November 9, 2020
by Valerie Leung, Prince George Matters
Writing more than 70,000 words over 250 pages wasn’t nearly as difficult as the journey early South Asian pioneers went through to start a new life in Canada, according to B.C. author Karen Dosanjh.
Dosanjh, who was born and raised in Richmond, sees her hometown as a place of many firsts including school, volunteer experience and work – an “exciting and fairly fun” life.
However, her parents’ and extended family, who first immigrated to Canada, can’t say they had similar experiences.
Dosanjh’s first book, titled Untold Stories: The South Asian Pioneer Experience in B.C., is a collection of stories from 32 pioneer families in Canada dating back to the early 1900s.
The stories, she noted, are told by previously “unheard voices” about the struggles and resilience of immigrants from Punjab, India. It’s a book she hopes will fill a gap and connect the older generation with today’s youth.
“It’s important for youth now to see how the earliest settlers lost a lot of their identity and who they were to develop the community as it is now,” said Dosanjh, adding that she hopes these youth “don’t take anything for granted.”