by Tosh Kitagawa
The NAJC Human Rights Committee in collaboration with UBC is in the planning stages of a conference/forum with a tentative date of May 30, 2015. In late November of 2014, we approached Dr. Henry Yu of UBC with a plan to hold a joint conference with UBC as part of their new minor course entitled, “Asian Canadian and Asian Migration”.
The Constitution of National Association of Japanese Canadians, article 3.3 and 3.4 state:
Section 3.3 To promote and encourage Japanese Canadians to work together on matters of concern to all Canadians and undertake collective action for a better Canada and a world free from racism, poverty, inequality and war.
Section 3.4 To cooperate with organizations sharing the aims of the NAJC in protecting the rights of all groups in Canada; to promote and sponsor programs, projects and activities that enable Japanese Canadians to contribute towards the multicultural quality of Canadian society; to cooperate with other organizations whose educational, cultural, social and recreational activities foster the multicultural makeup of Canadian society; to work in close cooperation with groups and organizations who are seeking redress for historic and other injustices; and to abolish any restrictive measures which may still exist or may be imposed.
With this in mind, our thoughts were to include the Asian Canadian Communities. Since many of these communities are fractured, we looked for a thread that is common to all. We focused on Elder issues as the common theme.
Our agenda was as follows:
- What are the key issues/concerns regarding elder care in your community?
- Which of these issues do you believe are specific/unique to the ethnic community you serve?
- Which do you believe are shared among First Nations and Asian Canadian communities in the Lower Mainland?
- Is there value and mutual benefit in building relationships across the First Nations and Asian Canadian communities on issues relating to elder care?
- What are the needs of elders that are not being met in your community? In their homes? In care?
- What kind of knowledge, resources, and supports are most important to you regarding elder care in your community?
- How would you see a Forum assisting you with acquiring such knowledge, resources and supports?
- What tangible outcomes would you seek from such a Forum?
- What shape/content should a Forum have to be of greatest assistance and relevance to you?
- Who needs to be there?
- What would be the follow-up, if any, to such a Forum?
Our next meeting is on March 4, 2015, when a final agenda, venue and date will be formalized. This information will be posted on the NAJC website.