FROM THE EDITOR
Canada’s coast-to-coast railway system is an amazing achievement. The people who built it had to figure out how to cross mountains, swamps and river valleys. The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was responsible for British Columbia becoming part of Canada, and our country would be completely different without it.
But the building of the CPR and other railways also brought tragedy for First Nations people, especially in the West. Their lives would never be the same after railways were built on their lands.
The railways meant danger and racism for some, and opportunity for others. Thousands of Chinese workers were brought over to help build the CPR, especially in B.C., but they were treated badly and many did not survive. Later, many Black men were able to find work on the trains as railway porters when nobody else would hire them.
When you’re done reading about trains and railways in this issue, be sure to get out and explore some of them for yourself! Best of all, take a ride on the rails, whether that’s the Metro, the SkyTrain, VIA Rail or a special tourist train. All aboard! nancy