Art Miki

by Taylor from Delta, British Columbia

Art Miki, My Uncle
Art Miki, My Uncle

A hero to me is a leader and someone who sets a good example. I think that a hero is someone who is not afraid to risk things for other people. I chose my Great Uncle Art because he did all those things.

My uncle’s full name is Art Miki and he was born in Vancouver, BC. Art Miki is my hero because he helped a lot of Japanese Canadians and saved their lives. When my uncle was five years old, his family was forced to leave their home. The Second World War was happening and the government thought there was a security problem with Japanese Canadians so they had to leave the Pacific Coast. Lots of families left their homes, businesses and other belongings behind not knowing what was going to happen.

Art Miki and Brian Mulroney
Art Miki and Brian Mulroney

My uncle and his family were forced to work in a sugar beet factory after working on a farm, which was hard work. They had to live in a one-room house, which had no running water. But in 1944, when the war was over, they moved to North Kildonan and my uncle went to his first English-speaking school, as he spoke Japanese at home. Before, he had gone to a French school and remembered being the subject of racist remarks because of his culture.

As my uncle got older and finished his education, he later started the National Association of Japanese Canadians and at the first meeting tons of parents from the school he taught at showed up. Many people sent letters to the government supporting my uncle about Japanese Canadians having better rights, but they were still turned down. In April of 1988, a rally was nationally televised which brought the agreement closer, but the government still didn’t agree to a contract. In August of 1988, my Uncle Art came to an agreement and, on September 22, he signed the papers of the redress settlements with Brian Mulroney.

Brian Mulroney and Art Miki signing redress settlement papers
Brian Mulroney and Art Miki signing redress settlement papers

My uncle has set a good example for me, my family and everyone else in the world. He stood up for his rights and for other people’s. I’m glad he’s my uncle and he’s made a difference in my life, because if he hadn’t done that, I probably wouldn’t even be here. I’m very proud he’s my uncle.

Page created on 7/31/2015 7:05:17 PM

Last edited 1/5/2017 10:38:15 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Art Miki - Art Miki was born in Vancouver B.C.
National Association of Japanese Canadians - Established in 1947, the National Association of Japanese Canadians' primary focus has been Human Rights and Community Development for the Japanese Canadian Community. - A resource guide for teachers about the Japanese Canadian experience during World War II.