In 1858, gold was discovered in the Fraser River. News of this discovery travelled to the Pearl River Delta, where, in the aftermath of the Opium Wars, many Chinese sought to escape the poverty, overcrowding, political unrest and even slavery - invaders from western Asia who captured and shipped many Chinese to South America as "piglets." This tumultuous period marked the beginning of Chinese migration to Canada. What began as a population of displaced Chinese migrants working to save their great fortune for a better life back in China evolved into a community of Chinese Canadians, one with roots firmly planted in the history and culture of Canada. Dr. David Lai has received forty-one awards in recognition of his scholarship and community services and is a member of the Order of Canada.