Landscapes of Injustice

The Landscapes of Injustice project is a major, seven year, SSHRC funded initiative, designed to document, explain and analyze a poorly researched moment in Canadian history. In 1942 the Canadian government uprooted over 21,000 people of Japanese ancestry from coastal British Columbia and began the forced sale of Japanese Canadian property. These actions resulted in the eradication of Japanese Canadian enclaves throughout British Columbia.  Because of the dispossession, Japanese Canadians had no homes to return to when restrictions were finally lifted in 1949. Because of the dispossession, there is no historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood in Vancouver or anywhere in Canada. It transformed individual lives and the broader landscapes of Canadian life. Former property owners and their descendants still feel the shock of the forced sales, the destruction of their neighbourhoods, and the betrayal of the promise that the Canadian government would “protect and preserve” their land and possessions. Canadians are heirs of landscapes of injustice.

A collaborative, multi-partner project, SFU is a crucial partner, involving several students - both graduate and undergraduate - in the Geography Department, who are working with Nick Blomley and other faculty on archival research relating to land titles, community records, and historical GIS. Further information can be found at