Why JC History Matters

The catastrophic effects of internment, dispossession and dispersal are, I think, no more than uncomfortable truths to many Sanseis. I truly believe that those who suffered, although many have already passed away, would want their stories told and for society to know what the Canadian government did to some of its own citizens. That part of history certainly wasn’t taught to me in high school here in Vancouver. To acknowledge that history and not let what happened to the JC community be forgotten is to honour all who suffered and sacrificed. It says to them, “You mattered.” Brian Mulroney’s 1988 apology and the awarding of a token $21,000 to individual JCs, along with money set aside for community funds, do not equate to absolution (despite what some people might want to believe). The government did such a good job of trying to destroy the Japanese Canadian community that if JC history is forgotten, then it will have succeeded.

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