David Mitsui is a sansei, born and raised in the Hamilton, Ontario area and has lived in Edmonton, Alberta since 1978.
David is an active member of the Edmonton Japanese Community Association and served on it’s Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016. David continues to volunteer with the EJCA serving on the Natsumatsuri Planning Committee and the Kimiko Shimizu Arts and Culture Development Grant Committee. David was a member of the NAJC National Council for 3 years in his capacity as President of EJCA. David is the grandson of Sgt Masumi Mitsui MM and has been a member of the Japanese Canadian War Memorial Committee in Vancouver since 2012.
In September 2016 David was elected President of the NAJC and Chairs the National Executive Board for a 2 year term. As President of NAJC, David also Chairs the Endowment Fund Committee and is the NEB representative on the Community Renewal Fund Committee.
David retired in 2014 after a 31year career as the Practicum Supervisor/Instructor of the Professional Practicum Program in the recreation, physical education and kinesiology degree programs in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta. During his professional career, David served as President on the Board of Directors of both the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (1990-91) and the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (1999-2000). David is the recipient of the ARPA Award of Merit (2001), the CPRA Citation of Outstanding Achievement (2006), and the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Individual Citation Award Recognizing Outstanding Service to the field of recreation therapy (2014).
In retirement, David now “practices what he used to preach”. As an avid golfer David will play any day that ends in the letter “Y”.
MA (Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Alberta, 1983)
BA (Honours Recreation/Business Administration/Therapeutic Recreation – Co-Operative Education, University of Waterloo, 1978)
In addition to her NAJC responsibilities, Lorene Oikawa is the president of the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association (GVJCCA), and works for the Province of British Columbia. She is a director on a number of boards including West Coast Environmental Law and the Canadian Labour International Film Festival. She was the first and only Asian Canadian executive vice president for the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) for three terms from 2005 to 2014.
She is the founder of the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance in BC. Lorene has authored articles and been a spokesperson on a range of topics including women in leadership, human rights, migrant workers, social media, and Japanese Canadian projects including Honouring Our People, and Hastings Park 1942 Signage.
Lorene is a yonsei, fourth generation, British Columbian. Her family migrated from Hiroshima Japan in the 1800’s, to Cumberland on Vancouver Island, and in 1906, from Sendai Miyagi-ken on the ship, Suian Maru, and settled on Oikawa Island, Sato Island and Annacis Island in Metro Vancouver.
Michiko Yano-Shuttleworth (Secretary, Chair of Community Development)
As Production Designer at TVOntario for over 30 years, Michiko has applied her creative talents to award winning television productions with the dual focus of entertainment and education. She has worked as freelance designer on many films, television commercials, theatre and dance productions.
Michiko has been active as a director on numerous boards including Toronto Japanese Language School, Zion School Museum and Gibson House Museum and has been committee member for Heritage Committee at JCCC Toronto and National NAJC Endowment Fund. Presently a director on the Toronto NAJC board. Chair of the Community Development Fund for the NAJC and Madame Secretary.
Michiko is retired from TVOntario, continues to consult on theatre and television projects, is curating an interactive Japanese Toy Museum project and will be giving Cosplay workshops.
Noreen Kuroyama, B.Sc., B.Ed., MBA (Treasurer)
Presently is Treasurer of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) and formerly a member of the NAJC Heritage Committee. Originally from Montreal, Noreen is now living in Toronto. She has volunteered at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in various areas over the last 30 plus years. She regularly helps with Archiving the JCCC’s heritage collection.
Lisa Kiyomi Uyeda (Director, Chair of the Heritage Committee)
Lisa is an archivist and a Nikkei yonsei with deep family roots in the Powell Street area. Born and raised in the Toronto region, Lisa volunteered and worked at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre where she documented over 100 oral histories and contributed to the early development of the Moriyama Nikkei Heritage Centre. Well connected across the Nikkei community, Lisa is the Collections Manager at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre and serves on a number of volunteer committees that focus on Nikkei history, human rights, and young leadership. She is active with the National Association of Japanese Canadians as a member of the National Executive Board and Chair of the Heritage Committee. Lisa currently resides in Vancouver on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples. Lisa holds a Master of Archival Studies degree.
Eiko Eby is active with the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) serving on the National Executive Board as the Chair of the Membership Committee. Eiko is also a member of the NAJC Community Renewal Fund Committee. Eiko is a professor in the Faculty of Education – Sport, Health, and Physical Education Department at Vancouver Island University in B.C. She is a Nikkei Yonsei with her family residing in Steveston and Haney prior to internment. Eiko is a Community Council Member of the Landscapes of Injustice Project which is a University of Victoria Research Project dedicated to the dispossession of property of Japanese-Canadians during World War 2 in Canada. Eiko is currently the President of the Central Vancouver Island Japanese-Canadian Cultural Society in Nanaimo, B.C. (more commonly referred to as the 7 Potatoes Society). She has been actively involved in the Japanese-Canadian community in Nanaimo since 1987.
Susan Akemi Matsumoto (Director, Chair of the Constitution and Resolution Committee)
Is a sansei born and raised in Toronto, who migrated to Calgary in the late 1970s’. Susan’s career in Calgary includes over 20 years working in the service of individuals with developmental disabilities. Susan worked for 7 years with the Alberta government as a funder and evaluator of programs in the disabilities field, and the majority of years, operating programs in the Calgary community. Susan also owns a consulting business that provided services to the not – for – profit sector in program evaluation and development, organizational strategic planning, and Board Development. Susan then moved on to work with Canadian Blood Services in a range of senior leadership roles within the Donor Relations division. Susan is currently Director of Donor Relations for the Prairie Region (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba).
Susan’s interest in the NAJC stems from three perspectives. Having grown up in a household hearing stories from both parents about their lives in BC Camps during the war, Susan would like to help preserve that history for her two sons. Susan has always had an interest in Japanese culture and her family has been members of the Calgary Japanese Canadian Asociation for many years. And finally, Susan would like to make a contribution to the NAJC through sharing the knowledge that she has acquired through many years operating programs at a senior leadership level.
Susan joined the National Association of Japanese Canadians as a member of the National Executive Board in 2014. Susan has served in the role of Secretary and chair of the Community Development Committee, and is currently Chair of the Constitution and By Law Committee.
Bryan is a Vancouver-born yonsei who has been active in the Japanese Canadian community in both Vancouver and Ottawa. Currently Chair of the NAJC’s Young Leaders Committee and the Board of the OJCA, Bryan has previously worked on a number of issues in the community, including the BC-Japan Earthquake Relief Fund and seeking recognition for the injustices faced by UBC’s wartime JC students.
Bryan holds a Dual Degree (BSc/BA) from UBC and an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He is currently working with Global Affairs Canada, focusing on Canada’s international Nuclear Security policy. Bryan is also a World Economic Forum “Young Global Shaper” in Ottawa, engaging in community improvement projects at both local and international levels.
Susanne Tabata is a digital media producer whose passion is to elevate west coast stories into the arts. Susanne was born in Nanaimo, and lived in Tokyo and Victoria before moving to Vancouver in 1978 to study International Relations at UBC. Tabata’s father is a Japanese Canadian whose internment experience during and after WWII has impacted Susanne’s choices of projects. In 2012 she produced the centerpiece tribute video Welcome Home: UBC Japanese Canadian Students of 1942 for a special ceremony dedicated to students whose studies were interrupted during World War II. Tabata also designed, wrote, produced and directed the 10-part ethnography series for the Japanese Canadian National Museum called Ohanashi: Stories of Our Elders – a detailed examination of the experiences of Japanese Canadians who were interned during World War II – a story familiar to her father whose experiences are shared in the series. Susanne has a background as an instructional designer, and has conducted over 300 interviews, which advance the discussion of social justice. She teaches film studies part-time at the Art Institute of Vancouver and is on the Board of Directors of the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association.
Bev Ohashi (Past President)
Kenichiro (Ken) Noma is a Sansei, born in Tokyo and raised in Kagoshima City prior to immigrating to Canada in 1959. He has extensive experience gained from his years of service to the Japanese Canadian community. Ken is a founding member of the Annex Seniors Drop-in Centre and Greater Toronto Chapter of the NAJC. He has been a member of the National Association of Japanese Canadians since 1976 and completed his four-year term as National President in 2014. He is currently serving as Executive Director of the NAJC.
Until his retirement in 2006, he was a high school teacher of social sciences at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute (Toronto) and his commitment to anti-racist education was the basis for his organization of student and teacher conferences around the Japanese Canadian incarceration and redress. As Pacific Rim Consultant for the East York Board of Education (now TDSB) from 1990 to 1995, he introduced Japanese credit courses (business, language, geography and history) into the curriculum; developed resources; organized conferences; established active student and teacher exchange programs with Asian schools.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Anthropology from McMaster University, a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education from the University of Toronto. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Maria Karina Uehara has a Bachelor of Education with a specialization in School Administration and Management. She worked in schools for 18 years as a high school teacher, administrator’s assistant and coordinator in Argentina. Karina arrived to Canada in 2004 and obtained the Permanent Teacher Certification from the province. She taught Math in the Distance Learning Unit of Manitoba Education to high school students. She also got the Certificate in Adult Education and in Emerging Technologies from the University of Manitoba. She worked as a manager in a government-funded program that provided settlement services to newcomers for 11 years. She is a member of the JCAM board, volunteers at the center, and teaches Spanish at the Universite de Saint-Boniface. Karina believes that education can enable people to reach their full potential so they can make meaningful contributions to society.