nations and Chinese relationships. Its primary focus is on the issue of European settlers’ arrival in British Columbia. Indigenous groups were forced to cede their territory to the settlers through unfair and racially discriminatory treaties and policies. Highlighting how as a result of colonization, the Indigenous peoples’ lives changed drastically as they were confined to their reserves and forced to assimilate the Colonial settler’s customs. During this time many Chinese had come to British Columbia in pursuit of economic fortunes through the search for gold. Although they had desired economic profit, Chinese immigrants were viewed as unskilled; therefore, they were assigned to work on the Canadian Pacific railway. This resource highlights how the Chinese immigrants were racially targeted and discriminated against, often given dangerous and life-threatening jobs.

Activities and Resources for Reading Indigenous and Diasporic Intersections in Canadian Literature

This educational resource provides an activity guide for learning about Indigenous and Diasporic communities through Canadian literature. The resource includes discussion questions for Lee Maracles “Yin Chin” and Dionne Brand’s “What We All Long For” that can be used to facilitate classroom discussion and learning about Chinese-Indigenous relations. Additional primary texts to consider are also provided that explore the shared Chinese-Indigenous histories in Canada.

It All Started with Treaty

It All Started with Treaty provides learning resources that inspired Chris Hsiung’s documentary series Elder in the Making. Hsiung provides different readings, activities, and tours for educators and learners to consider when exploring the topic of Chinese-Indigenous relations in Canada in hopes of educating the populace on the historical inequalities.

Cedar & Bamboo

This educational resource provided by the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC includes a film guide for the documentary Cedar and Bamboo and teaching resources for classroom use. The film Cedar and Bamboo introduces the relationship between Chinese and Indigenous people in British Columbia, highlighting the Chinese-Indigenous union and the shared history of hardship that the marginalized groups faced.

Perspectives and practices of Asian Canadian teachers in decolonizing mathematics and music education

Chen’s research explores pedagogy in Canada by looking at how Asian -Canadian teachers in the topics of mathematics and music practice Indigenization and decolonization in their teaching. The research investigates the identity construction of Asian Canadians by exploring the teacher’s formations of racial and cultural identity. Chen examines how the teacher’s personal formations of their own racial identity influence their knowledge and understanding of Indigenous people and issues in Canada.

Masterclass 2017: Alejandro Yoshizawa – All Our Father’s Relations

This video follows the journey of the filmmaker Alejandro Yoshizawa the director of All Our Father’s Relations. Yoshizawa outlines the film-making process,  highlighting how he had to use the narrative of memory in order to reflect the story of the Grant family. He hopes the film All Our Fathers Relations can initiate discussion and open questions about the forgotten histories of Canada.