UPDATE: Chief Nyce and Deanna Nyce of the Nishga First Nations will be meeting with President Mark O’Neill, Director General Jean-Mark Blais and Ms. Chantal Schryer, VP of Public Relations of the Canadian Museum of Civiizations. The meeting will be held on Monday, July 8 at the NAJC national office and will be hosted by Ken Noma, President NAJC.
The National Association of Japanese Canadians calls upon the Government of Canada and the Museum of Civilization to immediately halt plans for the shipment of the gillnet boat Nishga Girl to the North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site and be transparent in revealing the rationale behind the removal of the boat. Nishga Girl, a donation of Chief Harry Nyce and his wife, is an important gesture of reconciliation and must be treated with due respect. The NAJC calls upon the Government of Canada and the Museum staff to engage in direct discussions with Chief Nyce or his representatives and the NAJC to determine any future plans for the boat.
Nishga Girl, built by Japanese Canadian Jack Tasaka, is an important symbol to the Japanese Canadian community who assisted the Museum in raising funds for the shipment and installation of the boat. The boat reflects the sacred bond between the First Nations people and the Japanese Canadian community. The Assembly of First Nations was one of the earliest organizations to support the National Association of Japanese Canadians call for Japanese Canadian Redress.
As this is the 25th anniversary of the Redress settlement it is important to honour the history of the First Nations people and remember those communities that – in spite of challenges – helped to forge Canada’s history.
Ken Noma, President
Parlliamentary Secretary Paul Calandra calls Nishga Girl Storage
This week, when MPs Pierre Nantel and Jean Crowder asked Parliamentary Secretary Paul Calandra in the House of Commons if the Nishga Girl will remain in the capital, he replied that the artifacts in the Museum are not supposed to “only be enjoyed by certain groups of people” and should not “stay in storage at the Canadian Museum of History”.
The history of the Nishga First Nations and of Japanese Canadians, is an integral part of Canadian history and rejects Mr. Calandra’s marginalization of the contributions made by all communities to the development of Canada – this is not a ‘them’ and ‘us’ history but ‘our’ history.
The NAJC urges Canadians to contact Heritage Minister James Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-613-992-9650 and urge him to reinstate the Nishga Girl in the Museum of Civilization and urge officials of the Museum to hold face-to-face meetings with Nishga First Nations and the NAJC to resolve this issue.
Posted: June 16, 2013