President’s Message

January 26, 2013 at 7:27 am

On behalf of the Board of Directors of our Chapter, I wish you best wishes in the New Year.  We look forward to presenting new programs of relevance to Japanese Canadians and our supporters.

We Cannot Be Idle Any More!
A grassroots movement called ‘Idle No More’ started by native and non-native women several weeks ago has now spread across Canada. The movement has been led spiritually by Chief of the Attawapiskat Tribe, Theresa Spence who has been on a hunger strike on Victoria Island in the Ottawa River for several weeks. Chief Spence began the hunger strike to bring attention to the poverty and housing crisis on her Northern Ontario Attawapiskat First Nations Reserve and the lack of progress with the Government of Canada. In addition, the Assembly of First Nations, led by National Chief Shaun A-in-Chut  Atleo, is requesting a meeting with the Prime Minister and the Governor General to discuss the ramifications of Bill C-45 which directly alters the Indian Act.

I believe that it is important for all Canadians to voice their support of the Assembly of First Nations and to encourage the Government of Canada to dialogue in good faith and honour the treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. It is time for the Government to show enlightened leadership as it did on September 22, 1988 when it signed the Redress Settlement with Japanese Canadians. As beneficiaries of the historic settlement, Japanese Canadians cannot sit idly by while our First Nations people and other ethno-cultural organizations appeal for our support and participation. I will monitor this situation and report to you in the next issue of The Bulletin.

Redress Celebrations
As part of the Redress Celebrations, your chapter will be undertaking a series of events in the City.  A mural to commemorate our heritage will be painted at the side of the Sanko Japanese Grocery Store by the Chapter Youth Group and a major conference on Human Rights is being planned for mid-September by the universities of Toronto (OISE) and Ryerson. The 2013 NAJC annual general meeting will be held on the September 21st weekend and a community gala banquet will be held Saturday evening at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre to celebrate the 25th anniversary. We promise to have lots of good food, good entertainment and affordable tickets. Former President Art Miki will be our keynote speaker and he will be joined by Joy Kogawa, Judge Maryka Omatsu and other distinguished guests.  Please mark September 21st in your calendar.

2013 Membership Now Due
If you enjoy receiving your copy of the expanded Bulletin, please renew your 2013 Toronto chapter membership. Please tell your friends about the only bilingual, national Nikkei publication.

Ken Noma, President
Greater Toronto Chapter NAJC