Selection Committee

Nikkei Seniors is pleased to announce that Art Miki and Susan Matsumoto have been added to the Japanese Canadian Survivors Health and Wellness Fund Grants Selection Committee of Ruth Coles, Cathy Makihara and Eiko Eby.  Both Art Miki and Susan Matsumoto are well-respected community members with extensive national experience in their professional work, and in community service. This committee will review and approve the grant applications.

  • Chair, Eiko Eby, JCSHWF Project Manager

  • Cathy Makihara, JCSHWF Steering Committee Chair

  • Ruth Coles, Nikkei Seniors Board Member

  • Art Miki, Japanese Canadian Community Member

  • Susan Matsumoto, Japanese Canadian Community Member

Chair, Eiko Eby, JCSHWF Project Manager

Eiko Eby is a Nikkei Yonsei whose parents were both directly impacted by the BC Government actions by being displaced during the internment of Japanese Canadians in British Columbia. Eiko was on the Board of the Central Vancouver Island Japanese Canadian Cultural Society from 1987 until 2021, serving as President for the past 19 years. She has worked on numerous committees for the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) and was a member of the National Executive Board of the NAJC for four years 2016-2020. In these roles, she has contributed to the groundwork on the NAJC BC Redress initiative. Eiko also served as a member of the Community Council of the University of Victoria-led Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective. Eiko is a retiring professor in the Kinesiology Department at Vancouver Island University. In 2018, Eiko received the Vancouver Island University President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement for her work in the Japanese Canadian community.

Cathy Makihara, JCSHWF Steering Committee Chair

Cathy Makihara has served the seniors of the Japanese Canadian community for 30 years. Since attending Simon Fraser University, she has dedicated her work to serving her community.  Cathy has played an instrumental role in the development of Nikkei Place, a multipurpose complex in Burnaby, BC. As the former Executive Director of the Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society, she helped to create one of the first publicly funded assisted living complex in 2002 and opened the Japanese Canadian community’s independent seniors housing; and operated programs and housing for seniors in need.  In 2017, the Society was a driving force to develop Lively-Lively, a dementia-friendly day program that has expanded to several locations. Her introduction to the Japanese Canadian community began working as a field worker for the Japanese Canadian Redress Settlement where she developed a passion for working on community issues and needs.

Ruth Coles, Nikkei Seniors Board President

Ruth Coles is currently the Board President of the Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society (NSHCHS). For over 35 years, she has been active with the NSHCHS as Vice President of the Board and President since 2010. She was educated at UBC and the University of Toronto where she received her Master of Social Work degree. Ruth worked in the healthcare field for over 30 years as a social worker in management and leadership roles in Diversity Services. She advocates for caring and compassionate care, barrier free services and community building. Ruth’s commitment to volunteerism and helping the Japanese Canadian community stems from her family’s Christian values, the assistance her father gave to Japanese Canadian families in their relocation to Grand Forks during the dispersal of the Japanese Canadians from BC coastal areas, and her choice of social work as a profession.

Dr. Arthur Miki, Japanese Canadian Community Member

Art Miki is an active leader in the Japanese Canadian community having served as president of the National Association of Japanese Canadians from 1984-1992. He led the negotiations to achieve a just Federal redress settlement for Japanese Canadians interned during the Second World War. He and his family were forcibly relocated to Manitoba sugar beet farms in 1942.

Art is past-president of the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba and was a Director on the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation. He was president and founder of the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba. He was a member of the Community Council to the Landscapes of Injustice project for seven years. Presently, he is the NAJC Representative to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

Art is a former teacher and principal, a Canadian Citizenship Judge and a lecturer at the University of Winnipeg.

For his efforts nationally, provincially and locally, he has received this country’s highest recognition, the Order of Canada, the Order of Manitoba and recently received the Order of the Rising Sun from the government of Japan. He received an Honorary Doctorate degree from University of Winnipeg.

Susan Matsumoto, Japanese Canadian Community Member

Susan Matsumoto is a Nikkei Sansei born in Toronto, Ontario, but having spent her adult years in Calgary. She has recently retired as the Director of Canadian Blood Services at a national level, after 19-1/2 years. Susan is currently the Secretary of the Calgary Japanese Community Association (CJCA) and is the Chair of the CJCA Calgary Nikkei Cultural Fund Committee. Susan’s formal involvement with the Japanese Canadian community began in 2012, as a member of the National Endowment Fund subcommittee of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC). In 2014, she was elected to the NAJC Board and served until 2018. In one of her roles as Secretary, she chaired the Community Development Fund Committee. These involvements have deepened her knowledge of the grant application process and expanded her personal connections and understanding of the Japanese Canadian community across the country. She has long believed that her ikigai – life’s purpose – is to help others.