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Archival description
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[1934]

File consists of correspondence to and from H. W. Cooper regarding the release of Doukhobor convicts; the sequence of events from the arrival of the “Sons of Freedom” at the penitentiary; and Deputy Warden R. S. Douglass, his responsibilities at Piers Island Penitentiary, and his successful performance of duties . File also contains one letter from G. Sloan, Attorney General of B.C., to Hugh Guthrie, Minister of Justice, pertaining to policies towards the “Sons of Freedom”.

Department of Public Works

File consists of correspondence and related records of W.J. Wishart, Superintendent of Camps and Warehouses, Department of Public Works, Red Pass Junction, relating to his administration of the purchasing of supplies and equipment necessary for the establishment and operation of the road camps, and the distribution of the items from Red Pass to other camps.

Records pertain to the preparation of the camps for the arrival of 2,000 Japanese Canadians. In addition to the records concerning the procurement of supplies and equipment, there is a small number of records relating to personnel issues and wages, and the censorship of mail.

No. 2: Employment (foremen and subforemen) [correspondence and related records]

File consists of correspondence and related records of the Department of Mines and Resources, Surveys and Engineering Branch pertaining to the employment of foremen and sub foremen in the Japanese Canadian road camps along the Yellowhead Highway, including Tete Jaune, Red Pass, Thunder River, Rainbow, Lucerne and Yellowhead, British Columbia, and Decoigne and Geikie, Alberta. Predominant correspondents include C.M. Walker, Supervising Engineer, Banff; J.H. Mitchell, the Senior Assistant Engineer, Red Pass Junctions; T.S. Mills, Chief Engineer; and W.J. Wishart, Supervising Foreman.

The bulk of the material consists of correspondence pertaining to the hiring of foremen and sub foremen, and related personnel issues, including letters of application and recommendation, and offers of employment, which detail information concerning positions, locations and wages. Also included are descriptions of men recommended for hire, including such information as age, character and experience, and lists of foremen and sub foremen containing the following information: name, address, experience, date/method sent for, reply, and remarks, such as why a job was turned down or the age of the individual. In addition, a small number of records in the file pertain to Japanese Canadian road camp workers, including a request for the removal of a ‘troublesome’ camp worker, as well as the attitudes of non-Japanese Canadian staff towards the workers.

[Camp nominal rolls, correspondence and other records]

File consists of nominal rolls, correspondence, lists, bills of lading and other records, mainly of W.J. Wishart, Supervising Foreman at Red Pass, with a few letters addressed to R.M. Corning, Assistant Engineer, Blue River and Resident Engineer, Red Pass. The file includes records pertaining to road camps at Yellowhead, Lucerne, Rainbow, Tete Jaune, Red Pass, Grantbrook, and Albreda.

The file contains nominal rolls, also called personnel lists, for Japanese Canadian road camp workers (“Japanese Nationals”) at Grantbrook Camp 5, Rainbow Camp 6, Tete Jaune Camp B12, and Lucerne Camp 2. Information listed in these documents includes some or all of the following: last name, first name or initial, registration number, camp occupation, marital status and number of dependents. The file also includes a list of Japanese Nationals to be transferred from Albreda to Red Sands camp, with the following information: car number, registration number, first and last names, pre-evacuation occupation, and marital status.

Amongst the correspondence in the file is a letter from Chief Engineer T.S. Mills to Corning advising him that staff should be aware of “not divulging either orally or in personal correspondence any confidential information regarding any project or work which has resulted from Canada at war” that might be used by enemy agents, and a telegram to a Japanese Canadian camp worker from his wife advising him of the acquisition of a sugar beet contract and the sale of a Japanese Canadian house. The file also contains correspondence pertaining to the medical treatment of Japanese Canadian road camp workers and the hiring of a first aid attendant, as well as lists, bills of lading and correspondence pertaining to equipment and supplies, in particular groceries, required for various camps.
Several letters within the file concern perceived agitation, organization, demands and complaints amongst the Japanese Canadian road camp workers. These include an April 24, 1942 letter from Wishart to J.H. Mitchell, Senior Assistant Engineer, Jasper, regarding Lucerne camp workers’ refusal to work in protest of the planned removal from camp of seven men identified as “agitators”; a May 1, 1942 letter from Wishart to Mitchell concerning the organization of Albreda camp workers and their refusal to work in protest of the planned transfer of thirty men to Red Sands and numerous conditions at camp that they felt to be unsatisfactory, the resolution of these issues, and plans to quickly identify and “discipline” any future “trouble makers”; as well as an October 6, 1942 letter from Supervising Engineer C.M. Walker in Banff to Corning at Red Pass regarding workers’ demands at Thunder River camp and possible methods of dealing with potential strike action.

[Lempriere Camp]

File consists of correspondence and related records pertaining to activities and personnel, both Japanese Canadian and other, at Lempriere Camp. The majority of correspondence is between Lempriere Camp foremen and Department of Mines and Resources staff, in particular Assistant Engineer R.M. Corning, A.W. Brereton, and C.R. Cornish. Also included is some correspondence from Japanese Canadian camp workers and the British Columbia Security Commission (B.C.S.C.). In addition to Lempriere camp, the file includes a small amount of records concerning Pyramid camp.

Much of the correspondence consists of memoranda of an administrative nature, including correspondence pertaining to equipment and supplies for camp; general administration; financial and accounting matters, such as cheques owed to camp workers, money owed by workers, assignments to be paid by Japanese Canadian workers under the Maintenance Act; and personnel matters, such as wages paid to workers, Workmen’s (Workers’) Compensation Board and Unemployment Insurance claims, and the resignation and replacement of foremen. Included is a memorandum concerning the requirement for Japanese Canadian workers to complete forms for the Custodian of Enemy Property, and several records relating to medical and dental conditions of and treatment received by camp workers. Other correspondence in the file pertains to dealing with workers deemed to be difficult, including those reportedly either not following instructions or not doing enough work to pay for their meals and/or medical costs. The file also includes a memorandum pertaining to a visit by the Spanish Consul to Blue River and the need to find a “spokesman” amongst the Japanese nationals at Lempriere camp for this occasion.

A majority of the correspondence concerns the transfer of Japanese Canadian workers between camps or requests of the men to leave camp for jobs in the British Columbia interior, Alberta and Ontario; this includes correspondence regarding the banning for a period of time of the employment of Japanese Canadians in B.C. sawmills and the active recruiting of men for jobs at sawmills and logging companies outside of British Columbia. The file also contains records pertaining to requests for leaves of absence and men seeking to leave camp to get married. Correspondence between Brereton and a Japanese Canadian worker in April 1943 discusses the worker’s life in the one year since evacuation and previously in Vancouver, and includes Brereton’s response to his request to marry and find suitable employment outside of camp. A letter of reference from Corning for a Japanese Canadian worker is also included in the file. A few letters discuss the dissuasion of Japanese Canadians from settling in communities that do not welcome such settlement and a letter dated April 1, 1943 refers to the removal of unmarried men from Hope.

[British Columbia Security Commission correspondence]

File consists of correspondence and related records between the Engineering Branch of the Department of Mines & Resources and the British Columbia Security Commission (B.C.S.C.), in particular R.M. Corning, Assistant Engineer, Engineering and Construction Service, Blue River with W.A. Eastwood and C.V. Booth of the B.C.S.C. The file includes records pertaining to the following camps: Pyramid, Blue River, Yellowhead, Thunder River, Lempriere, and Rainbow Ranch.

Records relate to the administration of the road camp and management of the workers, as well as relevant policies, procedures and legislation. A significant portion of the correspondence relates to requests from camp workers to be transferred to other projects, areas or occupations, as well as requests from sawmills wanting to hire workers and the legislation and policies surrounding the granting or rejection of these requests. Other correspondence deals with policies and procedures for granting camp workers leave permits and the attitudes of particular communities towards Japanese Canadians. The file also contains correspondence concerning identifying and dealing with “agitators”, or discontent or unsatisfactory workers in camp; the transfer of workers to the prairies and Ontario and required medical tests for these workers; and workers’ medical issues. Financial records and related correspondence pertain to wages due to workers, refunds of evacuation fare, unemployment insurance, and assignment fees to be paid by workers to cover the expenses incurred by the B.C.S.C. to care for their elderly parents. Also included are letters in which road camp workers describe their lives and occupations previous to evacuation, and lists of workers on the Yellowhead / Blue River project, containing information such as name, age, registration number, marital status, number of dependents, physical defects, occupation and place of birth.

Indo-Canadian oral history collection (Hari Sharma collector)

  • F-77
  • Collection
  • 1984 - 1987

The Indo-Canadian Oral History Collection documents the histories of immigrants from the Punjab Province of India who came to Canada between 1912 and 1938. The project was initiated by Hari Sharma, Professor of Sociology at SFU, who conducted the interviews with the assistance of a graduate student.

The interview subjects, primarily Sikhs, discuss such topics as why they came to Canada, the journey to Canada, adjustment to Canadian society upon arrival, employment in Canada, family life, and their ongoing links with their country of origin. Appendices include an interview guide prepared by Hari Sharma and an article about the project.

Sharma, Hari

Japanese Canadian Historical collection

  • MsC- 215
  • Collection
  • [ca.1908-1945?]

This collection consists of 15 photographs, as well as a postcard. Subject matter is pertaining to Japanese Canadians in the decades leading up to, and including, the Second World War. Content has been divided into 2 identifiable series: Photographs (ca.1925-1945?) and Correspondence (1908).

British Columbia Pipers' Association fonds

  • F-254
  • Fonds
  • 1932-1974

The fonds consists of minutes of the association from 1932 to 1974. The minutes document the decisions and activities of the association including elections, rules for competitions, organizing dances, fundraisers, competitions, and the annual gatherings. Minutes for March 1935 to early January, 1939 are missing.

British Columbia Pipers' Association

Doukhobor collection

  • MsC-121
  • Fonds
  • 1856-2019

Collection comprises photographs, manuscripts, correspondence, ephemera, books and periodical material resulting from and pertaining to the settlement and subsequent history of Doukhobors in Western Canada. Books and periodical items have been catalogued in the SFU Library Catalogue. Digitized images and accompanying descriptions of a portion of the collection are available on the Doukhobor Collection, 1898-1930 website.

Stephan S. Sorokin fonds

  • MsC-243
  • Fonds
  • 1897-2004, predominantly 1949-1984

This fonds consists of personal archive of Stephen S. Sorokin that includes incoming and outgoing letters from around 1949 until his death in 1984 many of which were sent from Montevideo, Uruguay where Sorokin lived for thirt- two years. This fonds also includes many original writings and spiritual messages addressed to the Doukhobor communities, the CCBRD and the Sons of Freedom. Records in this fonds also include draft of Sorokin’s book Three Days and Three Nights published in 1950, clippings and publications related to the Sorokin’s life and his leadership of the Doukhobor community. In addition, this fonds contains Sorokin’s personal files of passports and identity documents, number of original photographs taken during his visit to British Columbia villages in 1950s and recordings of his speeches and Doukhobor singing during that visit. It also contains court records relating to Sorokin’s filing a defamation suit against Trail Times’s journalist. Additional materials include audio and video recordings of Krestova Youth Choir performances during the Expo 1986.
This sous-fonds consists of six main series: 1: Correspondence; 2: Court records; 3: Writings; 4: Personal records; 5: General records; 6: Audio-Visual records; 7: Photographs from Sorokin’s visit.

Sorokin, Stefan S.

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