Saffron Threads: Exploring South Asian Canadian Culture, History, and Heritage are a set of educational resources for teachers. The resources were designed using the BC curriculum for Kindergarten through Grade 12.
These resources were developed as part of the South Asian Canadian Legacy Project (SACLP), a project of the South Asian Studies Institute (SASI) at the University of the Fraser Valley. The Legacy Project's mission is to raise awareness and increase knowledge about the contributions of South Asian Canadians to British Columbia’s diverse culture, history, economy and society. Since 2020, Open School BC has worked with SASI, project advisors, and community members to build the Saffron Threads resources.
Saffron Threads first launched in April 2022 and will continue to grow as more resources are developed. We hope you’ll keep coming back to see what’s new.
Saffron Threads provides culturally-relevant activity plans focused on math, food studies, social studies, and other subjects. The activity plans are divided into four grade groups: Kindergarten to Grade 3, Grades 4 to 6, Grades 7 to 9, and Grades 10 to 12. They expand on the history of South Asian Canadians and add the present-day context needed to build deeper engagement, understanding, and interest in the topics covered.
Developed in collaboration with teachers from the South Asian Canadian community in BC, the resources in Saffron Threads provide a starting point for educators to integrate a culture that may be unfamiliar to them or their students.
In addition to activity plans, Saffron Threads includes a Time Shuffle card game. This interactive game is a fun way to learn about the significant events, people, and institutions that shaped South Asian Canadian communities in BC.
Using Saffron Threads resources in your classroom can be done in a variety of ways. For example:
In addition to the Saffron Threads educational resources, the South Asian Canadian Legacy Project includes labour history research, a digital archive and other resources exploring the South Asian Canadian experience in BC.
If you’re interested in being involved with future Saffron Threads development or providing feedback, please contact the South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 604-854-4547.
We would like to acknowledge the territories on which this work has primarily taken place. The team in Victoria, BC, has been working and learning on the unceded territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples, known today as the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. The team in Abbotsford, BC, has been working and learning on the unceded territory of the Stó:lō peoples.
Created by Sandeep Johal, the custom artwork developed for Saffron Threads blends South Asian motifs with British Columbia’s wild animals and landscapes. Saffron Threads’ name, logo and distinct visual style take inspiration from the elusive saffron flower, which has been used in South Asia for hundreds of years. Saffron threads are prized for their contribution to cosmetics, natural medicine, dye, and as a culinary delicacy. In Johal’s work, threads from the saffron flower tie together cultures from BC and South Asia. The artwork provides a visual representation of the complex South Asian Canadian diaspora and leaves a lasting impression of its beauty—transcending time, space and culture. View full-size artwork.
Project Management Team
Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains, South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley
Dr. Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley
Dr. Tzu-I Chung, Royal BC Museum
Kim Gough, Royal BC Museum
Janet MacDonald, Advisor Emeritus (Royal BC Museum)
Open School BC
BCTF Teachers (Resource writers)
Diljeet Kaur McDonough
Gurpreet Kaur Bains
Jasleen Kaur Sidhu
We would also like to extend our gratitude to the many teachers, administrators, and teacher educators that supported our work along the way by participating in our survey, attending engagement sessions, and testing activity plans.
SACLP Learning Resource Advisory Committee
Dr. Awneet Sivia
Harjinder Kaur Sandhu
Dr. Kanwal Neel
Rajvinder Kaur Samra
Consultants and Contractors
Dr. Kanwal Singh Neel, Cultural Liaison and Facilitator
Jesse Kaufman, Marketing and Communications
Leanne Baugh, Substantive Editor and Content Writer
Merrie-Ellen Wilcox, Copyeditor, West Coast Editorial Associates
Sandeep Johal, Artist
The Province of British Columbia provided funding to the South Asian Studies Institute (SASI) at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) to deliver the South Asian Canadian Legacy Project (SACLP). Visit the South Asian Canadian Legacy Project for more ways to explore South Asian history.