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Archival description
Cultural groups
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[1932]

File consists of correspondence to and from H. W. Cooper pertaining to the construction of the penitentiary and matters regarding the personnel and prisoners; a warrant prepared by J. Cartmel pertaining to Mike Woiken, one of the prisoners; a chronology written in shorthand by H. W. Cooper regarding a search for an island to set up the penitentiary; the translation of a letter from Russian to English from an inmate to his wife; a report on the refusal of some prisoners to work; telegrams regarding the construction of the penitentiary; and an empty manila envelope belonging to B.C. Penitentiary.

[1933]

File consists of correspondence to and from H. W. Cooper regarding prison guards; conduct of convicts; matrons; absence of acting deputy warden; and the appointment of Major Poirier to Temporary Deputy Wardenship. Other correspondence includes a letter from Superintendent D. M. Ormond to Major I. A. Poirier regarding his transfer to the Deputy Wardenship of Piers Island Penitentiary; and a letter to a prisoner from his sister regarding the well-being of his children and lack of sufficient funds for their care. File also contains three memos; one telegram regarding the purchase of water tanks; as well as a list of construction costs.

[1934]

File consists of correspondence to and from H. W. Cooper regarding the release of Doukhobor convicts; the sequence of events from the arrival of the “Sons of Freedom” at the penitentiary; and Deputy Warden R. S. Douglass, his responsibilities at Piers Island Penitentiary, and his successful performance of duties . File also contains one letter from G. Sloan, Attorney General of B.C., to Hugh Guthrie, Minister of Justice, pertaining to policies towards the “Sons of Freedom”.

Articles

Series consists of photocopies of six published articles and one final draft of an essay, on the subject of Sikhs in Canada and the Komagata Maru, written by Hugh Johnston.

British Columbia Pipers' Association fonds

  • F-254
  • Fonds
  • 1932-1974

The fonds consists of minutes of the association from 1932 to 1974. The minutes document the decisions and activities of the association including elections, rules for competitions, organizing dances, fundraisers, competitions, and the annual gatherings. Minutes for March 1935 to early January, 1939 are missing.

British Columbia Pipers' Association

[British Columbia Security Commission correspondence]

File consists of correspondence and related records of R.M. Corning, Assistant Engineer, Engineering and Construction Service, Blue River with the British Columbia Security Commission (B.C.S.C). Some letters are from the B.C.S.C. to A.W. Brereton, also Assistant Engineer at Blue River. The file includes records pertaining to the following camps: Pyramid, Blue River, Thunder River, Lempriere, Red Sands, Black Spur and Pratt, and the movement of Japanese Canadians to and from the housing centres of Kaslo, Sandon, New Denver, Roseberry, Lemon Creek, Slocan and Greenwood.

Records in the file relate to the administration of road camps and the management of camp workers, and relevant policies, procedures and legislation.

A significant portion of the correspondence and related records concerns requests from camp workers to be transferred to other projects, areas or occupations, including men requesting to be reunited with their wives or other family members; requests from sawmills to hire workers; and the policies surrounding the granting or rejection of these requests. Among these records are a couple of letters in which road camp workers describe their lives and occupations previous to evacuation. A December 1, 1942 document prepared by Corning lists camp workers to be transferred from Black Spur, Thunder River and Red Sands to the housing centres of Slocan, New Denver, and Greenwood, B.C., and includes information such as surname, given name (initial), registration number, locations transferred to and from, as well as the protocol for travel and escort. A January 15, 1943 letter from the B.C.S.C. discusses Ottawa’s opposition to any further hiring of Japanese Canadians for employment in the B.C. lumber industry. Also included in the file are records pertaining to the transfer of Japanese Canadian camp workers from Pyramid camp to Alberta logging camps, the use of “propaganda” to encourage camp workers to go to logging camps in Ontario, and the refusal of some workers to go to logging camps.

Other correspondence and related documents deal with the policies and procedures for granting camp workers leave permits and perceived inefficiencies around the granting of such permits. A January 9, 1943 document lists men in Pyramid Camp seeking fourteen day leave, and includes information such as name, registration number, desired destination, and their relationship to the individuals that they will visit. Several letters discuss the attitudes of particular communities towards Japanese Canadians.

The file also contains correspondence and other documents concerning reportedly unsatisfactory or unruly camp workers. This includes several lists of ‘ineffectives’ to be transferred out of various camps. The lists include information such as name, registration number, age, marital status and destination (eg. Old Man’s Home, hospital, other camps), as well as details regarding the reason for being removed or transferred from camp, such as old age, suspected physical or mental health issues, or refusal to work.

Other records in the file pertain to food supplies, the censorship of Japanese Canadian mail, Workmen’s (Workers’) Compensation Board benefits, workers’ assignment payments, and attempts to get monies owed to Japanese Canadian workers from private companies.

[British Columbia Security Commission correspondence]

File consists of correspondence and related records between the Engineering Branch of the Department of Mines & Resources and the British Columbia Security Commission (B.C.S.C.), in particular R.M. Corning, Assistant Engineer, Engineering and Construction Service, Blue River with W.A. Eastwood and C.V. Booth of the B.C.S.C. The file includes records pertaining to the following camps: Pyramid, Blue River, Yellowhead, Thunder River, Lempriere, and Rainbow Ranch.

Records relate to the administration of the road camp and management of the workers, as well as relevant policies, procedures and legislation. A significant portion of the correspondence relates to requests from camp workers to be transferred to other projects, areas or occupations, as well as requests from sawmills wanting to hire workers and the legislation and policies surrounding the granting or rejection of these requests. Other correspondence deals with policies and procedures for granting camp workers leave permits and the attitudes of particular communities towards Japanese Canadians. The file also contains correspondence concerning identifying and dealing with “agitators”, or discontent or unsatisfactory workers in camp; the transfer of workers to the prairies and Ontario and required medical tests for these workers; and workers’ medical issues. Financial records and related correspondence pertain to wages due to workers, refunds of evacuation fare, unemployment insurance, and assignment fees to be paid by workers to cover the expenses incurred by the B.C.S.C. to care for their elderly parents. Also included are letters in which road camp workers describe their lives and occupations previous to evacuation, and lists of workers on the Yellowhead / Blue River project, containing information such as name, age, registration number, marital status, number of dependents, physical defects, occupation and place of birth.

[Camp nominal rolls, correspondence and other records]

File consists of nominal rolls, correspondence, lists, bills of lading and other records, mainly of W.J. Wishart, Supervising Foreman at Red Pass, with a few letters addressed to R.M. Corning, Assistant Engineer, Blue River and Resident Engineer, Red Pass. The file includes records pertaining to road camps at Yellowhead, Lucerne, Rainbow, Tete Jaune, Red Pass, Grantbrook, and Albreda.

The file contains nominal rolls, also called personnel lists, for Japanese Canadian road camp workers (“Japanese Nationals”) at Grantbrook Camp 5, Rainbow Camp 6, Tete Jaune Camp B12, and Lucerne Camp 2. Information listed in these documents includes some or all of the following: last name, first name or initial, registration number, camp occupation, marital status and number of dependents. The file also includes a list of Japanese Nationals to be transferred from Albreda to Red Sands camp, with the following information: car number, registration number, first and last names, pre-evacuation occupation, and marital status.

Amongst the correspondence in the file is a letter from Chief Engineer T.S. Mills to Corning advising him that staff should be aware of “not divulging either orally or in personal correspondence any confidential information regarding any project or work which has resulted from Canada at war” that might be used by enemy agents, and a telegram to a Japanese Canadian camp worker from his wife advising him of the acquisition of a sugar beet contract and the sale of a Japanese Canadian house. The file also contains correspondence pertaining to the medical treatment of Japanese Canadian road camp workers and the hiring of a first aid attendant, as well as lists, bills of lading and correspondence pertaining to equipment and supplies, in particular groceries, required for various camps.
Several letters within the file concern perceived agitation, organization, demands and complaints amongst the Japanese Canadian road camp workers. These include an April 24, 1942 letter from Wishart to J.H. Mitchell, Senior Assistant Engineer, Jasper, regarding Lucerne camp workers’ refusal to work in protest of the planned removal from camp of seven men identified as “agitators”; a May 1, 1942 letter from Wishart to Mitchell concerning the organization of Albreda camp workers and their refusal to work in protest of the planned transfer of thirty men to Red Sands and numerous conditions at camp that they felt to be unsatisfactory, the resolution of these issues, and plans to quickly identify and “discipline” any future “trouble makers”; as well as an October 6, 1942 letter from Supervising Engineer C.M. Walker in Banff to Corning at Red Pass regarding workers’ demands at Thunder River camp and possible methods of dealing with potential strike action.

Camps

File consists of correspondence and related records of W.J. Wishart at Red Pass Junction in the capacities of Superintendent of Camps and Warehouses, Department of Public Works, and Supervising Foreman, Department of Mines & Resources. The records pertain to the set up and operation of the Japanese Canadian road camps, in particular those at Geikie, Jasper and Decoigne, Alberta, and those at Red Pass, Albreda, Red Sands, Rainbow, Grantbrook, Tete Jaune, Yellowhead, Black’s Spur, Lucerne and Lampriere, British Columbia.
Included in the file are operational memos, purchase orders, balance sheets, reports, and other records pertaining to equipment and supplies for the camps, including groceries and other provisions; office, commissary and first aid supplies; horse feed; lumber; and gas and oil. A work report to February 28, 1942 from Geikie Camp lists names of non-Japanese Canadian workers, their occupations, and hours worked per day; the hours contributed by Japanese Canadian workers, who are listed as a unit of fifty; as well as the total hours worked on establishing camp, kitchen duty, and camp duty. April 1942 reports from Lucerne camp and Grantbrook Camp 5 detail camp activities, including the movement of workers in and out of camp. Also included in the file is correspondence from non-Japanese Canadian men looking for employment, correspondence from the hospital car at Lempriere regarding procedures to follow with regard to medical care of the workers, and correspondence pertaining to the establishment of kitchens and kitchen staff.
Correspondence concerning Japanese Canadian road camp workers relates to medical issues of the men; opinions of supervisors towards individual workers; the transfer of workers between camps and to other areas, such as the sugar beet fields; the granting of leave; and workers that either did not arrive or did not return to camp. The file includes an April 27, 1942 document listing men to be transferred from Albreda to Red Sands, organized according to the railway car in which they travelled, with information such as first and last name, parole #, occupation and marital status. Earlier annotated versions of this list are also included. The file also includes British Columbia Security Commission notices published in the New Canadian newspaper pertaining to pay scales, assignment payments, and other conditions placed on Japanese Canadian road camp workers and their families, as well as alternative employment available. Other correspondence from Albreda and Yellowhead Camp B1 pertains to Japanese Canadian workers refusing to work and encouraging other workers to do the same. An April 2, 1942 “list of some of the real undesirables” from Yellowhead Camp B1 lists the names of five men along with their serial and parole numbers, age, marital status, and a description of their alleged undesirable behaviour, for example refusing to work and encouraging other men to do the same.
In addition to textual records, the file also includes architectural drawings for a “Bunkhouse for 50 men” (front elevation, floor plan, rear elevation, end elevation, cross-sections) and a “Mess building for 100 men” (front elevation, floor plan, end elevation, cross-section).

Canadian Farmworkers Union collection

  • MsC-102
  • Collection
  • [1965]-2013

The collection reflects the many aspects of the Canadian Farmworkers Union’s organization and its actions, including unionizing workers and certifying workplaces, advocating for workers’ rights, providing ESL classes and other educational programs, and speaking out on behalf of other workers’ rights and social rights in Canada and around the world. Records include administrative documents, financial records, internal and external correspondence, reference material on a variety of subjects, publications, and numerous photographs of events and activities.

The majority of the material in the collection was created or received by the CFU in the course of its work, but some material, such as the Charan Gill photographs and Craig Berggold book research records, was created by others in relation to the CFU.

The collection has been arranged into nine series: Administrative records (1974-2010); Event photographs ([198--1985]); Union action records ([1978]-1997); Programming and project records ([1965]-Printed 2013 (originally created 1986)); Research and advocacy records ([197-]-2011); Deol Society records (1977-1998); Canadian Farmworkers Union Ontario photographs and administrative records ([1979?]-1983); Charan Gill photographs ([199-]); and Craig Berggold book research records ([201-]-2013).

Canadian Farmworkers Union

Correspondence and other documents

Series documents the imprisonment of Sons of Freedom convicts at Piers Island Penitentiary between 1932 and 1934, from its initial stage in search for an island to set up the prison to determining the conditions for release of the prisoners. The records, the majority of which consist of correspondence between senior officials, shed light on the construction and management of the prison, as well as the problems that the federal prison system encountered regarding both personnel and prisoners.
Series consists of textual records including correspondence, telegrams, and memoranda, most of which were written to or by H. W. Cooper. The remainder of the records were created by other authorities, prisoners, and relatives of prisoners. Series also contains a warrant written by J. Cartmel and a chronology written in shorthand by H. W. Cooper. Also included in the series is an empty manila envelope. The records in this series have been arranged into the following three files: 1932; 1933; and 1934.

Department of Public Works

File consists of correspondence and related records of W.J. Wishart, Superintendent of Camps and Warehouses, Department of Public Works, Red Pass Junction, relating to his administration of the purchasing of supplies and equipment necessary for the establishment and operation of the road camps, and the distribution of the items from Red Pass to other camps.

Records pertain to the preparation of the camps for the arrival of 2,000 Japanese Canadians. In addition to the records concerning the procurement of supplies and equipment, there is a small number of records relating to personnel issues and wages, and the censorship of mail.

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