40 years later UBC assistant professor Y-Dang Troeung advocates on behalf of new refugees to Canada
Y-Dang Troeung’s arrival in Canada, nearly four decades ago, came with the most official of welcomes.
Then-prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau shook her father’s hand as she — not yet a year old — bounced in her mother’s arms, eyes wide at the camera flashes.
They had just landed in Canada and had been shuttled immediately to Ottawa for the photo-op, to be the faces of a wave of refugees then arriving from Cambodia.
The little girl Y-Dang, in pink, was named after the Cambodian refugee camp, Khao I-Dang, where she was born in January 1980 as guerrilla warfare raged across her homeland.