President’s Message, March 2010

In late January, 2010, I attended the round table discussion in Winnipeg, hosted by the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR), inviting the public, to “help write the story of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights”. There were many familiar faces in the crowd–human rights activists, faith-based organizations, ethnic groups, special interest groups, etc. Everyone had a story to tell and a voice to shape the content of the museum. Diverse opinions were expressed about a myriad of topics that define the field of human rights. One common thread wove through the discussions and that was that the exhibits would always be evolving. Participants added that the museum should not just be about the past, but about the present and the future. Participants liked the idea that the exhibits would be interactive and that student would benefit from this state of the art technology.

The CMHR is encouraging individuals, groups, organizations to submit written stories about their history regarding human rights. The NAJC will undertake such a proposal as it is crucial that our history be told accurately. As mentioned in last month’s article, an Ad Hoc committee of the NAJC, is currently examining the way our history is recorded and presented to the public. The NEB and the HRC are all part of this important work.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has recently opened its office in Winnipeg. The NAJC is committed to supporting the TRC in its mission to increase greater understanding between the Aboriginal peoples and the peoples of Canada, through the story-telling of survivors of the Residential School system. The first national hearing of the TRC will be held in mid June/2010, in Winnipeg. There will be 6 other national hearings across Canada, as well as numerous community gatherings that will provide the Canadian public to attend and to listen. The NAJC will be having an election this year, at the AGM, in October 16-17, 2010 in Ottawa, ON.

We thank the Ottawa Japanese Community Association for hosting the AGM. I would like to ask the membership to consider nominating community members to the Board, as well as the Endowment Committee. I would also welcome any members who would like to serve on any of the standing committees of the NAJC. Please contact us at: [email protected] Thanks to all the membership organizations that submitted applications to the Community Development Pilot Project. Just a reminder that the deadline for applications to the Endowment Fund is March 31, 2010.

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