I had a good fortune to be invited to Italian Canadian as Enemy Aliens: Memories of WWII, a heritage digital archive initiative funded by the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), Citizenship and Immigration Canada fund.
The project collects and digitally deposits memories of Italian internees in Canada and their family members being affected. A national archives of these memories will be shared with Italian community and public via permanent exhibition housed at the Columbus Centre. An online archive and on-going virtual exhibit will allow a permanent access to the collection. The story evolves around decision of the Canadian government (authorized body was the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) to intern Italians and Italian Canadians, classified as “enemy aliens”, after Italy declared war on Britain and France in 1940. Some not interned were forced also to report to the RCMP on a monthly basis.
The team of researcher led by Lucy di Pietro deserves kudos for an amazing job well done! The team did not only collecting testimonies but also produced high quality, well-edited videos, professional exhibition posters and promotional materials . The expectant completion is March 2012.