Previously published in Examiner
Part 11 of the Japanese Internment series
Family Life in Canadian Internment Camps
The houses were made of panel board with no insulation (remember this is Canada). The families were forced to put kerosine lamps under their beds at night to keep warm which in turn was a fire trap.
Japanese women had a big task ahead of them to keep the family together during this time of hysteria. They did not know what would happen to them on any given day. They had no idea what their futures would hold. All they could do was to stay strong for their children and support their husbands.
Petition to the Government of Canada
Japanese Canadians petitioned the Royal Commission to look at their dire living conditions. They were granted a few changes; however not nearly as much as they needed. Now, with the new changes, Japanese families to grow a small garden, make a basement for their houses and add on a few extra rooms.
How did the Japanese manage during these dreadful times
The spirit of the Japanese family lived on, with the help of Japanese women, they put on festivals and musical events and tried to make life in the internment camp as normal as possible. It was so important for women to maintain this semblance of normalcy for their families.
Reluctance of provincial B. C. government to help the Japanese in internment Camps
However, at first it was hard to try to live a normal life as the provincial British Columba government refused to provide aid for education for these Japanese families.
Eventually the federal government stepped in and provided education from grades 1 through 10. The Roman Catholic Church, the United Church, and the Anglican church provided grade 11-12 education. So that Japanese people could be as educated as the rest of Canada, actually they would be more educated than most.
Japanese Canadians were interned during that second world war days, also German and Italian Canadian political activists. Adrien Arcand was a Montreal Journalist and fascist who campaigned from 1929 until his death in 1967 who was also interned. He appointed himself the Canadian führer.
To be continued