The National Executive Board is pleased to announce that Judge Maryka Omatsu will be awarded the Art Miki National Leadership Award at a banquet to be held on Saturday, September 26th 2015 in Victoria, British Columbia. The Award, formerly known as The National Award, was renamed this year to recognize in perpetuity the invaluable and historic service that Art Miki has and continues to give to our community and the National Association of Japanese Canadians in the area of human rights and citizenship.
The Art Miki National Leadership Award is given every two years to an individual who has shown leadership and who has done most for the strength and growth of the National Association of Japanese Canadians at both the local and the national level.
Judge Maryka Omatsu, a sansei, was born in Hamilton, Ontario. She graduated with M.A. from the U. of T. and an LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School. During the following 38 years, Maryka has been a lawyer for 16 years, practised human rights, environmental and criminal law; worked for all levels of Government; taught in Toronto, China and Japan; chaired the Ontario Human Rights Appeals Tribunal and adjudicated for the Ontario Law Society. 22 years ago, Maryka is the first woman of East Asian ancestry to be appointed a judge in Canada. Today, she is semi-retired and judges part time in Toronto.
Maryka was active in the Japanese Canadian community’s struggle for redress, as a member of the National Association of Japanese Canadians’ negotiation team. Her book, “Bittersweet Passage” documented that history and won several prizes. It was published in Japan in 1994.
Those wishing to attend the banquet are asked to contact the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society info[a]vncs.ca