History of South Asian Pioneers to come alive in digital stories just in time for Asian Heritage Month

Dec 19 2017, 11:05 pm

Just in time for Asian Heritage Month, the 100 Year Journey Project is providing readers around the world the gift of being able to read the extraordinary stories of South Asian Canadian Pioneers in all formats with a digital release and next stage of development of a website archival system.

At a reception in Ottawa at the Canadian Museum of History to launch Asian Heritage Month, the Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism and the Hon. Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism, announced that the Government of Canada is in support of the 100 Year Journey Project, a project that began with the creation of a book chronicling the narratives of 100 South Asian pioneers to Canada.

“Each May, during Asian Heritage Month, Canadians acknowledge the long and rich history of Canadians of Asian origin and their contributions to Canada. The South Asian community has played an important role in the building of our country, which is why it is important to preserve and share their stories,” noted Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism.

Rana Vig with The Honourable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, the first Vietnamese Canadian Senator (Image: 100 Year Journey Project)

Rana Vig with The Honourable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, the first Vietnamese Canadian Senator (Image: 100 Year Journey Project)

The expansion will include a release of an electronic edition for Apple iPad and iPhone, Android Google Play, and Amazon Kindle. A desktop version will also be available. The digital version will be downloadable from the App store or from 100yearjourney.com.

Along with the publication, the 100yearjourney.com website will be developed as a means of creating ongoing engagement and inclusion of stories of the ordinary and extraordinary South Asians, who helped shape Canada’s rich history. The overarching vision for the 100 Year Journey project is a digital archival system to collect the history and stories of the South Asian community, and to place them on the free and open Internet, for now and forever.

The website will integrate the best of breed technology spanning everything from digital archival to user experience. It will be designed using a mobile-first methodology to ensure accessibility on a wide array of devices.

The 100 Year Journey Project will also reprint the book, which was originally published in November 2014, as well as create teaching materials to aid educators in its use in the classroom.

“Canada’s unity in our diversity is truly one of our greatest strengths as a nation. And there is no better way to encourage this than by highlighting the achievements and contributions of Canada’s many cultural communities. Our Government is proud to make the 100 Year Journey book more accessible to Canadians in order to increase understanding and appreciation for the stories of those early South Asian pioneers who helped build Canada,” stated Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism)

The 100 Year Journey Project’s publication tells the stories of some of the first South Asians in Canada, detailing how they provided shelter and support for new immigrants, fought tirelessly for the voting rights of all communities, and spent years away from their loved ones as they set up new lives for themselves and their families.

To truly honour this year’s theme of Asian Heritage Month – which marks 40 years since the beginning of the exodus of 840,000 people from Vietnam – and to showcase the importance of sharing South Asian pioneer stories with other communities in Canada, the Right to Vote story from the book was translated into Vietnamese (see attached MP3 recording) and voiced for the launch event, where it was enthusiastically received. Plans are underway to translate the stories into various other languages.

“We are pleased the government has seen value in assisting our efforts to expand the 100 Year Journey Project, which at its core, is about preserving and sharing information about the valuable contributions made by the South Asian pioneers. I am confident that by sharing these stories and more, all Canadians will gain a better understanding of the South Asian community and the contributions that they have made to this great country that we all call home.” Rana Vig, Founder, 100 Year Journey Project.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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