Incarceration, dispersal and dispossession

I believe that the collective response by the Japanese Canadian elders was to forget this painful part of history.  In some way they may have felt that they must have done something to deserve such unjust actions of the Government.

I think this is the primary reason no one spoke about internment growing up in Steveston.  It was not until the Redress issue in the 80’s was raised that I even began to comprehend the injustices perpetrated on our community.

Returning to Richmond, we could not return to Acme Cannery on Sea Island where my father and his siblings were born as this community was burnt down under suspicious circumstances soon after the Japanese Canadians were removed.

My family had to begin their lives again with basically nothing and soon became indentured to the cannery so that my father could return to pursue his career in the fishing industry.  The cannery provided low cost housing in exchange for my father fishing for BC Packers and in exchange would provide financing so that he could build a new fishboat.

Basically our families lost 1-2 generations of wealth building having lost their property and belongings during the War.  This set back the community but due to their diligence and perseverance they were able to re-establish themselves and contribute to the re-building of Steveston.

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