1700-1900

1788: First Chinese Settlers
The first Chinese to settle in Canada were 50 artisans who accompanied Captain John Meares in 1788 to help build a trading post and encourage trade in sea otter pelts between Guangzhou, China and Nootka Sound.
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1858: First Chinese Community in Canada
In 1858, Chinese immigrants began arriving from San Francisco as gold prospectors in the Fraser River valley, and Barkerville, BC, became the first Chinese community in Canada. By 1860, the Chinese population of Vancouver Island and BC was estimated to be 7000.
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29 February 1860: First Female Chinese Citizen
The wife of merchant Kwong Lee arrived in Victoria, BC. She was Canada's first female Chinese citizen.
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1862: Chinese First Employed
Chinese were first employed in Canada as road labourers on the Cariboo Road.
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1877: Manzo Nagano Settles in Victoria
The first known immigrant from Japan, Manzo Nagano, settled in Victoria, BC. The first wave of Japanese immigrants, called Issei (first generation), arrived between 1877 and 1928. By 1914, 10,000 people of Japanese ancestry had settled permanently in Canada.
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1880-1885: Chinese Labourers and the CPR
Some 15,000 Chinese labourers completed the British Columbia section of the CPR, with more than 600 of them perishing under adverse working conditions during this essential construction. Largely because of the trans-Canada railway, Chinese communities developed across the nation.
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1 January 1885: Chinese Head Tax
Chinese migrants were obligated to pay a $50 "entry" or "head" tax before being admitted into Canada. The Chinese were the only ethnic group required to pay a tax to enter Canada. By 1903, the head tax was increased to $500; the number of Chinese who paid the fee in the first fiscal year dropped from 4719 to 8.
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9 March 1885: Chinese Restriction Act
BC passed the Act to Prevent the Immigration of Chinese. This act and its predecessor, which was passed in 1884, restricted the entry of Chinese immigrants. Both were disallowed by the federal government .
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31 March 1885: Chinese Act Disallowed
The federal government disallowed the British Columbia act restricting Chinese immigration.
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24 November 1899: Birth of Dr. Masajiro Miyazaki
Dr Masajiro Miyazaki, who, when he was elected village commissioner in Lillooet in 1950, became the first Japanese Canadian to hold public office in Canada, was born near Hikone City, Japan.

1897-1908: First Sikhs in Canada
The first Sikhs came to Canada at the turn of the 20th century. Some came to Canada as part of the Hong Kong military contingent en route to Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (1897) and the coronation of Edward VII (1902), and returned to Canada to establish themselves in British Columbia. More than 5000 South Asians, more than 90% of them Sikhs, came to British Columbia before their immigration was banned in 1908.
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