Teacher's Centre

Nikkei Experiences - Decoding identity, worldview and immigration

The lesson plans will study how the identity and worldview of Japanese Canadians have changed over the generations [learning objective]. Additionally, studying the Japanese Canadian experience will permit students to analyze and discuss positive and negative aspects of immigration and associated political decisions [learning objective].

The Alberta curriculum connections are to Alberta history (Grade 4), Canadian history (Grade 5), immigration and identity (Grade 5), positive and negative aspects of immigration and political decisions (Grade 7), and understanding worldview and identity (Grade 8).

The five learning objects and five photographs have been chosen to reflect the different generations and to connect to important events in Japanese Canadian history. A sickle has been chosen to reflect the early pioneer occupations and to represent certain industries (such as beet farming) which encouraged Japanese immigration in the early 20th Century and the relocation of Japanese Canadians during the 1940s.

An abacus and Judogi will encourage discussions are the traditions brought with the Issei (first generation) from Japan. Other photos and artifacts will reflect on Japanese Canadian culture and identity in today’s modern, multi-cultural Canada.

At the end of the lesson, students will have greater respect and understanding of Japanese Canadian culture and history as well as an appreciation for how inspaniduals and cultures adapt and change.