Redress, Acknowledging Injustice, and the Japanese Canadian Experience

The UBC Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies (ACAM) program is hosting a public event to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Japanese Canadian redress movement. Featuring a conversation with Justice Maryka Omatsu, the first East Asian woman appointed a judge in Canada, and Lisa Uyeda, the Collections Manager at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, and a Director on the National Executive Board of the National Association of Japanese Canadians, this event is built upon the current ACAM 320A: History and Legacies of Japanese Canadian Internment course, taught by Professor John Price and Mary Kitagawa.

This event is a follow-up to the October 10th, 2017 UBC Day of Learning: Envisioning Our Future at the 75th Anniversary of Japanese Canadian Internment.

Light refreshments will be served. For event inquiries or details, please e-mail


Judge Maryka Omatsu

25 years ago, Maryka Omatsu was the first East Asian woman appointed a judge in Canada. Before her appointment, for 16 years, she practised human rights, environmental and criminal law; worked for all levels of Government; taught in Toronto, China and Japan; was the
chair of the Ontario Human Rights Appeals Tribunal; an adjudicator for the Law Society of Upper Canada and a member of the Ontario Fair Tax Commission.

A sansei, Maryka was on the National Association of Japanese Canadians’ strategy and negotiation team that won Redress in 1988 for her community. Her book, Bittersweet Passage documented that history and won the Prime Minister’s Award for Publishing and the Laura Jamieson Prize for the “best feminist book”. Bittersweet Passage was translated into Japanese and published in Japan in 1994.

Most recently during Judge Omatsu’s career she has been awarded: Canadian Race Relations Foundation: Special Advisory Council (2018); National Association of Japanese Canadians Advisory Committee for B.C. Redress (2018) & National Honorary Advisor (2017); Order of Ontario (2015); NAPABA Trail Blazer of the Year (2013); Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers’ Life Time Achievement Award (2010); the Canada Council, Ontario and Toronto Arts Council grants to publish her book; the Department of External Affairs grants to travel to Japan to publicize her book and to give lectures; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002); William Timbers Lecturer Dartmouth College (2002); the Landsdowne Lecturer, Victoria University, B.C. (1995) and life time recognition by her high school, Delta S.S.Wall of Excellence (2008).

Lisa Kiyomi Uyeda

Lisa Uyeda is an archivist and a Nikkei yonsei with deep family roots in the Powell Street area. Born and raised in Toronto, Lisa volunteered and worked at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre where she documented over 100 oral histories, coordinated three conferences, and contributed to the early development of the Moriyama Nikkei Heritage Centre. She holds a Masters Degree in Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia and an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. Dedicated to the archival profession, Lisa worked at the Museum of Anthropology in the Audrey & Harry Hawthorn Library & Archives, BC Hydro Library and Archives, and is currently the Collections Manager at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. In 2018, Lisa became a member of the Landscapes of Injustice Project Steering Committee and co-chair of the Archival Website cluster. Partnered with Stewart Arneil (Head of Research and Development at the Humanities Computing and Media Centre), the Archival Website cluster will amalgamate the data, records, and resources gathered or created by the project so as to foster future scholarly research and provide free access to the Nikkei community and general public. Well connected across the Nikkei community, Lisa serves on a number of volunteer committees that focus on Nikkei history, human rights, and young leadership. She is active with the National Association of Japanese Canadians as a member of the National Executive Board and Chair of the Heritage Committee. Lisa currently resides in Vancouver on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples.


– 4:30pm – Registration & Reception (light refreshments will be served)
– 5:15pm – Opening Remarks
– 5:35pm – Presentations begin
– 6:15pm – Q&A Moderated by Prof. Chris Lee
– 6:55pm – Closing Remarks


Degree of Justice Yearbook – Online Copy (Free Access)

Japanese Canadian Student Tribute Website

A Selected Bibliography on the History and Legacy of Japanese Canadian Internment

Short films

UBC Day of Learning Video Archive


This event is co-sponsored by UBC Community Engagement and St. John’s College.