Manitoba

Internment of Japanese Canadians to be featured at human rights museum

The internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War will be featured at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights when it officially opens this weekend.

Winnipegger Art Miki 'really happy and proud' that internment story will be told

Internment of Japanese Canadians to be featured at human rights museum

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

6 years agoVideo
1:47
The internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War will likely be among the topics featured at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights when it officially opens this weekend. 1:47

The internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War will be featured at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights when it officially opens this weekend.

Among those attending the museum's opening ceremony on Friday is Art Miki, who was interviewed by museum staff about his experience in an internment farm during the war.

"I know it's a long time coming. It was a dream that was there a long time ago. It's finally coming to fruition," Miki told CBC News on Wednesday.

"Having that background, I am really happy and proud that we're finally getting it open this year."

Miki said he was five years old when he and his family were forced out of their home in Vancouver and sent to a sugar beet farm in Manitoba in 1942.

There, they were forced to live in deplorable conditions and do back-breaking farm work, he said.

His family was among 22,000 Japanese Canadians who were branded as enemy aliens by the federal government, and sent to internment camps and farms, following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

Miki said he's glad to see this dark chapter in Canadian history will be properly documented at the museum.

"I think the museum is important that they depict the past the way it was. Because if we try to sanitize it, then I'm not too sure whether we can learn the lessons that well."

Miki said a major turning point in his healing journey was when the federal government issued a formal apology in 1988.

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