Photo credits: Canadian Museum of immigration at Pier 21

“My name is Bwe Doh Soe. I was born in the border between Thailand and Burma, and which is on the refugees’ camp.”

Bwe is a member of the Karen ethnic group, a group of people forced out of Burma by ethnic cleansing. His first memories are of living in hiding along the Salween River in a “hut made of bamboo, we cook on the fire, we have no furnitures and we sleep on the floor.” After narrowly escaping with their lives after a raid, Bwe and his family moved to a Thai refugee camp where they lived for ten years before applying to come to Canada.

Imagine growing up inside the walls of the camp, never setting foot in the outside world until you board a plane to Vancouver, Canada. “It’s a lot, too much to take in” says Bwe, but believes that with everything he and his family has been through, “those are make us as who we are, and it make us very strong.”

Bwe’s story of escape, claiming refugee status and integrating into a completely different environment is an example of incredible determi- nation and resiliency. His journey towards hope is just one of the many stories found in Refuge Canada, the Museum’s newest exhibition, which explores Canada’s place in the global refugee crisis.

Photo credits: Canadian Museum of immigration at Pier 21

From now until November 11, visitors can connect with stories like Bwe’s through rare and powerful artifacts, interactive displays and first-person accounts. Refuge Canada, as hopeful as it is heartbreaking, delves into this essential part of Canada’s immigration history, including Canada’s mixed record in welcoming refugees.

If you come:

• The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is open year round. • Visit for current admission prices and hours of operation. • Refuge Canada is on display in the Ralph and Rose Chiodo gallery

until November 11, 2018 and will begin a national tour in 2019.
• The Museum has two core exhibitions, The Pier 21 Story and The Canadian Immigration Story, which covers over 400 years of im- migration history from first contact to present day. Both combine

first-person accounts and hands-on activities.
• Let the Museum know if you are planning a special family reunion or

are celebrating an arrival anniversary or consider sharing your story of coming to Canada.