T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Human Rights and Canadian History

MrEriksson Add to My Content  Add this lesson to My Content  
Substitute Teacher, Edmonton, Alberta

Human Rights in Canadian History
Human Rights have been a very important development from the 20th century. This movement strives to ensure the fair and equal treatment of all people regardless of their race, gender, or belief system. Since Human Rights were first conceived, Canada has been a very strong supporter of human rights trying to ensure that not only Canadians were treated fairly and equally, but people all over the world received the same treatment.

There were many times when Human Rights were an issue within Canada before they were developed. In some instances, Canada worked to ensure that an individual's rights were protected. In other instances, Canada ignored a person's Human Rights.

Choose one of the following topics to write a 2-3 page essay on. The information contained on this website is a starting point for your information, and extra sources will be required from either the World Wide Web or from other printed resources.
TOPIC: Chinese Railroad
Examine the treatment of Chinese railroad workers by the Canadian Government. Explain what happened, give reasons why the head tax was implemented, and think about how the situation would be different in today's society.
Victor Mah's Story
Victor Mah, Glenbow Museum
© 2005, Victor Mah/Glenbow Museum. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Seven Stories
Father’s Letter
Audio Clip (1:19 mins, 1.28 MB wma file) Victor Mah reading his father’s letter

Because of the Chinese Immigration Act, Victor’s family was separated for 15 years before Victor, and his mother and sister could join his father in Canada.
In 1929, the Chinese Immigration Act allowed Chinese people to go back to China to get married, but they were not allowed to bring their wives and children to Canada.
Edward Mah
© 2006, Victor Mah. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Seven Stories
Interactive Flash Experience
Human rights are integral to quality of life. Victor Mah’s family faced generations of racism and discrimination in Canada.
Glenbow Museum
© 2006, Glenbow Museum. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Seven Stories
Head Tax Certificate, 1923
Head Tax Certificate belonging to Edward Mah (Victor’s father), 1923
Head Tax Certificate belonging to Edward Mah (Victor’s father), 1923.

“When my father arrived in Canada, he had to pay a head tax of $500. Under the Dominion Immigration Act of 1885, Chinese immigration to Canada was regulated and limited.”

Government of Canada




© 2006, Victor Mah. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Seven Stories
TOPIC: Japanese relocation
Examine the treatment of the Japanese people during the Second World War. Explain what happened, give reasons why the head tax was implemented, and think about how the situation would be different in today's society.
The Second World War on Canadian Soil: Japanese Canadians' Forced Relocation
Japanese Canadians taking the train to the west coast, on the way to live in Japan.
Japanese Canadians taking the train to the west coast, on the way to live in Japan, following the Second World War. About 4,000 Japanese Canadians left Canada for Japan as a result of the treatment they received at the hands of the Canadian government during the War. Some of them had never even seen Japan, having been born in Canada; yet they felt driven to leave.

Photographer unknown - Library and Archives Canada


C-057250

© Library and Archives Canada. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Shaping Canada: Our Voices and Stories
Japanese Canadians
Royal Ontario Museum
© 2006, Royal Ontario Museum. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Shaping Canada: Our Voices and Stories
I.O.D.E. Certificate: Information
Royal Ontario Museum
© 2006, Royal Ontario Museum. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Shaping Canada: Our Voices and Stories
I.O.D.E. Certificate
This artifact is a ‘Welcome to New Canadians Certificate’.
This artifact is a ‘Welcome to New Canadians Certificate’. It was given by the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E.) at Citizenship Courts. The I.O.D.E. aimed to encourage support for the British Empire by promoting the U.K. and British institutions.

Royal Ontario Museum




© 2006, Royal Ontario Museum. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Shaping Canada: Our Voices and Stories
I.O.D.E. Cerificate recepient: Kinsaburo Sam Nishimura
The recipient of the I.O.D.E. certificate was Kinsaburo ‘Sam’ Nishimura.
The recipient of the I.O.D.E. certificate was Kinsaburo ‘Sam’ Nishimura. He received it in 1951. When Sam received his Canadian Citizenship he also received this I.O.D.E. document. After Sam passed away his children lent this certificate to the ROM so that students could learn about the certificate and about this period of Canadian history. Sam was born in 1899. He came to Canada when he was 20.

Royal Ontario Museum




© 2006, Royal Ontario Museum. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Shaping Canada: Our Voices and Stories
Expecations
Your essay should be between 2-3 pages. It must have at least 3 references from the web or from outside sources. *NOTE: The information on this page counts as 1 reference

Learning Objectives

This Lesson is designed for grades 10-12
Students will learn how Human Rights have affected Canada, by examining a historical event where Human Rights were not adhered to. Students will understand how the development of Human Rights has affected them, and how it protects them from discrimination. Students will research the chosen topic and explain how such an event is unlikely to occur today.