Cultivating Connections

9780774828000: Hardback
Release Date: 18th June 2014

9780774828017: Paperback
Release Date: 15th January 2015

9780774828024: PDF
Release Date: 18th June 2014

33 b&w photographs, 3 line art, 1 map

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 288

Series Contemporary Chinese Studies

UBC Press

Cultivating Connections

The Making of Chinese Prairie Canada

The voices of Chinese immigrants who settled in the pre-1950s Canadian prairies come alive in this extraordinary record of migration, settlement, and community life.
Hardback / £64.00
Paperback / £21.99
PDF / £27.00

In the late 1870s, thousands of Chinese men left coastal British Columbia and the western United States and headed east. For them, the Prairies were a land of opportunity; there, they could open shops and potentially earn enough money to become merchants. The result of almost a decade's research and more than three hundred interviews, Cultivating Connections tells the stories of some of Prairie Canada's Chinese settlers – men and women from various generations who navigated cultural difference. These stories reveal the critical importance of networks in coping with experiences of racism and establishing a successful life on the Prairies.


1 Affective Regimes, Nationalism, and the KMT

2 Reverend Ma Seung

3 Bachelor Uncles: Frank Chan and Sam Dong

4 Affect through Sports: Mark Ki and Happy Young

5 Married Nationalists: Charles Yee and Charlie Foo

6 Women beyond the Frame

7 Early Chinese Prairie Wives

8 Quongying’s Coins and Sword

9 Chinese Prairie Daughters


Appendix; Notes; Glossary; Bibliography; Index

Alison R. Marshall is a professor in the Department of Religion at Brandon University and adjunct professor of women’s and gender studies at the University of Winnipeg. She is the author of The Way of the Bachelor: Early Chinese Settlement in Manitoba, recipient of the 2011 Manitoba Day Award, Association for Manitoba Archives.

Cultivating Connections is a major breakthrough in the research of social history. Combining years of careful documentary research, including a thorough canvass of available English and Chinese sources, with an oral history component arising from years of involvement in Prairie Chinese communities, Marshall has gained access to valuable networks of relationships. I recommend her book highly.

Timothy J. Stanley, author of Contesting White Supremacy: School Segregation, Anti-Racism, and the Making of Chinese Canadians

In Cultivating Connections, Marshall has created a remarkably intimate and moving portrayal of the lives of Chinese Canadian settlers and, through that intimacy, draws out the nuances of relationships that helped them negotiate often hostile circumstances. Written in a very approachable style and full of personal stories, her book will interest a broad readership.

Paul Crowe, Director of the David Lam Centre, Simon Fraser University

Cultivating Connections provides a nuanced analysis of the gendered and racial experiences of Chinese Prairie Canadians and is an excellent contribution to the literature on the history of immigration and migration, social geography, and women’s history.

Cayley B. Bower, University of Western Ontario
British Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol. 29 No. 1, Spring 2016