President’s Report – Bev Ohashi

National Executive BoardHaving a comprehensive strategic and tactical plan shared with its membership has provided a strong position for NEB to accomplish action steps by the directors, executive director, and national administrator. The following updates from NEB directors are evidence of the work that have been accomplished. Since 2014, NEB was focused on being action oriented and addressing the needs of its membership.

By organizing National Council meetings throughout 2015-16, communication improved between NEB and its membership. The teleconferences gave representatives opportunity to provide feedback, participate in 4 Community Forums organized by Executive Director Ken Noma as well as moving forward with the Community Renewal Fund for member organizations to apply as early as this Spring 2016. To keep community members informed, regular communication was also established through the NAJC website and e-news maintained by the National Office.

We hope to see you at the 2016 AGM and the National Conference in Calgary, Alberta on September 8 to 11th where further dialogue and discussions will continue for the future of NAJC.

Lillian Nakamura Maguire, Chair

Over the last year the Constitution and Resolutions Committee with members Steve Seller from Lakehead JC Association, Morgan Elander, Kamloops JC Association and Lillian Nakamura Maguire, NAJC director reviewed the Bylaws for further changes.

The issue of the length of term of NAJC committee members was reviewed. The Committee recommended that the terms should remain as is and that this be highlighted for feedback from the membership at the AGM. The next Constitution & Resolutions Committee will take this under consideration for the next year.

The final Bylaw amendments were moved by Lakehead JC Association and seconded by Kamloops JC Association and these were forwarded to the NAJC office on May 17, 2016 for distribution to the membership. To date, no further motions have come forward for review by the Committee.

Heritage Committee
Chair, Lisa Uyeda

The Heritage Committee and the Nikkei National Museum have partnered to publicly offer a series of online webinars with free registration. The first webinar was held on Wednesday, May 18th and featured an introduction to the Nikkei National Museum’s online resources. More webinars will be scheduled in the summer months and will be led by the Nikkei National

Museum’s Education Coordinator, Karah Goshinmon, and the Museum Intern, Carolyn Nakagawa. Webinar ideas and suggestions are welcome, please contact Lisa Uyeda.

HELP !! The NAJC Heritage Committee is seeking copies of Yon Shimizu’s publication: The Exiles, an Archival History of the World War II Japanese Road Camps in British Columbia and Ontario. Yon’s extensive research within his publication is an incredibly rich resource for the Heritage Committee’s current exploration into the history of British Columbia’s road camps. Paired with photographs and oral histories from various archives and families, the Heritage Committee has begun drafting the new signage. If you have information about the road camps and/or a copy of the publication and are interested in donating it or lending it please contact Lisa at

National Association of Japanese Canadians Heritage Committee and Nikkei National Museum co-present
Online webinar: (What is) a short intro to Japanese Canadian history?
Thursday, July 21, 2016
5-6pm PST | 8-9pm EST
Presenter: Carolyn Nakagawa
Host: National Association of Japanese Canadians Heritage Committee
Platform: Webex (online)

How do you begin a conversation about Japanese Canadian history with a new acquaintance or member of the public? What language should we use to explain events variously described as evacuation, internment, uprooting, forced removal, and incarceration? When speaking to someone with no prior knowledge, what is essential to explain? Join us for a discussion of how to effectively communicate the significance of Japanese Canadian history to the general public, using the NNMCC’s introductory pamphlet as an open case study. Registration is required: RSVP to by Monday, July 18.

Young Leaders Committee
Chair: Lisa Schoenhofer

In August of 2015, we saw another successful edition of the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders Conference (JCYLC) that took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba. With a focus on human rights, attendees engaged in meaningful discussions, listened to talks from pioneers of our community, and saw different perspectives with a cross cultural panel discussion. Attendees also visited the new and impressive Canadian Museum for Human Rights with a guided tour. Many youth initiatives across Canada were catalyzed by the conference, including young JC representation on community boards across Canada, participation in festivals, and writers groups sharing ideas and stories in human rights, identity, and heritage. The Young Leaders Committee also launched the Young Leaders Fund, to provide accessible funding to young people and their projects as well as facilitate action following the JCYLC.

The Young Leaders Committee welcomed two new members, Kiyomi Planidin and Yoshiko Planidin from Calgary, Alberta. They have been and will be instrumental in this year’s JCYLC taking place in Calgary, Alberta from September 9 to 11, 2016. If you or someone you know would like to get involved in the conference, please check out our website at

Current committee members include: Alex Murata and Angela Kruger from Vancouver, Kiyomi Planidin and Yoshiko Planidin from Calgary, MacKenzie Sato from Halifax (formally Winnipeg), Jessica Whitehead and Ren Ito from Toronto, and Bryan Tomlinson and Lisa Schoenhofer (chair) from Ottawa. The Young Leaders Committee and the NAJC are committed to supporting young JCs and their initiatives to sustain and grow JC communities across Canada.

Membership Committee
Chair: Valerie Hoshizaki Nordin

The membership of the NEB is generally made up of the local NAJC chapters in cities across the country plus a few other major Japanese Canadian organizations. The membership committee continues to look at expanding our numbers. Along with that comes direction from the National Council. Questions such as how do we attract new immigrants and young people and what is the role of Hapa and Non Japanese in our organization need to be discussed. This will assist the committee to develop and lay out a plan of action.

NEB continues to encourage our supporting members to become full members, as well as approach possible new candidates for membership. The Committee members are Vivian Ryngestad (Vancouver) and Tracey Suzuki (Winnipeg).

We have suggested looking at creating a video tracing our history as well looking towards our future. This can be used in many areas of promotion as well as informative.

We will be at the AGM/Conference in Calgary in September 2016 to listen and learn.

Community Development Committee
Chair: Susan Matsumoto

The CD Committee is responsible for providing direction to the National Executive Board on the needs of the Japanese Canadian community and to address areas as: seniors, Ijusha, youth and the arts. The annual disbursement of monies goes directly to the membership through an application process. As with last year, the Committee has decided to allow the applicants to apply for funding based on their tactical plans for the coming year. The deadline for the 2016-2017 year is June 27th.

Human Rights Committee
Co-chairs: Lorene Oikawa and Jennifer Matsunaga

The Committee is working closely with the Calgary AGM/Conference Committee to present a workshop on human rights. As 2017 is the 75th anniversary of the incarceration of our community, we will begin exploring ways to commemorate this important milestone and to ensure that such events will not be repeated again in this country.

Members were busy in taking part in events at the local level during Asian Heritage Month through participation in activities as well as distributing copies of various books on Japanese Canadian history.

As the Canadian Race Relations Foundation was created as a lasting legacy of the Redress Settlement, our Committee will be involved in the promotion of this important organization.

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