Asians have a long history in Canada, even earlier than the history of Canada as a country.
As the Canadian Confederation took place on July 1, 1867, the earliest documented Chinese appearance in Canada was in 1788, where small groups of Chinese were shipped to Vancouver Island to build infrastructures.
Subsequently, Chinese immigrants were shipped to British Colombia en mass in the late 1850s and 1860s for the gold rushes, and from 1880 to 1885 for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia.
Before their immigration, these pioneers considered North America to be abundant with mountains of gold, a place that they could only dream of to escape from the oppressions from the imperial Qing dynasty. However, only after stepping onto the North American soil did they realize that, with the poor working conditions and long hours, they were treated as disposables.
However, because of their “obedience, diligence, and willingness to work hard” (Lai, 2003, p. 312), they remained silent. Other Asian nationals also immigrated to Canada in the 19th century to perform low-end, physical jobs, such as the Japanese as fishermen and Indians from the Punjab Province as lumber workers.