Cambodian Refugee Interviews

Happy holidays friends and family!

If you or someone you know is a Cambodian refugee and interested in sharing your story for the Hearts of Freedom Project, please contact us or see below:

Be part of an important research project and participate in recording history that will be preserved for years to come. This study entitled The Canadian South East Asia Refugee Historical Research Project: Hearts of Freedom aims to document the experiences of refugees who escaped their homelands and came to Canada between 1975-85 following the end of the Indochinese wars, as well as Canadians who welcomed them into Canada.
It is a partnership among the Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese Associations, Carleton University, the Canadian Immigration Historical Society (CIHS), and several museums. Carleton University researchers are Colleen Lundy, Professor Emeritus and Allan Moscovitch, Professor Emeritus. Joining them are Mike Molloy and Peter Duschinsky from the CIHS, and Stephanie Stobbe, Associate Professor, at Meno Simons College, a college of the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.
What is the purpose of the study?
This study will ensure that the refugee and settlement experience of those people who came from Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos will be preserved for generations to come and become part of Canada’s historical narrative. We will interview 90 people who came to Canada as refugees during the period from 1975 to 1985. We will record the interviews, and use what we learn to produce a book, educational materials, a web site to preserve the interviews, and a documentary film.
What will I be asked to do?
If you agree to take part in the study, we will ask you to:
• Participate in a 90-minute interview at an agreed upon location. Prior to the interview we will ask you for some basic information such as your name, country of birth, and country of origin for statistical purposes. The interview questions will be in the following areas; the consequences of the war for you and your family; factors that encouraged you to leave your home, and the details of your migration journey; your settlement experience in Canada; and your life since arriving in Canada.

• The interview will be video recorded. You may stop the interview at any point or refuse to answer some questions.

• You will have the option of reviewing the recording of your interview prior to it being placed in the Carleton University archives and on the project’s web site. If you choose to review the video prior to use, you will have two weeks to request that passages be removed before the video is placed on our website.

• Once any changes you request have been made, extracts from the video of your interview may be used in a documentary film, a book and in exhibits organized by one of more Canadian museums.

• We will ask if you have memorabilia, including photos, memoirs/journals, and other artifacts that are important to your story that you would you be willing to share these materials with the research team so that they can be scanned or photographed and reproduced for the project’s permanent archives, and the creation of exhibits at the Canadian Museum of History and at the Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

• As a token of our appreciation, you will receive a small gift and a copy of the edited interview.

The ethics protocol for this project has been reviewed and cleared by the Carleton University Research Ethics Board. If you have any ethical concerns with the study, please contact Dr. Bernadette Campbell, Chair, Carleton University Ethics Board-A (by phone at 613-520-2600 ext. 2517 or via email at

Contact the Cambodian Community Coordinator Rivaux Lay for more information or to participate in the study at (613) 731-3480 or email