Born 1936, Vancouver British Columbia
Art Miki is a community activist and retired educator living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Born in Vancouver in 1936, he was five years old when his parents and grandparents, wanting to keep the family together, chose to relocate to a sugar beet farm in Ste. Agathe, a French-speaking community 40 kilometres south of Winnipeg.
Following the lifting of the wartime restrictions on Japanese Canadians, the family remained in Manitoba and Art attended both the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba, where he received a graduate degree in education. He went on to a career in education, working as an elementary school teacher and then a principal until his retirement in 1993.
With a longtime interest in human rights and social justice issues, Art took over the presidency of the National Association of Japanese Canadians in 1984. As President he helped spearhead the four-year drive for Redress from the Canadian government for the treatment of Japanese Canadians during World War II, a goal that was achieved with a signed agreement on September 22, 1988.
Following the Redress settlement, Art served as a director on the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation that was established in 1989 to administer the $12 million fund that was a critical element of the settlement.
Although the Redress battle and eventual settlement thrust Art onto the national stage, he has stayed true to his Manitoba roots and he has remained active at a local level. He served as president of the Manitoba Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association, as vice-president of the Manitoba Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and is a founder and President of the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba.
Miki’s local involvement in the Manitoba Japanese Canadian community has lead him to co-author the biography, Shaku of Wondrous Grace: Through the Garden of Yoshimaru Abe with Henry Kojima and Sylvia Jansen. Abe was an Issei artist, garden designer and haiku poet who moved to Manitoba after being interned in Tashme.