UBC honours Japanese-Canadian student denied admission in 1945 due to War Measures Act

September 24, 2014

UBC held an admission ceremony on Tuesday for Henry Sugiyama, a student who was denied entry into the university in 1945 due to the War Measures Act. At the time, the War Measures Act prohibited Canadians of Japanese ancestry from living on Canada’s West Coast. Sugiyama instead went to study at the University of Manitoba, the only university that would accept him, where he eventually earned a medical degree and pursued a career as a doctor. “I was lucky in a way. UBC did not have a medical program at the time. If I had gone there, I would not have become a doctor,” said Sugiyama. On Tuesday Sugiyama attended the first class in UBC’s new Asian Canadian and Asian Migrations Studies program, which was created as part of UBC’s effort to recognize its own role in the province’s internment policy. UBC has also awarded honourary degrees to 76 students who were victims of removal. UBC News Release | UBC News | Globe and Mail