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Defenders for Human Rights
Arthur Miki

Arthur Miki Equality and Redress

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GRADE LEVELS = 7 to 12  /  SUGGESTED TIME = Six 60 minute class periods

Arthur Miki is a Japanese-Canadian advocate who negotiated on behalf of the Japanese-Canadian community with the Canadian government, leading to the 1988 redress for the World War II internment of Japanese-Canadians. As a result, surviving internees received $21,000 each in compensation, and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation was created and funded, with Miki as its first director.

Born in Vancouver in 1936, Miki was five years old when his family relocated to a sugar beet farm in Ste. Agathe, a French-speaking community south of Winnipeg, fleeing restrictions and relocations in British Columbia. Miki went on to a career in education, working as an elementary school teacher and then a principal until his retirement in 1993.

Throughout his career, Miki promoted positive race relations and worked to increase awareness of human rights issues in Canada. He was president of the National Association of Japanese-Canadians from 1984 to 1992, with the primary goal of seeking out reparations for Japanese people who had been forcibly relocated to internment camps and had property confiscated during World War II.

Miki negotiated with four different Multiculturalism ministers until Japanese-Canadians finally saw a formal apology in 1988 from Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for the wartime internment policy. Miki described the settlement as marking “a great day for justice and human rights.”

In 1991, Miki received the Order of Canada. Miki is the author of The Japanese Canadian Redress Legacy: A Community Revitalized (2003) and co-author of Shaku of Wondrous Grace: Through the Garden of Yoshimaru (2007). Miki was also a Citizenship Judge for Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 2012, he received the Order of Manitoba.