President’s Message, April 2009

The NAJC is moving on April 15, 2009, as a result of a settlement between the NAJC and Cityscape Residence Corporation (owners of 404 Webb Place). We are relocating to 1 – 222 Osborne St. Wpg. MB. For those of you who have been to Winnipeg, our office is in Osborne Village and is at a (in)famous corner, known as “Confusion Corner”.  We have signed a lease for six months, which will allow us to assess our needs and determine a long term plan for the NAJC office.

The Endowment Committee is meeting in Winnipeg on April 18 and will be the first committee to use our new space. We welcome Jeff Chiba Stearns and Karlau Uyeda to our committee of Deanna Oye, Sally Ito and myself. The Endowment Funds were created following the completed work of the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation. There was a wish to continue a legacy of the NAJC Redress Campaign, by providing the means for individuals, groups and organizations to contribute to the life and spirit of our communities. The Endowment Committee is given the task of reviewing applicants in two categories—Sports, Education, Arts Development (SEAD) and Cultural Development (CD). It is most gratifying to see the breadth of talent and creativity across the country. Please check out our website for more information and submit your ideas.

A few months ago, I mentioned that Roy Inouye, a Past President of the NAJC, reminded me of the 60th Anniversary of the day that Japanese Canadians were given full citizenship rights (April 1, 1949). This prompted me to write a letter to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada. The right to vote is a defining factor in a democratic society and as such, carries responsibilities for each of us to uphold.

The National Executive Board will be meeting in Winnipeg, on April 25-26. Given the current economic climate, the NEB is very conscious of the impact that this may have on our programs and activities in the future. We welcome any ideas, comments, suggestions from our communities. The members of the NEB play a liaison role in their areas, assisting and responding to any inquiries. Please contact the following NEB member in the area noted, if you have any concerns. The contact information for the NEB member can be obtained by contacting the National office, at 204-943-2910 or at
Terumi Kuwada    Winnipeg
Masa Kagami    Vernon, Kamloops
Alan Tanaka    Calgary
Angela Foreman    Ottawa
Takashi Ohki    Edmonton, Lethbridge
Pamela Sugiman    Toronto, Hamilton
Steve Seller    Thunder Bay
Grace Thomson    Vancouver

Spring has arrived! Enjoy!

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