Chinese Canadians and First Nations: 150 Years of Shared Experience

Annotated Bibliography:

Canada | United States & Australia | Oral Histories | |Media & Fiction |


Elder, Tammy Lynne, Su Jian Ping and William D Harry.  Chinese Aboriginal Relations.  Chinese Canadian Youth Video Project.  2005.  Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC).   Retrieved on 13 November 2008, at

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Video projects which are an anthology of stories written by or about Chinese Canadian youth, "Chinese Aboriginal Relations" consists of interviews of the relationship between the Chinese Canadian community and the First nations can be dated back to the first Chinese immigrants arriving in Canada.    

Todd, Kamala, Tania Willard, Priscilla Alexander, Maggie Joseph, and Denise Mitchell.  Storyscapes: Gastown. 2006.   Vancouver Storyscapes Project.  Retrieved on 18 November 2008, at


This project focuses on stories in Gastown, the birthplace of Vancouver and aims to reflect the area's rich, and often untold, Aboriginal history. Part of Gastown, particularly near the present day Maple Tree Square, was the Salish village site of Luk' Luk'I. Through this phase of the Storyscapes project, many stories emerged that help to enrich our understandings of Aboriginal people's lives and presence during Vancouver's early days.  

A Tribe of One. Dir. Eunhee Cha. Prod. Selwyn Jacob. National Film Board of Canada, 2003. Retrieved on 25 December 2008, at

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Rhonda Larrabee depicts the truth about her family. Not of Chinese and French descent, as she had been told while growing up in Vancouver's Chinatown, Rhonda's mother was actually First Nations. Piecing together her family's hidden history, her journey led to the life-altering day when she obtained her Indian Status Card. As Chief of the New Westminster Band, she is focused on revitalizing the Qayqayt First Nations. Filmed using archival footage and interviews, this documentary documents Larrabee's quest to embrace her roots and make amends for her mother's pains.



Hill, Mary Frances.  “Half-completed tunnels tell of Chinese hardship.”  Vancouver Sun.  August 15, 2008.  Retrieved on 11 October, 2008, at

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An article that discusses how an organizer with Canadians for Reconciliation, a group devoted to fostering peaceful relationships with B.C.'s first nations people has been organizing events and tours to help educate B.C.'s Chinese-Canadian people about aboriginal people and their communities.   In particular, the organization organizes tours of tunnels that were half-completed but abandoned after too many Chinese workers were killed during blasting, stand six km west of Hope, on the north side of the Fraser River.  

Barnsley, Paul.  Chinese veterans support First Nations Comrades.Windspeaker.  Nov 2002, Vol. 20 Issue 7, p8. 

Reports that the British Columbia chapter of the National Aboriginal Veterans Association has passed a motion to accept Chinese Canadian veterans as associate members.   The article reveals that a large numbers of Indigenous people in British Columbia were of Chinese heritage.  The article also discusses the role played by a Cheam band member Annis Aleck bringing the Chinese war veterans together with the First Nation war veterans. 

Lee, Sky.  Disappearing Moon Cafe.  1991.  Douglas & McIntyre: Toronto, 1990.

Lee's first novel traces generations of a Chinese Canadian family and their ties to (and clashes with) one another, their culture, and their land in China and North America. Patriarch Wong Gwei Chang arrives in Canada in the late 19th century, and he and his family struggle against the poverty and racism of railroad camps.  One of the stories involves young Wong Gwei Chang’s marriage to a First Nations woman, who had saved his life.  
Carr, Emily.  "East and West."  The Book of Small.  Douglas & McIntyre: Toronto, 2004.

A Book of Small collects 36 stories based on her frontier beginnings and stars a colorful cast of friends, family, neighbors, and strangers, from genteel socialites to saloon ruffians — all seen through the eyes of a curious, irrepressible girl. In the stories are Carr’s portrayals of Chinese and Aboriginals.