Henry Yu is hoping his home movies recorded on a raft will be a hit from here to China – if you get his drift.
The University of British Columbia professor is part of the Cedar-Bamboo Fraser River Rafting Expedition Aug. 20-22 from Lillooet to Yale.
“I’m hoping this family-oriented expedition will capture the sense of excitement as a new generation of Chinese Canadians rediscover their connection with the landscape and the First Nations of the Fraser River corridor,” said Yu, who is one of the expedition’s key organizers.
A joint-project of the New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS) and the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C. (CCHSBC), the expedition takes a party of Chinese Canadians and other adventurers to such historic sites as the Xwisten fishing rocks, Browning’s Diggings and China Bar. They’ll explore this historic landscape and learn more about the connection between the early Chinese pioneers who came during the Gold Rush and the First Nations of the Fraser.
Their journey will be documented by an experienced film crew that has produced multiple videos for UBC, including the Chinese Canadian Stories series (chinesecanadian). Yu said he hopes to produce three short films (one each in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, all with Chinese character subtitles) to show potential travellers in prime tourism markets how the trip is engaging, fun and educational.
Lily Chow, NPTGS multicultural director, said the expedition will provide material for educational and promotional products that celebrate the “Cedar-Bamboo” connection between Chinese-Canadians and the First Nations.
“The films produced as a result of this expedition will help educate Chinese immigrants and tourist visitors who may have little or no knowledge of the close relationship between early Chinese Canadians and the First Nations of B.C.,” said Chow, academic, author and an authority of the Cedar-Bamboo connection.
NPTGS First Nations co-chair Cheryl Chapman said the expedition combines the resources of NPTGS and CCHS to produce a heritage tourism product with significant Aboriginal content aimed at Chinese Canadian residents and tourists in the Metro Vancouver region as well as prospective visitors in China.
“We hope this will encourage people from here to China to rediscover and explore the unique history of the First Nations-Chinese Canadian connection and visit the Gold Rush/Spirit Trails,” said Chapman.
The expedition will be guided by Fraser River Rafting Expeditions of Yale.
“The Gold Rush/Spirit Trails corridor from Hope to Barkerville has both amazing heritage tourism assets and educational potential,” added Terry Raymond, NPTGS co-chair. “We hope to educate people about its unique history as well as attract more visitors to the corridor.”
Formed in 2004, the CCHS is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing stories of the history of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia. The organization strives to increase the understanding of such stories through research, documentation, preservation, and education.