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.
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 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.