President’s Message, May 2009

Spring has arrived and brings new life and beginnings to all of us. It is a time in most communities that we honour our Seniors, at Keirokai. Without the pioneering efforts, dedication and hard work of our Seniors, our communities would not have benefited from the spirit and life that has been the foundation of everything that we know. A grateful community gives thanks to all Seniors!

Spring can also bring unwelcome events. In Manitoba, we are experiencing a tremendous flooding in many outlying communities along the Red River, including parts of Winnipeg. Mother Nature can have a fierce impact on all of us. Manitobans are well known for their generous spirit and willingness to lend a hand when tragedy strikes. This is seen everyday in the huge outpour of volunteers sandbagging to save people’s homes.

I am reminded of the many volunteers in our communities across the country who give so much of their time and talent for the betterment of our communities. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

The NAJC Human Rights Committee met in Vancouver at the end of March/09. The guest speaker was Ros Salvador, a lawyer that specializes in human rights. Ros provided the committee and the Greater Vancouver Human Rights Committee, with an overview of the Charter of Rights and Freedom, as well as federal and provincial human rights legislation. In speaking about specific issues that affect Canadians, such as Bill C-31 and the matters related to Omar Khadr, Ros added to greater understanding and awareness of these important issues. The NAJC HRC spent the remainder of the workshop discussing priorities for the HRC and developing action plans.  It is the wish of the NAJC HRC to welcome more members across the country to join this important committee of the NAJC. Please consider this opportunity to contribute to the work of the Human Rights Committee. Masa Kagami, Vice President of the NAJC, is the Chair of the Human Rights Committee and can be contacted at

The Endowment Committee met in Winnipeg on April 18, 2009, in the new office space of the NAJC. The task for the committee is always a challenge—to make decisions about so many applications that speak of the talent and creativity amongst us.

The NAJC welcomes comments, suggestions, questions, etc. Please contact us at

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