The SASI, in collaboration with UBC Sociology and Professor Renisa Mawani, the BC Historical Federation and the BC History Magazine were recipients of the 2021 Heritage BC Award for Education, Communications and Awareness. The project paired 11 third-year UBC students with heritage organizations and historical research projects to assist community partners that had been impacted during the pandemic. The UBC class introduced students to the importance of historical research and the scholarship of Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour. Professor Renisa Mawani noted, “we hoped that that project would give students firsthand knowledge about the partiality of history and the absence of marginal voices. We wanted students to have opportunities to learn about historical and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples, Black, and People of Colour to shaping BC.”
This cohort of students was remarkable in their enthusiasm, and for their willingness to rise to the challenges of the pandemic. The quality and thoroughness of their work and their contribution to the partner organizations was enormous. The SASI was pleased to work with a student on the collecting and collating of a range of Empress steamships in the early 20th century who would have transported new South Asian settlers to the west coast via transpacific pathways. These ranged from the Empress of China, the Empress of India, etc. The database is an incredible resource that uses the Library and Archives Canada database specifically to locate South Asian settlers.