Chinese Canadian History Public Education Project

The Chinese Canadian History Project Council at the David Lam Centre has developed educational materials for use by schools, community organizations, and tourism to educate students, the Canadian public and visitors to Canada about the contributions of Chinese Canadians, over more than two centuries, to the building of Canada.

Chinese Canadian History Project Council Members

  • Dr. Paul Crowe, Co-Chair
  • David Choi, Co-Chair
  • Dr. David Chuenyan Lai
  • Dr. Jan Walls
  • Edith Lo (Project Administrator)
  • Winnie Leung (Graphic Design and Production)
  • Dorris Tai (Project Assistant)

Under the lead authorship of Professor Emeriitus David Chuenyan Lai (U. Vic., Geography), a widely respected expert in the history and social and political dynamics of Chinatowns in Canada, we have created a series of publications to document key moments in the history of Chinese migration and settlement in Canada.

The project consists of two parts. The first one is A Brief Chronology of Chinese Canadian History: From Segregation to Integration – a graphic timeline in poster format intended for display in classrooms and community and cultural centres. It provides an overview of Chinese Canadian history from 1788 to 2010 and includes several historic illustrations and a comprehensive list of Chinese Canadian inductees into the Order of Canada.

The second part of the project is called Canada Chinatown Series. It is a set of documents providing the history of eight Chinatowns in Canada in a condensed, approachable format with text and illustrations. Through the nineteenth and early twentieth century these urban centres were formed out of necessity. Immigrants, predominantly from the Pearl River delta, had to face the stark realities of a harsh political, economic and social climate in which they had to make a life for themselves. Survival meant relying on each other. Thus Chinatowns became sites for political, cultural and economic solidarity. As Canada has transformed, so too have Chinatowns. They are now an important lens through which we can view the microcosms of Canada's history, cultural intersections and gradual change.

We are proud that The David Lam Centre and Simon Fraser University were officially acknowledged for the work on this project in the proceedings of Parliament and in the Senate. Our work on Victoria's Chinatown was also acknowledged in the BC Legislature.

We are thankful to our Honorary Patron Senator Vivienne Poy for her tireless efforts in promoting this educational project among Canadian Members of Parliament, the Senate and community organizations.


To date this project has received generous financial support from the following organizations and individuals. All contributions are allocated to the Chinese Canadian Heritage Fund established in 1998 for the express purpose of supporting research and the production of educational materials related to Chinese Canadian history.


  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of British Columbia
  • Université du Québec à Montréal
  • University of Toronto - Richard Charles Lee Library
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Winnipeg - Global College
  • McGill University
  • University of Ottawa


  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • City of Vancouver
  • City of Victoria
  • City of Montréal
  • City of Winnipeg


  • Victoria Foundation
  • David and Dorothy Lam Foundation
  • C.K. Choi Foundation
  • Lee Tak Wai Foundation
  • Chan Better World Foundation
  • G. Raymond Chang Foundation
  • R.H.L. Foundation


  • Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association - Victoria
  • Chinese Benevolent Association - Edmonton
  • Chinese Chamber of Commerce (East Toronto)
  • Downtown Victoria Business Association
  • M.C.C.C. Chamber of Commerce
  • National Congress of Chinese Canadians
  • National Congress of Chinese Canadians (Quebec Region)
  • Toronto Chinatown Business Improvement Association
  • Tourism Victoria
  • The Winnipeg Chinese Cultural & Community Centre
  • Robert and Lily Lee and Family
  • Peter and Julia Eng
  • Jaelyn L. Sheng and Family
  • Mr. David W. Choi
  • Dr. Wallace B. Chung
  • Dr. Madeline H. Chung
  • Les Aliments Kim Phat Inc
  • Mr. Donald Chung
  • Mrs. Winnie Chung
  • Dr. Joseph and Jeannie Du
  • Mr. Sze-Nuen Lai
  • Mrs. Rosa Y.S.K. Lai
  • Mr Gilbert and Garnet Lee
  • Madame Arthur H. Lee
  • Mr. Jack W. Lee
  • George and Pauline Wong