In this post I'd like to talk about navigating a "common record" set - voters lists - when the population was disenfranchised. There's an assumption in genealogy of "common records." Voters Lists fall in this category, along with censuses, vital records, and city directories. Chinese, Japanese, South Asians, and Indigenous were disenfranchised for decades, meaning that entire record sets that would generally be available for others have gaps for these groups. Knowing when this does and does not apply is important work for a genealogist.
The Senate has created a website of events. Sign up to get notice of events and / or register your event. Let's make this a year to remember. I wish my father and uncle could see this. I think they'd be proud to see their struggles honoured this way - not a single speech, not with a single day, but a year's worth of events from bottom to top. There are archivists, authors, curators, historians, societies, and speakers all lined up. The aim is to connect this whole wide country together in recognizing the rights and freedoms given to us by our forebears.
Come with me as I look at the exact wording of the disenfranchising laws for the Chinese from 1872-1948, including 16 links to finding original Acts and legislation in Canada.
A story about voting, Canadian laws, and my grand-uncle Kew Dock Yip
Everything you were afraid to ask about the federal laws concerning voting and immigration for the Chinese in Canada, in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.
Introduction Like all (Chinese) Canadians, I have been given a gift of priceless value: the gift of civil rights. I have not worked for this gift. I doubt I’ve earned it. Worst of all, I haven’t known who to thank for it, nor how much it cost. I’ve just taken it all for granted – […]
Voting. It's complicated. Canada has been reluctant to share her treasures, at least to its non-male, non-white peoples. Nearly 70 years ago, Canada's Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian people won the right to vote in Canada. It had been a long time coming. You may know the story of the Famous Five*, who fought for and won women's voting… Continue reading The right to be a Canadian: Irving Himel, K. Dock Yip, and The Committee for the Repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act