Submitted by the Regina Japanese Canadian Club
The Regina Japanese Canadian Club Inc. in Regina, Saskatchewan has been working to bring the “A Call for Justice: Fighting for Japanese Canadian Redress (1977-1988)”exhibit to Saskatchewan. The exhibit was developed by the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in British Columbia; and Regina will be the first community to host it as it travels across Canada.
They have partnered with the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan to fill an opening in their feature exhibit gallery from mid-September to December. They are a small non-profit organization and are actively searching for additional funding to help cover a portion of the administrative, transport, and promotional costs associated with hosting the exhibit and have begun a crowd funding campaign to collect donations for this event. They would appreciate any contribution amount and also helping get the word out by sharing this campaign amongst your own circle of friends:
Information about the exhibit and donating can be found on this link.
“The historical wrongs committed against Japanese Canadians & Americans during WWII affected many peoples’ lives across North America. We invite you to join us in honoring the determination of Japanese Canadians who, despite great stress and hardship, retained their commitment and loyalty to Canada. It is our hope that this story will remain for future generations, a prime example of one community’s struggle to overcome the devastating effects of racism, to affirm the rights of all individuals in a democracy, and to actually strengthen the democratic system.”
Regina Japanese Canadian Club Inc.
From an email exchange with RJCC President Andre Boutin-Maloney, here is some interesting background about their club.
“We are a pretty small community here in Regina (about 50 families) and this is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this in our club. Our community has grown a lot with the addition of new first generation mixed families. It seemed that most of the time we are attempting to replicate or share Japanese culture as it would have been experienced in Japan. When this opportunity presented itself, we saw it as a chance to share the story of our 2nd and 3rd generation Japanese Canadian families with our recent immigrants.
It has been an interesting and telling learning experience with the mix of responses we have received from our own membership. I definitely came to understand “Shigata ga nai” (it can’t be helped) in the stories that internees shared (or were reluctant to share), the differences in the stories of those interned as children and later realization as an adult of what happened, the feeling of Japanese Canadians living outside the exclusion zone here in Saskatchewan at the time who are reluctant to talk about this because “That wasn’t us… We didn’t get our property taken or get interned, we just had to deal with racism.,” just how far reaching the effect of internment was, and how people I have known for years are sharing their connection to internment.
Our club has existed in a Church basement since the 1920s. The last couple years we have started getting involved and forming connections with the NAJC, and other Japanese community associations across Canada.