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Looking Forward Toward the Second Half of the Healing Funds Project

Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians Project Office

Since 2021, the NAJC and the Anglican Church of Canada have jointly administered a series of three Healing Funds for Japanese Canadians affected by Gordon Goichi Nakayama, a former Anglican priest who admitted to clergy sexual abuse.

Peter Wallace was the facilitator/project manager for the first two years. Very ably, he set up the website and internal systems required to facilitate confidential applications for counselling, education grants and community projects. He coordinated the Project Office and liaised between these Japanese Canadian volunteers and the steering committee composed of senior officers from the Church and the NAJC. We thank Peter for all his work getting this unique project off the ground, and wish him the best with his next projects!

More thanks also to Connie Kadota and Naomi Shikaze: two Project Office volunteers who have also stepped down this spring after many years' of advocacy, including weekly meetings.

Wendy Matsubuchi-Bremner has taken over from Peter, acknowledging big shoes to fill. She is from a survivor family and personally witnessed Mr Nakayama and some of those he affected in her own childhood up to her early twenties, about 35-50 years ago.

The Project Office of the Healing Funds for Japanese Canadians are facilitated by project manager Wendy, with Kevin Okabe, NAJC, Executive Director. The current Healing Funds’ Steering Committee is largely unchanged since the project launch: five members of the Anglican Church of Canada and five members of the National Association of Japanese Canadians:

Alex Okuda-Rayfuse, NAJC Director, Young Leaders

Art Miki, NAJC Director 

George Cadman, Diocese of New Westminster, Chancellor

Gregor Kerr-Wilson, Diocese of Calgary, Archbishop

John Stephens, Diocese of New Westminster, Bishop 

Judy Hanazawa, NAJC, Director, Human Rights

Les Kojima, NAJC, President

Linda Nichols, Anglican Church of Canada, Primate

Maryka Omatsu, NAJC, Director

Peter Chrisfield, Diocese of New Westminster, Chancellor

After the official Church Apology in 2015, the Japanese Canadian Working Group asked Wendy and Judy Hanazawa to lead community gatherings in Vancouver, Calgary, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Hamilton.

The purpose was to uncover survivor stories and gather survivors’ suggestions for healing. Thoughts came under three broad streams: counselling and educational grants for survivor families, and community projects for communities impacted by Mr Nakayama.

Today, Wendy's vision is to actively honour the survivors and community members who shared their views and suggestions at those meetings: working with the Church to end clergy sexual abuse and to increase awareness and supports for survivors, their families and their communities in counselling and projects.

Until September, 2026, the Project Office will vigorously promote and facilitate access to the three healing funds for survivor families, within the Japanese Canadian community and throughout any of the many communities affected by Mr Nakayama.

For example, since mid-January, the Project Office has approved five Counseling renewals and four new Counselling requests requests need to be with eight Ed Grant applications to be reviewed at the next intake deadline, 30 April, 2024. All counselling needs to be completed and all receipts received by 30 August, 2026.

Meanwhile, Emi Lashin and Donna Wuest completed a 32-page booklet in January, while Liz Nunoda compiled history and hope in a 10-minute video ready for YouTube in March. We are also reprinting a third edition of our Healing Funds pamphlet. We hope to have permission from the Steering Committee for publication and distribution of all three of these resources by the end of April, 2024.

At time of writing, and pending approval by the Steering Committee at its quarterly meeting this April, Wendy has up to 18 projects to be completed by the five-year anniversary marking the end of the Healing Funds in September, 2026. Examples:

—To develop ways of for survivors of Mr Nakayama's clergy sexual abuse and their families to move forward, walking together with the help of the Anglican Church's healing funds.

---To facilitate professional materials to help Canadian social workers, clinical counsellors and teachers with the difficult topic of clergy sexual abuse and its intragenerational and intergenerational impact on victims of sexual abuse, including the families of survivors and perpetrators alike.

—To publish a full-length book and documentary video series to be distributed initially, along with stories of survivors' healing, to survivor families, NAJC member organizations, Canadian Anglican diocese offices, public libraries and at a concluding national gathering possibly held immediately after an NAJC general meeting.

—To encourage Mr Nakayama’s previous congregations as they come forward with create plans to move forward within their parishes and in their communities. Some healing activities include men’s groups, wellness series and art/writing therapy.

—To investigate any common ground with the City of Vancouver and Kogawa House, each of which are now actively drafting an apology to survivors and survivor families with the help of a trained, independent mediator.

—To host healing gatherings in Toronto in May, 2024, and Vancouver, October 2024, as well as a final gathering the same week as an NAJC general meeting in 2026.

Wendy is already speaking with individuals in person, by phone, online or even in person; she welcomes the opportunity to connect more with individuals and boards anywhere in Canada. All projects initiated by community or the Project Office will need to be approved and completed, with receipts received, by 31 August, 2026.

Want to learn more? For more detailed and updated information about the Healing Funds, or for healing support, survivors and community members alike are encouraged to visit or contact Wendy at, or 778-836-8250. Confidentiality is deserved and honoured.

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