In November 2011, UBC Senate approved three measures to acknowledge and recognize the 76 Japanese Canadian UBC students who were forcibly removed in 1942. One of the measures approved by UBC Senate–the creation of a teaching program at UBC so that the removal of Japanese Canadians and the history of anti-Asian racism that caused it would never be forgotten–has been in development since Dean Gage Averill publicly committed in March 2012 to the creation of an Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies minor program. It is the first stage towards the building of a new Asian Canadian community initiative at UBC.
The Bachelor of Arts Minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies (ACAM) at UBC is a multidisciplinary program that explores the history, culture, and contemporary development of Asian communities in Canada, and global Asian migrations. Students enrolled in this minor choose from approved courses in Asian Studies, English, Fine Arts, First Nations and Indigenous Studies, Geography, History, Sociology, and other departments, and are encouraged to integrate community-based research into their academic programs. Enrolment in ACAM is encouraged as a means to enrich and support existing majors and honours programs. The Minor program is initially course-based, but will grow to include a community research component that gives interested students the opportunity to undertake an intensive research experience with the support of a program advisory board and on-campus units such as the UBC Centre for Engaged Learning.
The program responds to community issues and concerns by engaging students in multidisciplinary and intercultural research. ACAM contributes to the building of a dynamic and sustainable Asian Canadian community initiative at UBC by emphasizing collaborative linkages between researchers and providing mentoring and training for students to support the co-creation of knowledge with Asian Canadian community-based organizations. The program involves teaching faculty from multiple departments in the Faculty of Arts, and features innovative interdisciplinary courses designed to equip students to participate in community engagement initiatives.