MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 6, 2014 /CNW/ - A powerful and visually engaging
exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the voyage of the Komagata Maru and exploring the contributions of Sikh immigrants to Canada will soon
be displayed across the country, thanks to support from the Government
Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism), announced Inter-Action
funding of up to $89,500 for the Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada (SHMC)
to create the "Lions of the Sea" exhibit.
The national exhibition with original artifacts made available by the
SHMC will travel across Canada, bringing the story of the Komagata Maru to life and allowing Canadians from coast to coast to learn about its
Once completed, this exhibition will be made available to schools,
libraries and places of worship across Canada.
The Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver harbour in 1914 carrying 376 passengers of Indian
descent, most of whom were not allowed to land. This was because the
ship did not make a direct journey to Canada, as prescribed by Canada's
Continuous Journeys clause, which was in place at the time. After two
months under difficult conditions, the ship and most of its passengers
were forced to return to India where, in a subsequent clash with
British soldiers, 19 passengers died.
In May 2008, the Government of Canada passed a unanimous motion in the
House of Commons, recognizing the Komagata Maru incident and apologizing to those who were directly affected. On August
3, 2008, Prime Minister Harper conveyed that apology to the
Indo-Canadian community in Surrey, BC.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has provided previous funding,
through the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), toward a number of projects that recognize and raise awareness of the Komagata Maru. For example, the Khalsa Diwan Society received a total of $1.4 million
for the development of two projects, a monument and a museum which
commemorate the Komagata Maru incident.
"The story of the Komagata Maru is a tragic moment in Canada's history, and the lessons we have learned
from it should be remembered by all Canadians. Through our government's
support for this project, we are recognizing Canada's past and helping
educate Canadians on the Komagata Maru incident to ensure that tragedies like this do not occur again."
Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism)
"The Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada is proud to take the lead to share
the story of the Komagata Maru with all Canadians. From being barred by the tug boat Sea Lion, to
being courageous "Lions of the Sea," the remarkable story of the
primarily Sikh passengers on the Komagata Maru will come to life with a national exhibition and lecture series. As we
celebrate the 100th anniversary of this legacy, the support from the Government of Canada
will enable the Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada to engage this
historical Canadian story across our beautiful country."
Pardeep Singh Nagra, Executive Director, Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada
Learning from Canada's Past
Inter-Action: Multiculturalism Grants and Contributions Funding
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident
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SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
For further information:
Minister's Office ¾ Minister Uppal
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.