Three projects will receive funding from the British Columbia Historical Federation’s Centennial Legacy Fund this year. These grants support innovative work, new work, collections or resources in imminent danger, institutions that might otherwise not find funding; that the grants represent the geographical breadth of the province; that project funding could be partial.
The awards, as selected by the BCHF council, were announced Saturday at the BCHF’s awards gala.
Catherine Clement, Chinese Canadian Military Museum and Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC, Paper Trail to the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act Project ($4,000)
2023 will mark 100 years since the passing of the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act (also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act). This piece of immigration law launched the darkest and most despairing period in Chinese Canadian history. The physical evidence of this story is contained in aging C.I. certificates (identity documents such as head tax certificates). The majority of these documents have been lost or thrown out. Very few are in public archives and any surviving certificates are buried in family collections. The grant will help find and scan these aging C.I. certificates and support a broad, province-wide engagement and community collection exercise in 2021 and 2022. The certificates will form the most comprehensive archive of its kind in Canada.
Stewart Historical Society/Stewart Museum, Ward’s Pass Cemetery Project ($2,200)
This project will commemorate the loss of two cemeteries in Stewart and remember the 231 people interred there. Some of their names are long forgotten. The first cemetery washed away by the Bear River in 1923 while the second cemetery at Barney’s Gulch was buried by a landslide in 1961. In-depth research using old cemetery records, newspapers, historical manuscripts, and genealogy records will be used to confirm the identities of the dead. Memory boards will be designed, printed, framed and placed on permanent display at Ward’s Pass Cemetery.
Jonathan Kalmakoff and team, CCUB Lands Project ($2,200)
The CCUB Lands Project is a multi-jurisdictional, multi-stage, multi-year research project to identify and delineate lands formerly owned by the Doukhobor communal organization, the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood, Ltd. (CCUB) in BC between 1908 and 1938, including particulars relating to their purchase, land settlement and usage, and its eventual sale. At present, this topic is known only in very general terms by relatively few. This project will be a tremendous contribution to historical studies, enabling: (1) the identification, and subsequent preservation and marking of historical sites associated with the CCUB; (2) facilitate ongoing research in Doukhobor history in British Columbia; and (3) assist in the publishing of historical sketches, studies and documents.