NAJC Awards

The Dr. Gordon Hirabayashi Human Rights Award is an award that honors the work and legacy of Dr. Gordon Hirabayashi of Edmonton.  The award will be presented every two years in recognition of an individual or organization who has contributed to the development or promotion of human rights and equity in Canada.  The first award was presented at the 2012 AGM.

Dr. Hirabayashi was a retired professor of sociology at the University of Alberta and a leading human rights activist and advocate of social justice in both the United States and Canada.  He passed away on January 2, 2012 after an eleven year struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

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. It is a lasting acknowledgement to the pivotal role played by Art Miki in the Redress Settlement of 1988 with the Government of Canada as well as his continued advocacy for human rights for all Canadians. The Award – formally known as the NAJC National Award – is the highest award given by this organization.

For details on the nomination process and criteria for the above awards, contact the National Association of Japanese Canadians at

The Canadian Japanese-Mennonite Scholarship is a $2000 scholarship available to a student who is Canadian or a landed immigrant enrolled in a graduate degree program in Canada, doing research that will assist the protection of minority or human rights. The scholarship is co-sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee Canada and the NAJC.

The scholarship was created as a tangible symbol of cooperation between Japanese Canadians and Canadian Mennonites subsequent to a formal apology that was offered to Japanese Canadians by Mennonite Central Committee Canada on behalf of Canadian Mennonites.

It is intended to assist the protection of minority and human rights in Canada and to reduce the potential for abuse of cultural minorities such as that suffered by Japanese Canadians during World War II.

Applications must be received by April 1, 2016 to be considered.  For more information contact MCC Canada (rebekahsears[a]


Dr. Gordon Hirabayashi Human Rights Award

Tatsuo Kage                     2012

Terry Watada                  2014


Art Miki National Leadership Award

(formerly the National Award of Merit) For leadership at local and national level

Maryka Omatsu              2015


NAJC National Award of Merit

(For leadership at local and national level)

Art Miki                         1989

Roger Obata                 1991

Harold Hirose              1993

Audrey Kobayashi       1995

Roy Inouye                    1997

Henry Shimizu             1999

Joy Kogawa                   2001

Gordon Hirabayashi   2003

Jesse Nishihata            2005

Tony Tamayose            2007

Keiko Miki                     2009

Ann Sunahara               2010 (exception made)

Mary & Tosh Kitagawa     2013


NAJC National Merit Award recipients (Incomplete list)

(Awarded by local associations for work at local level)

Jim Hiroshi Tomimoto

Kay Keiko Kuwahara

Kimoto Mary

Anne Nakamura

Marianne Natsuhara

Roy Natsuhara

Jim Nishiyama

Kay Robson

John Shimizu

Ed Yamamoto

Chikara Koyanagi

Fumi Fujiwara

Kathryn Honda

Nobu Ellis, Winnipeg

Dan Namba, Winnipeg

Sakaye “Sockeye” Hashimoto

Gayle Swanson

Kiyoko ‘Kay’ Takahara

Tadashi ‘Tad’ Mori

Richard Oikawa

Joe Minten