Honouring Our People: Breaking the Silence

Honouring Our People: Breaking the SilenceStories of those those who lived through this seminal time in the history of the Japanese Canadian community.

On three days in September 2009, families, friends, and survivors came together for the Honouring Our People: Stories of the Internment conference in Burnaby, BC. The conference paid tribute to the Japanese Canadians who experienced racism, alienation, betrayal, restrictions, uprooting and loss during and after WWII.   The Canadian-born nisei (second generation Japanese Canadians) spoke openly about the experience of being labelled ‘enemy aliens’ and exiled from their homes on the west coast. Many sansei (third generation Japanese Canadians) grew up ignorant of the catastrophic events that had shaped their parents’ lives. At the conference, as refected in a new book, Honouring Our People: Breaking the Silence,  the nisei break the silence on their own terms, affording us the texture of the personal, with intimate glimpses into lives lived in adversity, but infused with courage and the will to survive. The resilience and perseverance shown by Japanese Canadians who not only endured, but often prospered after the war, laid the foundation for the comunity we enjoy today This 260-page illustrated book collects 52 stories from the conference, creating the opportunity for dialogue and learning through the first-hand experiences of those who lived through this seminal time in the history of the Japanese Canadian community. Available at Nikkei Centre in the NNMCC museum shop. $24.95