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The Japanese Canadian history web site is a companion to resource books developed with a Networks Grant from the Ministry of Education on the internment of Japanese Canadians from 1942 to 1949 and the attainment of redress in 1988. “Internment and Redress: The Story of Japanese Canadians” is a resource guide for teachers of grade 5 Social Studies, and “Internment and Redress: The Japanese Canadian Experience" is a resource guide for Social Studies 11 teachers. The website was developed to provide organizational support to social studies teachers and students in the K-12 school system in British Columbia.

Specifically, the website provides:

  1. information on Japanese Canadian history,
  2. student activities,
  3. samples of student work,
  4. samples of lessons for SS 5 and SS11,
  5. some information on methodology and
  6. a forum for exchanging information amongst educators.

Why Teach About the Internment of Japanese Canadians?

The internment of Japanese Canadians is a black mark on the history of a nation that prides itself on its ethnic diversity, its tolerance and its multicultural policies. A study of the internment of Japanese Canadians raises many questions about human nature, racism, discrimination, social responsibility and government accountability. Our democratic institutions are not infallible, nor are they easily sustained. Silence and indifference are the enemies of a healthy working democracy. Through the study of the internment, students will come to understand that civil liberties can only be protected in a society that is open, and in a democracy where participation is expected.

The internment of Japanese Canadians was not an accident or a mere coincidence of wartime decisions made under duress or necessity. Life-altering decisions were made with little regard to the guilt or innocence of the victims. The individuals who made these decisions were unable or unwilling to assess the issue without bias or prejudice. Many Canadians reacted with indifference and did little to oppose the government.

Acknowledgements

The two guides were developed with a Networks Grant from the Ministry of Education. Many dedicated people from the education and Japanese Canadian communities contributed to its creation.

Developers:

  • Masako Fukawa, Project Leader, teacher and administrator
  • Rick Beardsley, School District No. 38 (Richmond)
  • Bruce Kiloh, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
  • Greg Miyanaga, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
  • Richard Per, School District No. 41 (Burnaby)
  • Susan Sayuri Nishi, School District No. 38 (Richmond)
  • Patricia Tanaka, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
  • Jane Turner, School District No. 41 (Burnaby)
  • Mike Whittingham, School District No. 38 (Richmond)


Contributors:

  • Stanley Fukawa, Sociologist
  • Keiko Mary Kitagawa, Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association - Human Rights Committee
  • Tosh Kitagawa, Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Associatlon - Human Rights Committee

Technical Support:

  • Kamiya Design
  • Ellen Kurz
  • Mojo Web Design
  • Alison Osborne

Social Studies 5 Guide Field Tested By:

  • Greg Miyanaga, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
  • Stephanie Potvin, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
  • Andrea Samail, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
  • Leslie Stoffberg, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

Reviewers:

  • Ted Aoki PhD., Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta
  • Michiko Midge Ayukawa PhD., Historian
  • Rick Beardsley, School District No. 38 (Richmond)
  • Kim Bentley, School District No. 38 (Richmond)
  • Stanley Fukawa, Sociologist
  • Gloria Gustafson, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
  • Bruce Seney, School District No. 38 (Richmond)

The developers would like to acknowledge the support of:

  • Mat Hassen PhD., Assistant Superintendent

Special thanks for their financial contribution goes to:

  • Canadian Race Relations Foundation

Thanks also to:

  • School District No. 38 (Richmond)
  • School District No. 41 (Burnaby)
  • School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
  • Burnaby Teachers' Association
  • The Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association
  • The Japanese Canadian National Museum
  • National Archives
  • National Association of Japanese Canadians
  • University of British Columbia Library, Special Collections
  • Vancouver Public Library