Due to historical exclusion and colonial record-keeping practices, not many non-Indigenous families from minority groups can trace their family histories back to the gold rush period that began in 1858 in the land we know as British Columbia today.
Two families, one French Canadian and the other Chinese Canadian, however, continue to prosper with rare well-recorded generational continuities from the gold rush era to the present day. The Guichon and the Louie-Seto families have persisted through historic periods of great adversity, including the Great Depression and the Chinese exclusion era, and have built lasting legacies in BC In juxtaposition, their experiences reveal patterns that informed their resilience. Specifically, the families through generations have emphasized education, intercultural community building, and family values of kindness, resonating with our needs during the unsettling time of global pandemic crisis.
This recent presentation to the BCHF conference takes a closer look at the family lessons from these two BC families that sustained them through challenges in BC history. Their demonstrated strength is at the core of shared values for BC’s intercultural community lives.
Dr. Tzu-I Chung is a cultural and social historian, specializing in the study of transnational migration within the context of historical, cultural and economic interactions between North America and Asia-Pacific. As a curator of history at the Royal BC Museum and Archives, she has developed, facilitated, and led cross-sectoral community heritage and legacy projects. Her research has informed numerous exhibitions, curriculum development, and public and academic publications on the topics of anti-racism, cross-cultural community histories, and critical heritage studies. She is currently a member of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board, and a peer reviewer for academic journals and a juror for public history prizes and grants.