The ongoing debate around the recent arrival of non-white immigrants has prompted Vancouver Maritime Museum to launch an exhibit focusing on the Canadian government's seizure of some 1,200 Japanese-Canadian owned fishing boats during the Second World War.
Lost Fleet looks at the world of the Japanese-Canadian fishermen and how racism played a part in the confiscation and sale of their property.
“The seizure of (their) fishing boats in BC had been on a list of important topics we were considering for an exhibition," says curator Duncan MacLeod. "The process of deciding on an exhibition took place during the rising crisis in Syria, and the contemporary discussions of an influx of non-white immigrants bore a strong resemblance to the rhetoric used when speaking about the Japanese and other Asian immigrants in the 20th century prior to WW II.”
The unique show displays a series of photographs as well as several models of Japanese-Canadian fishing vessels similar to boats that were seized in 1942. Also in the exhibit is a shell fragment from an attack on the Estevan Point Lighthouse by a Japanese submarine.