Bird Commission

Bird Commission


Title Proper Bird Commission
Date(s) 1947-1949
General material designation
This fonds contains 1424 textual records.
Scope and content
This fonds comprises seventy-nine sub-series pertaining to the Japanese Property Claims Commission (Bird Commission), the royal commission appointed to investigate Japanese Canadians' claims for fair compensation for the forcible uprooting and dispossession and formally known as the "Royal Commission to Investigate Complaints of Canadian Citizens of Japanese Origin who Resided in British Columbia in 1941, That Their Real and Personal Property had been Disposed of by the Custodian of Enemy Property at Prices Less than the Fair Market Value". Volumes 1 to 74 contain the case files for claims, ranging in number from case 1 to case 1406, for Japanese Canadian individuals, companies, and associations. The majority of the files begin with a claim overview form—listing the claimant's name, case number, Custodian file number, and the total recommendation of monetary compensation for "real property," "personal property," "nets," and "miscellaneous chattels"—and a transcript of hearing proceedings, followed by the exhibits of the claim. Exhibits may include documents such as the following: property summaries, including personal property, real property, real estate, and business property; farm appraisal reports; inventory of business property or farm equipment and stock; lists and statements of property owned and/or goods in storage; tax documents and assessment notices; leases; certificates of encumbrance; bills of lading; summaries taken from vessel records; net and fishing equipment statements; chattels schedules and auction sheets; appraisals of automobiles; photographs of property; letters of tender; various correspondence; and memoranda. Volumes 75 to 79 contain material pertaining to other aspects of the royal commission, including the following: the Custodian's responsibility for property loss, theft, and damage while in its custody; proceedings from general evidence hearings, in addition to related exhibits; corporate claims; foundational orders in council; Justice Bird's legal definition of "fair market value"; and the rejected or withdrawn claims of Japanese Canadians with no numbers assigned.
Name of creator
Canada. Bird Commission. created this archive.
Immediate source of acquisition
The digital copies of the records were acquired by the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective between 2014 and 2018.


Digital Objects (1421)



Bird Commission
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Readers of these historical materials will encounter derogatory references to Japanese Canadians and euphemisms used to obscure the intent and impacts of the internment and dispossession. While these are important realities of the history, the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective urges users to carefully consider their own terminological choices in writing and speaking about this topic today as we confront past injustice. See our statement on terminology, and related sources here.