Internment Trip, July 2017
When Canada declared war on Japan, the federal government forcibly removed over 21,000 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry from the west coast of BC, starting in 1942. They were sent to temporary homes in internment camps, road camps, and self-supporting sites outside a 100-mile radius of the coast line. The largest camp, Tashme (today’s Sunshine Valley) was self-contained and many men from this camp were sent to build Hope-Princeton Highway. Many were sent to the BC Interior’s “ghost towns” located in the Kootenay/Slocan Valley areas: Greenwood, Slocan City, New Denver, Kaslo, Rosebery and Sandon. Some were sent to leased farmers’ fields: Bay Farm, Popoff, Lemon Creek. Roger and I were still babies when Roger’s family went to Slocan City, and mine to Lemon Creek.
As 2017 is the 75th Anniversary of the Internment, we joined a tour group, many from Toronto and Los Angeles with historians expert in the field of the Japanese Internment. It was a good trip, and we learned a great deal about injustices suffered by our parents, many of whom were born Canadians.