This week’s featured place name and Irving K. Barber Centre room is Slocan. Slocan can refer to a number of geographic features- Slocan Valley, River, Lake, or City. This region is in the West Kootenay area of British Columbia.
We are using Slocan to highlight our Japanese-Canadian resources, because the village of Slocan (commonly known as Slocan City) was one of the sites of the Japanese Canadian internment camps during the Second World War.
The photographs below are from the Japanese Canadian Historical Photograph Collection, which is digitized and available freely online. There are a number of photographs of the Slocan internment camp in the collection, including photographs of Japanese Canadians arriving at the camp, as in the first photo, and of daily life in the camp, as in the second photo, taken in the dining hall.
Textual records related to Japanese Canadians in Slocan can be found in the Japanese Canadian Research Collection, in the Yamaga Yasutaro fonds, and also in the Jack Duggan fonds. Jack Duggan was a supervisor for the R.C.M.P. at the Slocan camp. Author Joy Kogawa (whose archives are located in Rare Books and Special Collections) and environmentalist David Suzuki (whose archives are located in University Archives) were both sent as children to the Slocan camp in 1942.
In the Barber Centre, the Slocan room is part of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS). Specifically, this room is a study area frequented by SLAIS’s doctoral students. You can read about the doctoral students and their research interests here.