BC NDP to build first ever South Asian Museum in BC

“IT is an honour to announce that a re-elected NDP government will build the first ever museum dedicated to the South Asian Canadian community in BC,” said Jinny Sims, BC NDP candidate for Surrey-Panorama, “The South Asian community has played a critical role in BC’s history, and it’s time to recognize that contribution.”

The BC NDP Platform commits to creating a first-of-its-kind museum to document the history, art and contributions of South Asian people in BC. This project will bring together resources, documents, artifacts and stories that are scattered across museums and libraries across the province, as well as in private collections.

“From my office in downtown Vancouver, I can see the exact spot where the Komagata Maru was moored over a hundred years ago. The daily reminder of that event reminds me of how much we still have to do to dismantle systemic racism,” said Premier John Horgan. “The South Asian community has a long history in British Columbia and has greatly contributed to this province’s growth and prosperity. I’m committed to creating a South Asian Canadian Museum to preserve and share the rich documents, artifacts, and stories of the community for all British Columbians.”

“It’s so important that we invest in a place where we can build community and honour our past — where we can share stories, learn and teach about important events, and preserve artifacts and memories,” said Jagrup Brar, BC NDP candidate for Surrey-Fleetwood. “The South Asian community has been integral to the economic, social, and cultural prosperity of BC. I am proud and excited to share that history for the benefit of everyone in this province.”

The event was held close to Komagata Maru Way, recognizing the long legacy of systemic racism in British Columbia and the work we all must do to combat anti-racist policies.

“The story of the Komagata Maru is one of the darkest chapters in the history of our province, and it reminds us to always be vigilant against the forces of hate and discrimination,” said Aman Singh, BC NDP candidate for Richmond-Queensborough, “This museum will follow the guidance of many community leaders, scholars, historians, and writers by providing a space for stories of women, immigration, labour, art, and activism to be heard.”

The new museum builds on a BC NDP commitment made in September to fund $1.14 million for the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley to continue their work to showcase the past and present contributions of South Asians to British Columbia.