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Landscapes of Injustice is currently in the fourth year of a seven-year project led by researchers at the University of Victoria in partnership with 15 other institutions including specialists drawn from universities, primary and secondary schools, archives, community organizations, and museums across the country.

Whereas the uprooting, internment, and deportation of Japanese Canadians have been the focus of scholarly and popular concern, the dispossession of property has received far less attention, particularly outside of the Japanese-Canadian community.  As most Japanese Canadians know, dispossession left former internees without homes to which they could return after restrictions were finally lifted in 1949.  This led to the eradication of historic neighbourhoods and longstanding settlements, thereby transforming individual lives and identities, as well as the broader landscapes of Canada.  This project, funded by a $2.5 million dollar federal grant and by matching funds from participating institutions, will trace the origins of the Canadian policy of forced sales and incarceration, explain the failure of Canadian law to protect citizens, analyze the lasting ramification of this failure, and make these insights available to Canadians.

The first four years of the project comprised a research phase, with a focus on four locations in B.C. (Steveston; Maple Ridge; Salt Spring Island; and Powell Street in Vancouver).  This phase combined traditional archival research with extensive real-estate title searches, oral history interviews, and geo-visual (GIS) mapping.  Phase two (Years 5-7) will involve the creation of the museum exhibit; an educational website; a digital archive of research materials; teaching resources for elementary and secondary school teachers; and additional community outreach activities.

The travelling museum exhibit is expected to kick-off in 2019 at the Nikkei National Museum, where it will be permanently housed at the conclusion of its cross-country tour.  It will include some artifacts, but will primarily showcase the curated collection of research materials including archival photographs with narratives, land deeds, personal statements, and government records (such as lists of liquidated property and household contents), as well as interactive maps.

Call for Nomination:

Landscapes of Injustice has assembled a Community Council consisting of individuals from the Japanese-Canadian community.  These established or emerging leaders have a strong understanding and knowledge of Japanese-Canadian history and are able to provide a community-based national perspective to the Landscapes of Injustice project.  The Committee has been in existence since the first year of the project. For bios of the current members of the Community Council, please see the Landscapes of Injustice website: http://www.landscapesofinjustice.com/community-council/.

We are seeking to fill two positions with candidates from Eastern Canada (east of Winnipeg) to join the current Community Council.

The Council is regularly informed and updated on the progress of the project, including attendance at the annual Spring Institute at the University of Victoria.  The Council’s role is advisory: to be a community sounding board for project leaders, partners, and students; to act as a source of advice and guidance from the wider community of Japanese Canadians, and to ensure that the project is accountable to the Japanese-Canadian community.  The role of the Community Council complements that of project partner organizations with mandates within the Japanese-Canadian community. Such institutional partners within the project include the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, the National Association of Japanese Canadians, the Nikkei National Museum, and the Vancouver Japanese Language School.

The Executive Committee, whose scope and governance has been laid down in agreements among the partners and with the federal granting agency, oversees the budget and project activities that are designed and implemented by the Steering Committee and research clusters. For the Executive Committee, and all members of the project, the perspectives of leaders in Japanese-Canadian communities across the country are vital to ensuring that this project is able to share this chapter of Japanese-Canadian history with national audiences.

Our team shares the conviction that this history still matters.  Every day we see members of our society continue to be unjustly marginalize, differences among us can still seem insurmountable, and future moments of national crisis will inevitably arise.  Canadian society will be better equipped to address these challenges if we continue to engage and to learn from the most difficult aspects of our past.

Please consider submitting a nominee or self-nominate for these positions.  The Council will meet once a year in Victoria in the spring and will communicate electronically regularly throughout the project.

Members have been chosen to maximize as much as possible, a representation of the wider Japanese Canadian community with leaders from education, the arts, business and other sectors as well as seeking equitable gender, geographical, and generational diversity.  The selection process and final decision will be made by the existing Community Council.

Please note that there is no financial compensation for this role, but travel, accommodation, and expenses to attend the Spring Institute will be covered.

Submission of Nomination:

Please complete the Nomination form and submit it to the Community Council Chair:   Vivian Wakabayashi Rygnestad at vrygnestad@gmail.com by February 19, 2018.

For more information about Landscapes of Injustice, visit www.landscapesofinjustice.com or contact Michael Abe, Project Manager at mkabe@uvic.ca



 Nomination form:

 Name of Nominee: _________________________________________________

Email: _______________________________________________________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________

Signature: ___________________________________________________________

Date: _________________________________________________________________

Name of nominator (if applicable): ________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________

Signature: ____________________________________________________________

Date: __________________________________________________________________

Nominee:  Please submit a bio with the following information:

  • why you want to be involved in the Community Council
  • Japanese-Canadian community affiliations and positions held
  • your contributions to the Japanese-Canadian community


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