Canadian Genealogy · Chinese Genealogy

Not all Canadians: July 1st

In today’s post, I swap seats with reporter Chris Cheung of The Tyee to be interviewed for an in-depth article about July 1st.

When Chinese in Canada were numbered, interrogated, excluded:

Systemic racism left a paper trail. A century later, researchers are hunting for the evidence.

Below is a WWII photo of my dad, Cecil Wing Yip. In 1945, Cecil was enlisted in the army to serve his country. This is ironic given that he also carried a Chinese Immigration certificate: proof he wasn’t a legal citizen.

An uncertain homecoming
Three men of Chinese descent called up for WWII, 1944-1945. In the middle is my father, Cecil Wing Yip. Location unknown. Credit: from the archives of Linda Yip. © All rights reserved.

Do you have a C.I. certificate?

Catherine Clement is heading up a team to find Chinese Immigration certificates in drawers, attics, basements, and garages. If your family was in Canada during the Canadian Chinese Exclusion Act period (1885-1947), there may be certificates to be found.

Not sure what you’re looking for? You are not alone. See A dizzying array of certificates.

Thank yous

To my father, Cecil Wing Yip, and to my extended family of Yips and Chus, I give my eternal thanks for fighting the silent fight to give me Canadian citizenship. I could not be prouder of you. To Catherine Clement, it’s an honour to be on the team – thank you for asking me. And to Canada, my home. As I write, we are reeling from the shocks of residential schools. It’s long past time we listened – I mean, truly listened – to the stories. I give thanks to live in a country that has the maturity to look at our collective past, and to the storytellers who are stepping forward to share the truth. Please take some time this Canada Day to read the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.