President’s Message, August 2010

The NAJC office has moved again, to a temporary office space  in downtown Winnipeg. This move was prompted by a change of ownership of our previous location of 1 – 222 Osborne St., which resulted in a significant increase of the rent and a long term lease. The next step will be to establish a committee to research the options for a permanent office space. Your comments and suggestions are most welcome. Our new address is : 3rd Floor, 207 Donald Street, Winnipeg, MB. R3C 1M5 effective July 1, 2010.

The Truth & Reconciliation Commission had its first hearing in Winnipeg on June 16-19.  Art Miki, Keiko Miki and I volunteered at the event, which was well attended by many folks from all over the province and country. Although the weather impacted on some of the programming, it was nonetheless a significant occasion for many survivors of the Residential School System to tell their stories, often for the first time to an attentive audience.

The NAJC was involved in conversational cafes with the Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute (CMLI) in May and June. Other communities that participated in a unique leadership program, included the Mennonite Central Committee, delegates from the Caribbean community and the Aboriginal community.  The CMLI is committed to networking with various ethnic communities to assist young people in their communities to develop leadership skills so that they will be contributing to a stronger and more unified country.

The Endowment Fund Committee met in Winnipeg on June 12, to review the SEAD and CD applications from across Canada. The task is always a very difficult one, with so many outstanding applications and limited funds. It has been the EFC’s wish to showcase some of the applicants in the Nikkei Voice and hopefully this can be achieved in the months to come.

The NAJC AGM is being held in Ottawa on October 16-17/2010. This is an election year, so I hope that the membership of the NAJC, will be submitting nominees for the new Board. I will not be seeking re-election as President. I wish to thank everyone for all the support that has been given to me during my term. The NAJC has gone through some challenging times, over the past few years, not the least of which was the economic downturn in 2008. My hope is that the NAJC will move forward into the future, with a strong membership, and contributing in a significant way, to the life and times of all Canadians.  For example, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights is being built in Winnipeg and will be a powerful monument to the rights and freedoms that we, as Canadians, experience in this country. There is still much to be done and the NAJC can add its voice and participation to this historical event.


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