Aya's Story

Creator(s): Langham Cultural Centre

After the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Canadians were labeled enemy aliens, and they were uprooted and sent to work or to internment camps. Their belongings were confiscated and sold. Their families were broken up. They lost the rights and freedoms that most Canadians take for granted. Aya Higashi was among them: the government relocated her, along with 1,200 other internees, to abandoned, decrepit hotels and houses in Kaslo, tripling the former ghost town's pre-war population. Her story is only one of 22,000 such stories to be told about this lamentable time in Canada's history and the diaspora it affected. This exhibit covers the internment years in Kaslo.

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