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Roy Akira Miki was born October 10, 1942 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His family had been relocated to a sugar beet farm in Manitoba from Haney, B.C. earlier that year. Miki received a B.A. from the University of Manitoba in 1964, and then continued on to do graduate work at the University of Toronto before completing an M.A. at Simon Fraser University (1969), and a PhD. at the University of British Columbia (1980). In 1967, Miki married his wife Slavia (nee Knysh) and the couple had two children, Waylen and Elisse. While earning his degrees, Miki held teaching and teaching assistant positions at various high schools and universities. In 1975, Miki was hired as a sessional lecturer at SFU; he continued as a lecturer and instructor at the university until he completed his doctoral degree in 1980, and was hired as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1992, and became a full professor in 1993. Miki has enjoyed success as a writer, poet, and editor. He was editor of the journals Line (1983-1989) and West Coast Line: Contemporary Writing and Criticism (1990-1999). Some of his major works include Tracing the Paths. Reading & Writing The Martyrology (editor, 1988), A Record of Writing: An Annotated and illustrated Bibliography of George Bowering (1990), for which he won the 1991 Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Criticism, and Saving Face: Selected Poems 1978-1988 (1991). The many awards, grants, and honours Miki has received for his literary achievements include The Association of Asian American Studies 1997 Poetry Award for his work as editor of the book Pacific Windows: The Collected Poetry of Roy K Kiyooka, and, most recently, the 2002 Governor General’s award for Poetry. Miki received the award in recognition of Surrender, a work concerning the internment of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s. Miki has also been recognized for his efforts on behalf of the Japanese Canadian Redress movement and human rights in general. He was a researcher, writer, activist, and negotiator for the movement, serving as Chair of the Vancouver Japanese Canadian Redress Committee, the National Redress Co-ordinator, and a negotiator for the National Association of Japanese Canadians in the 1980s. This earned him, among other honours, a President’s Award from Simon Fraser University, 1989, and the Renata Shearer Human Rights Award, from the United Nations Association & BC Human Rights Coalition. Miki has participated in many conferences and events dealing with multiculturalism and ethnicity, and has written and edited several books about Japanese Canadian history.
These include Justice in Our Time: The Japanese Canadian Redress Settlement (co author, 1991), and This Is My Own. Letters to Wes and Other Writings on Japanese Canadians by Muriel Kitagawa (editor, 1985).