Often described as “more English than the English,” the city of Victoria has a much more ethnically diverse background than historical record and current literature reveal. Significant contributions were made by many people of colour with fascinating stories, including:
- the Kanaka, or Hawaiian Islanders, who constructed Fort Victoria, and members of the Kanaka community such as Maria Mahoi and William Naukana
- three Metis matriarchs—Amelia Connolly Douglas, Josette Legacé Work, and Isabelle M. Mainville Ross
- the Victoria Voltigeurs, the earliest police presence in the Colony of Vancouver Island, and who were primarily men of colour
- Grafton Tyler Brown, now known in the United States as one of the first and best African American artists of the American West
- Manzo Nagano, Canada’s first recorded immigrant from Japan
- and many more
With information about various cultural communities in early Victoria and significant dates, May Wong’s City in Colour is a collection of fascinating stories of unsung characters whose stories are at the heart of Victoria’s history.