A Vision for Pacific Canada’s Museum of Migration
The Need – A Pacific Story
Our national story is not adequately told by the Atlantic-centered perspective located at the National Immigration Museum at Pier 21 in Halifax. The story of Pacific Canada will 1) recognize the long history of Asian and other trans-Pacific migrations that entered and crossed Canada from the west coast, as well as migrants who crossed Canada from the east, and 2) reflect the unique and unsettled nature of relations with First Nations in British Columbia and much of the Canadian west.
The PCHC-MoM Society is a registered non-profit society reflecting a broad spectrum of communities—in particular (but not limited to) a diversity of Canadian communities of Asian heritage—who are committed to the vision of a new kind of museum that can appeal both to a diverse local and global audience. Utilizing institutional partnerships with universities (including, for instance, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Calgary, and Athabasca University), our vision is for community-based stakeholders to collaborate with institutions of higher education so that the latest innovations in research, teaching, and technology can shape public education, heritage conservation, and multimedia story-telling at a state of the art museum.
We also see our mission to facilitate and nurture collaborative relationships between communities, and we distinguish the mission of 1) a heritage centre (the PCHC) where communities can transmit and share knowledge across generations, and 2) a Museum of Migration where the stories and heirlooms of Canada’s diverse communities can come together in a shared space to tell our collective national story. The two functions would ideally take place in the same location, each symbiotically working with university teaching and research in the digital archiving and wide distribution of community histories and stories.