South Asian Studies Institute


‌‌That Land Beyond the Waves, A Play Based on the Komagata Maru by Rajnish Dhawan

Harnam Singh is an Indian immigrant in Canada who is eagerly looking forward to meeting his sister Harsimran Kaur who is stranded on board the ill-fated ship Komagata Maru that arrived on the shores of Vancouver in May, 1914 carrying 376 Indian passengers. The majority of these passengers were Indian men and British subjects intending to immigrate to Canada. But the Canadian government of the time denied entry to all but 22 of these passengers, citing the continuous journey legislation that required all ships carrying immigrants to travel directly from their point of origin. On July 23, 1914, after a two-month legal battle, the ship was forced out of Canadian waters.

As the waves of the Pacific continue to thwart all of Harnam’s efforts to meet his sister, he finds some solace in the company of an Abbotsford resident, Frances. In the racially charged atmosphere of the time, a tender bond develops between Harnam and Frances that provides a semblance of humanity that transcends the boundaries of colour and creed. The play is less about statistics and historical personages and more about the response of various communities/individuals to this tragic incident. It is about the pain of being separated from loved ones and the inability to mitigate their sufferings; about the failure of authorities to see beyond race statistics; and about feeling the pain of the individual as a consequence of the events that unfolded on Canadian shores.

September, 2016. Reluctant Rebellions: New and Selected Non Fiction by Shauna Singh Baldwin

In 15 speeches and essays written between 2001 and 2015, Baldwin brings a new perspective and voice to Canadian public discourse. Offering examples from her personal journey as a writer and a South Asian woman born in Canada, married to an American, living in the United States, and with strong ties to India, Baldwin transcends homogenized national identities and is an example of a truly global citizen.

Order ebook from Amazon

For hard copy orders, media inquiries & readings



For publication pageOctober, 2013: Ghadar Conference Proceedings

In 2013, the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies hosted conference proceedings to commemorate the centennial year of the founding of the Ghadar movement, an anti-colonial movement that came about through the efforts of South Asian's living in the North American Diaspora. This book is a compilation based on attendees and their presentations

For the online version of the book, visit Ghadar Conference Proceedings.

2015 CICS Contributes Chapter in MSA Published Book: Abbotsford From Village to City: A Commitment to Excellence and Innovation

Abbotsford Building Connections Final Report, published in partnership with the City of Abbotsford and the Centre for Indo Canadian Studies

View the final report.

A Soldier Remembers

In the 1970’s Canadian society was struggling with issues of race and racism based on a general ignorance among its citizenry. When Pritam Singh emigrated to BC, Canada in 1980 he felt shocked and disbelief that a man of his caliber and military ranking would have to face a barrage of blatant racism. This discrimination reached its climax during the Remembrance Day ceremonies of 1993 when Lieutenant Colonel Pritam Singh was denied entrance into the Surrey Newton Legion Branch because he was wearing a turban. True to his convictions and his Sikh faith, Pritam Singh waged a long and difficult struggle for Sikh veterans to be allowed to wear this key article of their faith in the Legion.

This biography is a story of Pritam Singh’s struggle with the Legion in 1993, but it is also much more than that. This book chronicles the struggles and accomplishments of an immigrant Sikh-Canadian, and the lifelong service he has given to his community. Pritam Singh is a true role model and his story needs to be shared.

A Soldier Remembers PDFA Soldier Remembers PDF

"A Soldier Remembers" is featured in Sikh Nugget.
"A Soldier Remembers" is featured in SikhChic.

100 Year Punjabi Settler Community Stories Project

Undertaken by the CICS through the auspices of the Khalsa Diwan Society, Abbotsford, this is the Indo-Canadian 100 Year Punjabi Community Stories Project. Over the past five plus years, researchers, faculty and staff at the CICS have interviewed, transcribed and narrated the stories of those first Indo-Canadian settlers who contributed to the building of our communities from 1904 onwards. These narratives allow for the perseverance and vision of these people to be etched in time. Please click on the link below to view this extensive database, for narratives on the people, and to view their images.

100 Year Punjabi Settler Community Stories Project

Abbotsford Indo-Canadian Seniors Project in Partnership with the CICS-Published 2009

UBCM Report ‌

Articles and books

  • (2013) The Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies contributed articles in "Pioneer Stories," a book published by the MSA Museum Society. For more information on the book, please visit the MSA Museum Site
  • Bains, Satwinder (2012). "Feminist Critique of Socio-Religious Discourse.Understanding Sikhism the Research Journal.
  • Sandhra, Sharanjit (2012). "Guru Nanak and Maharaja Ranjit Singh-The Unlikely Connection.Understanding Sikhism the Research Journal.
  • Dandurand, Y. (2010). "Protecting Witnesses and Collaborators of Justice in Terrorism Cases," in Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182, Air India Flight 182: A Canadian Tragedy Final Report - Research Studies - Volume 3 -Terrorism Prosecutions, Ottawa: Government of Canada Publications, pp. 17-80. View Air India Bombing report.pdf and Air India report II.pdf for more details on the inquiry.
  • Addison M, Bains S, Cheema J, Goudriaan D, Jarvis P, Koehn S (Aug 2011)- "Just Scratching the Surface"; Mental Health Promotion fo Punjabi Seniors (Forums). Report on findings of 2 forums held to explore the extent to which community services targeted at Punjabi seniors address the social determinants of mental health as identified by Keleher and Armstrong (2005). View Briefing Document.  Also view iCARE Flyer OCT 2011

Contact Us