May 16, 2016, by Sachiko Okuda, member, NAJC Heritage Committee
In late 2015 the NAJC Heritage Committee invited NAJC organizations and other organizations with a heritage or history component to participate in a national survey, the objectives of which were to paint a picture, in broad strokes, of community-based Nikkei heritage initiatives, and to identify heritage-based contacts across Canada. The Heritage Committee has not yet completed its review of the survey results, but in the meantime is pleased to share some of the highlights.
– Book projects remain popular heritage initiatives, with three-quarters of the respondent organizations having produced or funded one or more historical books.
– Oral history projects are also popular, with half of the respondent organizations reporting on past or present initiatives.
– For older oral-history collections, outdated storage media (analog video, cassette tapes, reel-to- reel) creates a barrier to use.
– The Nikkei National Museum has approximately 450 oral-history recordings, most of which have been digitized.
– Few of the respondent organizations actively pursue donations of documents and artifacts, due largely to the lack of centralized, secure, and environmentally controlled storage facilities.
– The Nikkei National Museum and the JCCC Fisher Library do have good-to – excellent storage facilities.
– The Regina JCC has made arrangements with the Saskatchewan Archives for storage and preservation of selected heritage documents.
The Heritage Committee thanks the following respondent organizations:
1. Central Vancouver Island Japanese Canadian Cultural Society (Nanaimo)
2. Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society
3. Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre (Burnaby)
4. Japanese Canadian Association of Yukon (Whitehorse)
5. Calgary Japanese Community Association
6. Edmonton Japanese Community Association
7. Nikkei Cultural Society of Lethbridge and Area
8. Regina Japanese Canadian Club
9. Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba Inc. (Winnipeg)
10. Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (Toronto)
11. Greater Toronto Chapter of the NAJC
12. Ottawa Japanese Community Association