Hundreds of Chinese people migrated to Moose Jaw in the early 1880s to lay tracks for the Canadian Pacific Railway, an influx that contributed to the growth of Chinese businesses, religious establishments, sports clubs and community associations.
CPR chose Moose Jaw as its divisional point in 1882, which quickly led to the municipality becoming a boom town with the largest Chinese population in the province according to The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. According to Wikipedia, by 1910, a small Chinatown with about 150 people had emerged on River Street, and one yera later, Moose Jaw had about 1000 Chinese men and two women, all but one laundries, and about half restaurants.
The majority of these Chinese immigrants originated from Taishan, in Guangdong province, which had been repeatedly ravaged with floods, earthquakes, plagues, typhoons, droughts, and civil wars during the late 1800s, according to the Canadian Museum of Immigration. The Chinese saw Canada as a refuge with opportunities for a better life.
One group that sprung up was the Chinese Benevolent Association, designed to connect the ethnic community. At some point in the 1900s, the group changed its name to the Moose Jaw Chinese Association (MJCA).
This non-profit group is the original association with which most people are familiar since it hosts the famous yearly Chinese New Year celebration with a nine-course banquet and Lion dance. It also actively participated in other community activities including Christmas parade, donation for Canadians and Chinese struck by natural disasters, Motif, Canada Day celebration and Side Walk Day.
Two years ago, another group in Moose Jaw knowingly hijacked our association’s name (of) ‘Moose Jaw Chinese Association’ and named themselves as the ‘Moose Jaw Chinese Association Inc.’ Unfortunately, this causes some confusion for people in Moose Jaw, as well as for new Chinese people residing in Moose Jaw.
The original association is important to Chinese people since it serves as a meeting point, is the only club that represents them, and speaks on their behalf. Most new Chinese immigrants register with the association to stay connected. After failed attempt to get the name back from tther other group, the original Moose Jaw Chinese Association has changed its name to the "Moose Jaw Chinese Community Network."
The Moose Jaw Chinese Community Network welcome all Chinese and their families/friends to become a member of this big family.