Vancouver Chinatown Parade Sunday Jan 29, 2006
This is a Vancouver Chinatown tradition that started in the 1970's to highlight Chinese Culture in Chinatown. The Parade has really grown as a combination of things happened:
Acceptance of multiculturalism and going out to see and promote such events
Revitalized parade reaches out to many community groups
Expect to see Brazilian dancers, a dragon boat on a trailer, First Nations dancers… and of course the usual Lion Dances and a Dragon Dance.
First Nations dancers? My friend Bill Chu organizers “Dances with Dragons” bringing together First Nations and Chinese Community groups. Historically there have been many intersections of Chinese and First Nations, some starting when Chinese railroad workers assimilated into First Nations groups and married First Nations women. This was also due to the lack of Chinese women in Canada because of the head tax and exclusion act.
I have friends that grew up amongst the First Nations in Alert Bay, and of course my mother's cousin Rhonda Larrabee is Chief of the Qayqayt Band (New Westminster) because her father Arthur Lee, married a First Nations women named Marie. Check out the NFB film “Tribe of One” which tells the story of how Rhonda Larrabbee applied for, recieved Indian Status after initial rejections, then went on to revitalize the Qayqayt tribe.