The Bridging the Past Conference

Conference highlights historical conflicts in Hope

'Bridging the Past' conference presented in Hope this March

Darla Dickenson

For The Observer

Language and cultural differences have been the source of conflict in our community since diverse nationalities first stepped onto the banks of the Fraser River. Each incident shaped and moulded the community of Hope – weaving a delicate balance that still resonates today. Seven of these conflicts will be showcased at the 2012 Hope History Conference, ‘Bridging the Past’ from March 2 to 4.

The conference, organized through the joint efforts of the Hope Museum, Christ Church National Historic Site, Free Rein Associates, and the Seventh Day Adventist Church will be held at Christ Church National Historic Site.

“The events, which will be highlighted at the conference, occurred as a result of language, culture and religious differences. By placing these seven major events in the context of when they occurred, conference participants will develop a greater understanding of not just the event – but what brought it about. It will look at how these events still resonate in the community today, and just how easy it would be for similar events to re-occur,” says Darla Dickinson, project coordinator for ‘Bridging the Past.’

Inge Wilson of the Hope Museum further explains, “We need to understand the conflicts of our past so that we might bring about a better understanding and relations between various groups today and in the future. When we understand how we came to be where we are, we can begin to shape the future we desire.”

The project is funded in part through ‘Interfaith Bridging’ – an Embrace BC project which is an initiative of the Province of BC and the Government of Canada.

This history conference will bring in historians and guest speakers from all over the province. The event will also feature the ‘Bridging the Past’ travelling exhibit, the Royal Engineers Living History Group, guided tours to site locations, and evening programs.

The conference will focus on several facets of local history, including early missionary work & The Great Indian Gathering in Hope, “Gold Mountain” – the first multicultural community, the Fraser Canyon War – a clash of cultures, the establishment of First Nations residential schools, Chinese immigration and the CPR, the Second World War internment of Japanese-Canadians & Tashme and the Doukhobor March & Sons of Freedom protest.

Registration forms for the 2012 Hope History Conference are now available and an early bird rate is offered for those received by Feb. 15. For more information contact Inge Wilson, at the Hope Museum at (604) 869-7322 or at destinationhope@telus.net.