President’s Message, June 2009

Last month, I reported that Spring has arrived. We are still waiting here in Winnipeg!! The May long weekend is a defining time in Manitoba when everyone anxiously waits, with great anticipation, to open the family cottage or to go camping in the world renowned “Grand Beach”. Who knew that over 15 cm of snow would greet them!!

The NEB met in Winnipeg on April 25-26/09, at the new office space at 1 – 222 Osborne St. The reaction to the new office was most encouraging and positive. The office is situated in an old building that has been converted from apartments to small offices. Lucy Yamashita, National Administrator did an excellent job of organizing the new office to an efficient and inviting work space. The challenges before the NEB continue as we examine ways to honour our mandate and commitment to the membership. It is our plan to assist our communities in undertakings that preserve, maintain and build community development. To this end, we are asking the membership to endorse the creation of a Heritage Committee to act as advisors to local communities and to advocate for accurate representation of the history of Japanese Canadians. In addition to the preservation of the history of Japanese Canadians, the NEB would like to partner with the community organizations in areas of community need.

The NAJC Human Rights Committee welcomes new members across the country, as we continue to address critical issues of human rights. Human Rights is an area that is often controversial and complex to comprehend. We know that the fight to redress wrongdoings is a long and arduous journey. The NAJC has always felt a duty to respond and a responsibility to support individuals, groups and organizations that have experienced similar violations of human rights as our community has felt. We want to remind everyone of the upcoming workshop, “Honouring our Past”, in Vancouver, on September 25-26/09.

The NAJC has raised the issue in the past of having an Executive Director hired for the NAJC. At the last AGM meeting in October/08, in Winnipeg, there was a commitment on the part of the NEB to research this area more fully and report back to the Council at the next AGM in October/09, in Vancouver. This is a work in progress, as we are confronted with challenges of financial restraints and significant factors related to the operations of the NAJC. We will keep you posted.

Please contact your Liaison NEB member in your area to discuss any questions that you may have of the work of the NAJC or contact us through this website.

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