From Vancouver To China: The Tradition Of Reburial
When British Columbia joined Canada in 1871, the nation promised to build a railroad to connect Vancouver to the east. But labor was short, and white workers were costly, so railroad companies shipped in migrant labor from China.
But China laid claim to its people in perpetuity. When they were done working, they were to be sent back — dead or alive.
British Columbian historian Maurice Guibord takes Sound Effect on a tour of Vancouver's only cemetery and explains why Chinese grave diggers send bones back to China, and why the policies of Chairman Mao encouraged the Chinese to start sending their bones here.