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The Montreal Bulletin Inc.



Between 1982 and 1989, the former Montreal History Committee, led by community pioneers Rei Nakashima and Jackie Stevens, interviewed approximately 40 issei and nisei seniors from the Montreal Japanese Canadian community. The interviews were recorded on audio cassette tapes and a number were transcribed for back-up and archiving. This collection of interviews is currently stored at the McGill University Library Archives where they were transferred after the History Committee disbanded in around 2005. So, for more than 30 years, there has been no community effort to capture and preserve the memories of our senior community members, in particular those who were forcibly uprooted and displaced by the actions of the British Columbia government in the early 1940s.

Especially given the current context we find ourselves living in, where basic truths are being challenged, this project aims to honour the sacrifices and challenges faced by the survivors in our community as well as permanently preserve their experiences in video and/or audio format through a series of interviews.

Of the approximately 70 survivors identified during our outreach efforts for the JCSHWF, in the 18-month period between January 2022 and June 2023, we plan to undertake a pilot project whereby we would conduct 4-5 interviews consisting of 8-10 survivors.

We have already contacted and spoken with Lisa Uyeda (Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre) and Su Yen Chong (Sedai oral history project manager, Toronto JCCC) for guidance on how to properly and ethically conduct such an oral history project and we will abide by their best practice rules to ensure ethical conduct, privacy, and to be prepared for contingencies in the event that the retelling of these experiences upset the interviewees.

The main outcome of each interview is to present each interviewee with a recording that they can keep as a memento for themselves and their family. If enough interviewees wish to share their recordings with the Montreal Japanese Canadian community and the larger public, we will find a way such that the interviews will serve as an educational tool to our community and general public. If this is the case and desire of the interviewees, we will also seek to translate the interview transcripts into Japanese and French in order that their experiences be understood by the Japanese and French native speakers in our community.

  • Listing ID: 1548
  • Primary Applicant: The Montreal Bulletin Inc.
  • Event or Completion Date: Saturday, December 31, 2022
  • Approved Amount: $4,200
  • Location: Montreal, QC