President’s Message, January 2010

The New Year has started with renewed hope and desire for a more peaceful world. It is mid January and all eyes are focused on the tragedy in Haiti. The devastation and violence that has erupted in that part of the world is unfathomable. Canadians, in their inimitable fashion have opened their hearts and wallets to the plight of the Haitian peoples. We are part of a global community and need to always be reminded of our moral obligation to assist those less fortunate not only at home but in other parts of the world.

The National Executive Board (NEB) met in Winnipeg on January 16-17, 2010, to establish priorities for this year, having reviewed the responses to questionnaires that were sent to the membership. An on-going concern for many member organizations is finding an effective and efficient method to record and preserve the history of Japanese Canadians in their community. The Heritage Task Force has been given the job of assisting communities with this important undertaking. One of the issues that was discussed during the NEB meeting was the Community Development Pilot Project Program, which invites membership organizations to submit a proposal that addresses a community need. The deadline for this funding is February 1, 2010. Please consider applying for this program.

The NAJC  Human Rights Committee has been focused on this Government’s funding cuts to various groups and organizations, such as arts and culture groups, women’s rights groups, children’s welfare groups, immigrants and social justice groups, Canadian Arab Federation, etc.  KAIROS is one such group whose funding has been significantly cut and that the HRC has recently researched.  KAIROS is a “faith-based ecumenical organization… that effects social change through advocacy, education and research” and works in Canada as well as internationally. The NAJC has written to the Government requesting that their funding be restored.

An Ad Hoc Committee was struck at the NEB meeting that will examine how our history is presented to the public, in the way of publications, exhibits, museums, etc. Recently, concerns have been raised about information regarding the history of Japanese Canadians during WWII, in the Discover Canada booklet, which is a study guide for new immigrants, regarding the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. The NAJC, in the past,  has also submitted a number of concerns regarding the exhibit at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. The Canadian Museum of Human Rights is conducting round table discussions across Canada, inviting Canadians for their input regarding the content of the museum.  Please consider attending and participating in these discussions. For more information, please visit their website: .

The NAJC welcomes comments, suggestions, questions from the readership. Contact us at

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