1918 Chinese Immigration Act certificate

Multi-media project aims to raise awareness of Chinese Head Tax

February 5, 2009

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SFU’s Learning and Instructional Development Centre (LIDC) is getting $200,000 from Ottawa to fund a multi-media project to raise awareness of the Chinese Head Tax and other measures that restricted Chinese immigration between the years 1885 and 1947.

LIDC will use the federal money to create a comprehensive and interactive education program, tentatively entitled Reconciliation Day, for B.C. high school students.

Funded under the federal government’s Community Historical Recognition Program, the project will examine the impact of the head tax imposed on Chinese immigrants and highlight the Chinese-Canadian community’s contributions to building Canada.

"This funding is part of an ongoing process of reconciliation in which the Canadian government recognizes a wrong from the past and is doing something about it," says Rick Walker, LIDC video producer and project coordinator. "One of our key goals is connecting the younger generation to the older generation to make sure that younger Chinese-Canadians are aware of their heritage and issues involving their evolving identity."

The project will take about a year to complete and will include:

  • A multi-media learning package including a modular DVD, teachers’ guide and lesson plans, as well as propaganda posters, pamphlets and other non-video components such as head tax certificates, biographies, still images and government policy documents.
  • A media-rich website complementing the learning package with compressed versions of the video material as well as historical photographs, archival documents, selected biographies and an immigration policy timeline.
  • A master video documentary created from the video material for educational screenings and broadcast purposes.
  • A two-part evaluation plan to examine the program’s impact.

LIDC will distribute 100 DVD packages to 95 public secondary schools and five private schools in the metro Vancouver area. Fairchild TV will also air the video documentary.

The Vancouver immigrant-aid agency S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is partnering with SFU on this project and will provide translation support as well as serve as project liaison with the Chinese-Canadian community.

To learn more, visit the Chinese-Genealogy website at


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