Lil Nagahara

I am going to tell you how I felt as I was detained from the age of 8½ until I turned 14, so those are the years that I will talk about. I can remember just a very few things about when we had to move because I was only 8½. I think the most vivid memory of having to leave home was having to depart from our family pet. Because we had a big German Shepherd dog as a family pet and we couldn’t find anyone to look after him. And we had to move, so I guess my main recollection was this truck coming and our dog, his name was Flash, was barking away as the truck pulled away. That was one of the first memories of when we had to move. We were only allowed to take one suitcase per person and my mother had packed that and we were sent to Hastings Park. Now as an 8½ year old this was really, really strange because I came from quite a big house. My father was a landscape gardener so he had this big house. And then we were suddenly moved to Hastings Park where there were just army cots all lined up in this building. I think it was called the “F building” and we were all females. We were separated from our parents and our brothers, they were in another building, and these beds were just cots, were just side by side. And as a youngster, I remember people kind of just hanging sheets and blankets around the bed, and that was the only privacy we had. I remember it was a livestock building so I remember as an 8½ year old looking on the floor and it was concrete and it had these little ruts where I suppose they used to wash down the animal droppings because it was a livestock building. And all these strange things I remember as a child. I remember the washroom, there was no privacy. It was sort of like a long stall and there were no doors. You just kind of went in and everybody just kind of used the facility, and there was one big swish of the water and everything was all flushed down. It was very, very primitive. And so, as a child it’s funny the things that you do remember but those are the things that I do remember as a child. I remember going to the mess hall, that’s where we were having our meals. And that was again, I guess a livestock building of some sort because I never forget as a child walking up this wide ramp and it had these bits of wood nailed on. I suppose so the animals wouldn’t slip when they had to go into the building. And I remember mom taking us into this building and that’s where we sat on long long benches and we had our meals. So we were there for a month and then came the time when we had to be moved to Slocan.

Born in Kitsilano in Vancouver, BC, Lil was confined in Hastings Park until moving to Slocan, Popoff. Interview courtesy of the Sedai Project – the complete interview can be found HERE