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Province Recognizes Cumberland Historic Sites

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The Province of BC has formally acknowledged the significance of Coal Creek Historic Park (Chinatown) and the Chinese Cemetery as two of twenty-one places of historical significance to the Chinese Canadian community.

These 21 places are being provincially recognized under the Heritage Conservation Act, fulfilling a commitment in the Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultation Final Report and Recommendations. The 21 sites paint a rich picture of the contributions Chinese Canadians have made to the development and prosperity of our province since the mid-19th century.

Press release excerpts:

Coal Creek Park (Chinatown), Cumberland ʹThis place is considered to have heritage significance due to its association with the Chinese Canadian involvement in coal mining in the Cumberland region. The place is associated with the everyday lives of Chinese Canadian workers, through the presence of a piggery, a tofu making facility and produce gardens that provided for both Chinese Canadians and the larger community. An enduring legacy and connection to the present day is found in the Cumberland reunion picnic which takes place each year.

Cumberland Chinese Cemetery ʹThis cemetery has been identified as having significance through its association with coal mining in Cumberland and its multicultural community that included Chinese Canadian, Japanese Canadian, and African-American workers from Pennsylvania. Also symbolic of the place is the fact that Chinese workers were the only ones allowed to go underground, working the most dangerous of jobs.

This project is one of the legacy initiatives stemming from the Apology for Historical Wrongs against Chinese Canadians that was issued by the provincial government in 2014.

Find out more about the program from Heritage BC and view the BC news release.

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