Fonds RBSC-ARC-1791 - National Association of Japanese Canadians fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

National Association of Japanese Canadians fonds

General material designation

  • Multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.

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  • 1940-2005, predominant 1972-2005 (Creation)
    National Association of Japanese Canadians

Physical description area

Physical description

7 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

The National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC), formerly known as the National Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association (NJCCA) before it officially became the NAJC in April 1980, was established in 1947 by Roger Obata, along with nisei leaders from across Canada, at a conference held in Toronto. Since its establishment, the association’s primary activities have centred on strengthening the Japanese Canadian community and on advocating for the equality of human rights for all persons, especially the rights of racial and ethnic minorities. It is the only organization that provides leadership for the Japanese Canadian community in Canada at the national level and represents a number of chapters across the country. The NAJC was responsible for the Japanese Canadian Redress Movement beginning in the 1980s whereby justice was sought for the acts of discrimination committed against Japanese Canadians during and after the Second World War (1942 – 1949) by the government of Canada’s actions and policies. These injustices included internment, deportation, labour on the sugar beet farms in Alberta and Manitoba, the confiscation of property, and the selling of that property without consent. As part of the NAJC’s course of action during the Redress Movement, the association aimed to maintain good communication by connecting Japanese Canadians in different parts of Canada, to raise public awareness and involvement in the redress campaign, to forge alliances with different groups, and to provide any useful connections that would be used in negotiation tactics. The Redress Movement ultimately resulted in the signing of the Redress Settlement on September 22, 1988 by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, representing the Canadian Federal Government, and Art (Arthur) Miki, the NAJC President at the time. Deemed a major achievement for the NAJC, the settlement officially acknowledged, apologized, and provided monetary compensation for the Japanese Canadian community.

Prior to reaching this settlement, however, some internal divisions emerged in 1983 and 1984 between the NAJC and the National Redress Committee (NRC), which had been created in 1980 to develop policies and to communicate with the Japanese American community in the United States who were also undertaking a campaign for redress. Causes for tension centered on the issue of compensation policies, procedures, and organizational primacy. The conflict between the NAJC and the NRC came to a close in 1984 when the NRC was dissolved and replaced by a National Council of Japanese Canadian organizations, which is made up of representatives from member organizations and supporting member organizations.

To date, the National Council remains the governing body of the NAJC and is responsible for passing the budget and financial statements presented by the Treasurer at the Annual General Meetings (AGM), voting to elect Board members who form the National Executive Board, and holding quarterly meetings or as otherwise needed. The NAJC also includes a number of committees: the Endowment Fund Committee, the Human Rights Committee, the Arts Culture and Education Committee (ACE), the Heritage Committee, the Constitutions and Resolution Committee, the Young Leaders Committee, the Community Development Committee, the Membership Committee, and the Nominations Committee.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of materials documenting the activities of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) during four general time periods: the pre-redress period (including records by the National Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association before it became the NAJC), the birth and development of the redress movement in the 1980s, the implementation of redress following the September 1988 settlement (1988 – 1992), and the post-implementation period (1993-present). The fonds has been arranged in the following seven series: NAJC Presidents, NAJC Business, Conferences and Other Events, Finance, Communications, Community Development, and Reference Material.

Notes area

Physical condition

Staples and metal clips have been used for a lot of the textual records in the fonds. Given the physical extent of the fonds, only the staples and metal clips that were causing significant rusting were removed for preservation reasons.

Immediate source of acquisition

Donation received on 7 February 2018.


Prior to donation, the materials were stored in boxes in a rented storage area/unit outside the NAJC office. Due to the difficulty of finding documents when requested, the records were transferred to the Manitoba Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre where an Organizational Team (made up of Art Miki, Roy Miki, Mona Oikawa, and Kristen McAllister) took on the task of cataloguing the records and implementing a preliminary system of organization. The Organizational Team appears to have organized the records into four periods of time: “Pre-Redress”, “Redress, 1984-1988”, “Implementation, 1988-1992”, and “Post-Implementation 1993-present.” The records have been intellectually rearranged based on a functional analysis to better reflect the activities of the NAJC. The physical order of the records that was received at the time of donation has been maintained as much as possible.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Script of material

Language and script note

Predominate English.

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Some materials in this fonds is subject to access restrictions - see archivist for details.

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Further accruals are expected.

Physical description

ca. 211 photographs
47 audio cassette tapes
3 pins
2 stamps

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Arrangement and description created by Joanna (Asia) Stadnik from April - June 2018.

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