Winifred Awmack, interviewed by Ruth M. Chambers, 08 February 1984 (2 of 3)

Winifred Awmack, interviewed by Ruth M. Chambers, 08 February 1984 (2 of 3)

Abstract
In this second interview between Ruth Chambers and Winifred Awmack, they cover the same topics that were covered in the first interview because they feared they had lost the first interview. Awmack again explains how Tashme was constructed and how people lived their lives in the camp. She emphasizes the importance of the United and Anglican Church schools, and their central place in the community for Japanese Canadians. Awmack reveals the difficulties Japanese Canadians faced in deciding to move east or be exiled to Japan, and how the Canadian government actively tried to force Japanese Canadians to choose Japan over moving east. Awmack discusses the living situations Japanese Canadians faced on sugar beet farms. She illustrates the cultural differences between her and her students through two events and notes how students attended school at night to earn their education. Awmack feels this education was important in helping many Japanese Canadians obtain success in their lives with greater careers that may not have been available otherwise. Regarding dispossession, Awmack once again emphasizes how Japanese Canadians lost their property and had nothing to return to after the internment era, and she expresses how she thinks the Canadian government was planning on forcing Japanese Canadians to spread across Canada from the beginning. Awmack notes that Japanese-Canadian women almost always brought sewing machines with them if they owned one because it allowed families to maintain and create clothing.
No transcription available.

Metadata

Title

Winifred Awmack, interviewed by Ruth M. Chambers, 08 February 1984 (2 of 3)

Abstract

In this second interview between Ruth Chambers and Winifred Awmack, they cover the same topics that were covered in the first interview because they feared they had lost the first interview. Awmack again explains how Tashme was constructed and how people lived their lives in the camp. She emphasizes the importance of the United and Anglican Church schools, and their central place in the community for Japanese Canadians. Awmack reveals the difficulties Japanese Canadians faced in deciding to move east or be exiled to Japan, and how the Canadian government actively tried to force Japanese Canadians to choose Japan over moving east. Awmack discusses the living situations Japanese Canadians faced on sugar beet farms. She illustrates the cultural differences between her and her students through two events and notes how students attended school at night to earn their education. Awmack feels this education was important in helping many Japanese Canadians obtain success in their lives with greater careers that may not have been available otherwise. Regarding dispossession, Awmack once again emphasizes how Japanese Canadians lost their property and had nothing to return to after the internment era, and she expresses how she thinks the Canadian government was planning on forcing Japanese Canadians to spread across Canada from the beginning. Awmack notes that Japanese-Canadian women almost always brought sewing machines with them if they owned one because it allowed families to maintain and create clothing.

Credits

Interviewer: Ruth M. Chambers
Interviewee: Winifred Awmack
Transcriber: Jennifer Landrey
Audio Checker: Nathaniel Hayes
Publication Information: See Terms of Use for publication and licensing information.
Setting: Victoria, British Columbia
Keywords: Tashme ; United Church ; Anglican Church ; education; policy; agency; camp life; camp buildings; activities; religion; missionaries; food; gender; letters; language barrier; scouts; exile; property; camp school; race; franchise; citizenship; reunion

Terminology

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.