Landscapes Of Injustice – The Community Council
During the Second World War, Canada enacted mass displacement and dispossession of people on racial grounds, a collective moral failure that remains only partially addressed. Japanese Canadians lost their homes, farms, businesses, as well as personal, family, and communal possessions. Landscapes of Injustice is dedicated to recovering and grappling with this difficult past. – from the Landscapes of Injustice home page
Landscapes of Injustice is a seven year research project led by researchers at the University of Victoria in partnership with four other universities, and thirteen community organizations and museums across Canada including the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (Toronto), the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre (Burnaby), The Japanese Language School and Hall (Vancouver) and the National Association of Japanese Canadians.
The project’s first annual Spring Institute was held in 2014. In October 2014 it issued a “Community Council Call for Nomination” encouraging established or emerging leaders from the Japanese Canadian community to apply. Applicants were asked to have a strong understanding and interest in the Japanese Canadian history and be able to provide a national perspective. Nine were chosen in November to be members of the Community Council in an advisory and guidance capacity ensuring that the project remained accountable to the Japanese Canadian community’s concerns.
Sally Ito (Winnipeg)
Art Miki (Winnipeg)
Jennifer Matsunaga (Ottawa)
Ken Noma (Toronto)
Eiko Eby (Nanaimo)
Susanne Tabata (Vancouver)
Mary Kitagawa (Tsawwassen)
Tosh Kitagawa (Tsawwassen)
Vivian Rygnestad (Richmond)
Eight Community Council members participated in the second Spring Institute in Victoria from April 27 – 29, 2015. Jeffrey Masuda joined our group as a liaison from the project Advisory Board and as our facilitator. We listened to presentations from and joined in discussions with each of the six research groups: Land Title and Government Records, Oral History, Community Records and Directories, Legal History, Historical GIS, and Knowledge Mobilization.
The Community Council is thankful to Project Director Jordan Stanger-Ross and his team for the creation and support of the Council. We feel that we were taken seriously and learned from the insights of individuals, project leaders, and research teams. Our Council learned from each other as we discussed and debated. During the Institute we were able to voice our perspectives and concerns to all members of the Landscapes of Injustice team.
While acknowledging the academic freedom and integrity of the researchers, the Council remains committed to using our influence in ensuring that “the voice” of the Japanese Canadian community is not overlooked. We welcome your feedback and will continue to communicate with you. The Council believes strongly that the history, and the accomplishments of the Japanese Canadian community must be acknowledged, used, and respected for the internment is “our story” – its past, its present, and its future.