About LANSIA Oral History Project

Background

The idea of this project was rooted from the First Families – First Stories initiative by Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS).  After numereous discussions with several stakeholders, CIDS sees that pursuing the development of this project could serve as an opportunity to learn more about the life of Indonesian-Canadians (or Dutch-Indonesian-Canadians, or Chinese-Indonesian-Canadians) or other groups that represent one of the most diverse groups in the world: Indonesians (it has over 300 sub-cultures).  The stories of survival have always been captivating and we believe that deeper understanding of how immigrants recreated their lives in Canada will be an inspiration for generations to come.

To date, Canada has welcomed more than 30,000 people who identify themselves as having Indonesian heritage.   This is a small number, but we think it is important to reach out.  And we hope that the project will become a way to reach our elders and initiate effective engagement with the larger communities. We also hope to recognize their contribution and help to build fruitful inter-generational relationships.

We’re happy to announce that our vision has been supported!

With significant help from oral historians at UBC’s CSEAR-IAR and PCHC-MoM, we recently received an approval of our funding application under New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) of Employment & Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Why capture their stories?  

As a visible minorities group, we do not have the privilege to learn from our history through official educational materials.  Therefore, having a bit of understanding of the past experiences of our elders will help us build a sense of belonging, and in turn a stronger identity for our generations to come.

Moreover, migration stories are a significant element to community engagement.  And engagement the mainstream communities lead to familiarity.  Eventually, we’ll have more opportunities to provide services to our elders.

What are the project objectives?

The aim of this project is to engage seniors in the community and support their social participation and inclusion by:

  1. Launching the creation of an oral history collection that will capture the voices and stories of the elders of the Indonesian-Canadian community.
  2. Providing opportunities for community members to learn about oral history, interviewing and research techniques.
  3. Enhancing the understanding of the multiplicities of one’s immigration experience in recreating their lives in Canada.
  4. Bridging meaningful intergenerational connections among first, second or third generations of Indonesian-Canadians.
  5. Bringing awareness to Canadian societies the cultural history of Indonesian migration to Canada through the voice of its seniors, as a basis to strengthen and enrich the multicultural foundation of Canada.
  6. Providing opportunities for the seniors in the Indonesian-Canadian community to actively connect to a broader network of the diaspora through community dialogue, project participation, and public events.

The first step for this project is the official launch on May 21, 2016.  Find the details here.