Saturday, 8 September 2012

Speaker Program: Grace Eiko Thomson on "Democracy Betrayed (1942-1949) and the Legacy of Redress (1988)" - Friday September 28 (12-1pm) at UBC Robson Square

Mokuyokai is pleased to introduce Grace Eiko Thomson, an independent curator, educator, and cultural historian, as the speaker for the upcoming Speakers Program "Democracy Betrayed (1942-1949) and the Legacy of Redress (1988)" on Friday September 28.

Grace Eiko Thomson will discuss on the topic of Japanese Canadian internment. The Japanese Canadian internment is more than often spoken of as a Canadian wartime experience but the incarceration of Canadians of Japanese origin lasted into 1949, four years after the end of the Japanese war, with the Government of Canada having to pass the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act in 1945 to continue the repression against Japanese Canadians begun with the invocation of The War Measures Act of 1914 in 1942.
Specifically, Grace Eiko Thomson will speak to (1) the Japanese Canadian families' experiences as produced by racist politicians (failure of the law to protect civil rights) long before 1942, (2) the Redress Acknowledgement as requiring all Canadians of Japanese origin to feel a special responsibility not only to tell these stories to all Canadians of the importance, as well, the fragility, of our democratic ideals, and (3) to practice vigilance that the stories are properly represented without misinterpretations.

Speaker: Grace Eiko Thomson, independent curator, educator, and cultural historian
Topic: "Democracy Betrayed (1942-1949) and the Legacy of Redress (1988)"
Date: Friday September 28, 2012
Time: 12:00 - 1:00pm
Location: Room C.1400, Plaza Level, UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
We wish to acknowledge with thanks the generous support of UBC Continuing Studies
Costs: Free for members of Mokuyokai and Canada-Japan Society; $5 for guests and future members
RSVP: by September 26 to Emily Wu by email at: speaker[at] [at]=@

Coffee and water will be provided. You are welcome to bring your own lunch!

About Grace Eiko Thomson
Grace Eiko Thomson is an independent curator, educator, and cultural historian. She spent her earliest childhood in Vancouver when, in 1942, she and her family and her ethnic community were interned by the Government of Canada in the interior of BC. With the Government's subsequent dispersal policy, her family relocated to rural Manitoba in 1945, and after 1949 when all restrictions of movement were lifted, they settled in the City of Winnipeg.

Grace Eiko Thomson received a BFA (Hons.) degree in Studio Art and Western Art History from University of Manitoba, graduate studies in Asian Art History at UBC, and Masters in Social History of Art from University of Leeds, U.K.. She is the former Director Curator of the Japanese Canadian National Museum (1999-2002), and has worked over twenty years curating exhibitions of contemporary art dealing particularly with ethnic/cultural issues. She served on the Executive Board of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (2004-2010), working with committees and Board members on various Japanese Canadian and Human Rights issues, in particular, chairing an ad hoc committee producing Submission to the Canadian Government on the Misrepresentation of Japanese Canadians and Their History.