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LoI Newsletter Fall Winter Dec 2019 print res

Message from Project Director

The end of Landscapes of Injustice is coming into view. We’ve got just over a year left in the official lifetime of the project. Some important activities—including the Canada’s Internment Era Field School and the Broken Promises museum exhibit—will continue after the spring of 2021, but other facets of the project—including our funding for employees—will come to an end. This will mean some goodbyes and many, many thanks. But it is not yet time for all that. Instead, while we still have some time to do so together, we might ask, what is next?

Some projects have obvious next steps, natural second acts. A project to improve services to refugees in British Columbia, for example, might be followed by a similar program in Ontario. A theoretical project—on, say, ecological planning—could be followed by one that implements its findings in practice. But Landscapes of Injustice has not been one of those. We’ve done both research and implementation. We’ve been national from the start. There may be next steps, but they will grow from the same kind of creative partnership that created Landscapes of Injustice from the start. There is no preordained path.

I’ve often been asked how Landscapes of Injustice started in the first place. Actually, the project’s origins are difficult to pinpoint. There wasn’t so much a single moment at which it began, but rather many moments in which it continued forward. Conversations started and had an energy behind them. People and institutions found that they shared questions and passions. A momentum emerged, and there was never a good reason to stop (whereas there were many good reasons to carry on). Landscapes of Injustice was created by partnership and it has only ever existed as a partnership.

For most of us, of course, the work won’t end. The Nikkei National Museum will continue to be a hub for producing and exhibiting the history and culture of Japanese Canadians. The Canadian Museum of Immigration will keep telling the story of multicultural Canada. I’ll keep doing my historian thing. And so on. The question is not whether the work will continue, but rather whether we will continue to do work together.

 

The truth is, I’m not sure what’s next. But I’m delighted at everything we’ll see to fruition in the coming year, very much looking forward to thanking many people at its end, and still curious to see what, in the months ahead, might still emerge.

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