Landscapes of Injustice is a seven-year research project which will investigate and tell the history of the forced sale of Japanese Canadian-owned property to national and international audiences. It is led by researchers at the University of Victoria in partnership with 13 other institutions. Whereas the uprooting, internment, and deportation of Japanese Canadians have been the focus of scholarly and popular concern, the dispossession has received far less attention, particularly outside of the Japanese Canadian community. As most Japanese Canadians know, dispossession left former internees without homes to which they could return after restrictions were finally lifted in 1949. It also forced the eradication of historic neighbourhoods and longstanding settlements, thereby transforming individual lives and identities, as well as the broader landscapes of Canada. This project, funded by a $2.5 million dollar federal grant and by matching funds from participating institutions, will trace the origins of the Canadian policy of forced sale, explain the failure of Canadian law to protect citizens, analyze the lasting ramifications of this failure, and make these insights available to Canadians. The project will combine traditional archival historical research with extensive real-estate title searches, oral history interviews and geo-visual (GIS) mapping; creation of the museum exhibit; an educational website; a digital archive of research materials; teaching resources for elementary and secondary school instructors; and additional community outreach activities.
Your 7 Potatoes President, Eiko Eby, has been selected to serve as a member of the Community Council which provides a community sounding board for project leaders, partners, and students, acting as a source of advice and guidance from the wider community of Japanese Canadians to help ensure that the project is delivered in ways that are best suited to their needs and remains accountable to the community concerns.
For more information, visit the Landscapes of Injustice website at http://www.landscapesofinjustice.com.