Teaching Resources Committee

Education • March 4, 2023

The Sixfold framework originally approved by the NAJC BC Redress project, the NAJC executine board, and the BC Government, is now implemented through JCLS and includes anti-racism (non-monetary, involving acknowledgment); seniors’ health & wellness; heritage; community & culture; monument; and education.

As part of the Education pillar, a team of BC-based educators have been brought on board to help design, develop, and build a brand-new digital learning hub dedicated to teaching Japanese Canadian history. 

The Teacher Resources Committee is composed of 18 BC-based teachers, many with Nikkei heritage, from the K – 12 education sector who will serve on a two – three year contract. Project Director Mike Perry-Whittingham will lead the cohort in the creation of these educational resources. 

The Teaching Resources Committee was created with a core advisory committee of Masako Fukawa, Greg Miyanaga, Vivian Wakabayashi Rygnestad, and Connie Kadota.

Nicholas Allan

I teach primary in the Vancouver School District. My background is in journalism. I enjoy researching history and creating hands-on lesson connections. I love being outdoors, breathing in fresh air, and kayaking with my wife. 

Dominique Bautista

Dominique (she/her) is a secondary school humanities educator from Richmond who is humbled to be part of the JCL teacher working cluster. She is excited to learn from and collaborate with her colleagues and the JC community on this project, and to continue to find ways to advocate for the teaching and learning of Japanese Canadian history and presence. 

Janis Bridger

Janis Bridger, a teacher-librarian in New Westminster, has many creative outlets, including writing and photography, and a love for the outdoors. 

Kelly Enns

I am excited to be part of this project as I believe it is important to understand how our family stories shape our identity, to learn about the discriminatory acts in our history so we do not repeat the same mistakes, and to honour our apologies for historical wrongs by remembering. 

Mori Hamilton

I’m a teacher of Social Studies and English at Point Grey Secondary in Vancouver. I teach and lead the Point Grey Mini School program which is a district enriched education program. I’m a sansei originally from Kelowna, whose family has roots in Port Edward and Steveston. The family was interned in Greenwood and Carmi.

Sachia Hussey

My name is Sachia (Kozuki) Hussey and I am an elementary Teacher-Librarian in Penticton (SD67). I enjoy living in the beautiful Okanagan with my husband and our three boys. We spend a lot of time in the hockey rinks and outside in our backyard! I am very excited to be a part of an important project for both personal and professional reasons.

Debbie Jiang

Debbie is a K-9 Support Teacher and Field Trip Coordinator for Heritage Christian Online School. Originally from Ottawa, Debbie worked for the Library of Parliament creating classroom resources as well as at Library and Archives Canada as the national coordinator. For fun, Debbie traces Chinese and Japanese Canadian genealogy and is a freelance writer for Canada’s History Society’s Kayak Magazine.

Makiko Johnston

My name is Makiko Johnston. I am an Issei Japanese Canadian from Duncan, BC. I am a grade 5 teacher at Maple Bay Elementary School (SD79 Cowichan).  

Larissa Kondo

Larissa is a yonsei. She loves exploring history and social justice with her 5th-grade class in Langley. 

Tawnya Kozuki

I am proud of being born and raised in the Stampede Capital of BC – Williams Lake, BC! I was a competitive figure skater and soccer player growing up, studied then taught in Japan, then taught in Quesnel, Williams Lake, Vancouver, and Coquitlam School Districts. I taught high school for 15 years, middle school for 3, and now teach drama and gifted education. 

Tami Lyon

Tami is currently Head of English and Teacher/Librarian at Collingwood School’s Morven Campus. Tami has extensive experience in curriculum design across the English Language Arts, and this project is a vital link to her Japanese Canadian roots. For Tami, this is a passion project; it is an incredible opportunity to work with a team of teachers equally passionate about bringing to life Japanese Canadian history and its legacy.

Melanie Miki

Melanie Miki MA, MEd is a registered clinical counsellor and special education teacher with over 28 years’ experience in elementary and secondary education with the Surrey School District. Melanie is an instructor and course writer for Queens University. She operates a private practice in counselling and educational consulting.

Kaitlin Minato

Kaitlin (she/her) is an English high school teacher who lives and learns on the unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language-speaking peoples. As an advocate for diverse voices and modes of expression in the classroom, she looks forward to bringing to light various narratives of Japanese-Canadian history. Kaitlin is a yonsei Japanese-Canadian, and granddaughter to internment survivors on maternal and paternal sides.

Tamiko Nicholson

Tamiko Nicholson has worked with students ages five to 75 in a variety of settings and countries, learning valuable lessons along the way. 

Mika Phillips

I am currently working in a middle school in the Okanagan school district as a learning assistance teacher. have been teaching for over ten years and have experience both as a classroom and learning support teacher.  I am excited to have the opportunity to work on this initiative to create a resource for my colleagues and students.  As a mother of two young children, I value the importance of understanding our Japanese history and family roots in shaping their identities.

Karen Reid

I am honoured to be working with a group of talented BC teachers and the Japanese Canadian Legacies Society.

Tetsuro Shigematsu

A former writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Tetsuro became the first person-of-colour to host a daily national radio program in Canada. His theatrical solo-work Empire of the Son was described by theatre critic Colin Thomas as, “one of the best shows ever to come out of Vancouver. Ever.” His other solo-work, 1 Hour Photo, was named as a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Award for Drama.

Carole Wilson

I recently retired as a teacher and teacher-librarian in the Richmond School District. I am honoured to be part of this worthy project. 

Japanese Canadian Legacies are initiatives that honour our elders past and present. We are grateful to be doing this work on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish peoples.