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Province commissions book celebrating accomplishments of Chinese British Columbians

12/23/2014 12:36 EST | Updated 02/21/2015 05:59 EST
The province is commissioning a book on the accomplishments of notable Chinese British Columbians as part of its attempt to address historical wrongs. 

The Ministry of International Trade has issued a request for proposals for the $100,000 project, which is in addition to the formal apology to Chinese Canadians made in the B.C. Legislature earlier this year. 

The apology aims to recognize and make amends for 160 historical racist and discriminatory policies imposed in B.C., such as denying Chinese immigrants the right to vote and charging them a head tax to immigrate.

UBC history professor Henry Yu said it's important the apology is backed by action. 

"There hasn't really been an equivalent to this," he said. "It's important to both acknowledge what was done to the Chinese as well as what they themselves were doing as they spent their lives working and living and forming families and having children and being part of this broader community that is our society."

Yu sits on a council created to implement recommendations made in a report on Chinese Historical Wrongs, one of which is this book. 

He hopes the book, which is expected to be around 150 pages long, will unearth a trove of buried information.

"It's something where our past matters and we're going to recognize both the dark and the light, the good things and the bad that happened in the past and I think that's what's exciting about this moment," he said. 

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