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Kamloops monument recognizes work done by Chinese Canadians

This new steel plaque at the Kamloops Chinese Cemetery honours Chinese Canadians who worked on the Canadian Pacific Railway.
March 22, 2017 - 2:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A new monument has been unveilend in the Kamloops Chinese Heritage Cemetery, recognizing the contributions of Chinese Canadians to B.C.'s culture.

The monument consists of a new steel plaque which reflects the 2014 apology delivered on behalf of the B.C. legislative assembly to Chinese Canadians for historical wrongs committed by past governments, according to a B.C. Government media release.

The plaque pays tribute to the Chinese workers who helped to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1800s. The release says the railway workers who survived later worked on local farms or in orchards, while others became merchants and restaurant owners.

Joe Leong, executive director of the Kamloops Chinese Cultural Association, said he was happy that Chinese Canadians will be reminded of their importance to B.C.

"This monument honours the hundreds of Chinese Canadians buried in this cemetery and the many others and their descendants who lived, worked and went to school in the Kamloops area," Leong said in the release. "When people visit their ancestors or simply come here to feel at peace, the monument will remind them that Chinese Canadians are an important part of the multicultural fabric of our province."

The provincial government says this is the fourth in a series of up to 15 markers that will be established in B.C. communities in the coming months. The Kamloops monument was created in consultation with the Kamloops Chinese Cultural Association and the Kamloops Chinese Freemasons.

The project to introduce more commemorative monuments stems from a report on the Chinese historical wrongs consultations.

The monument was unveiled at a public event at the Chinese Cemetery off of Hudson's Bay Trail on Saturday, March 18.

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