Jacqueline Hayami-Stevens was a Japanese-Canadian born in Vancouver who was interned with her family in Ontario during the Second World War. Eventually becoming a Faculty Lecturer in Educational Studies at McGill, she was an exemplary teacher who showed leadership skills in the teaching community through her work as the Director of Elementary School Education.
Her engagement in the local Japanese community of Montreal was noteworthy, beginning with her volunteer editorial work on the Japanese Canadian Cultural Community Centre of Montreal community newsletter, the Bulletin. Jackie was also a tireless community advocate of the successful Redress movement in the 1980s.
Jackie also engaged in oral history projects as an interviewer in the 1980s, helping to fill important gaps in the historical record with personal accounts of internment. Along with a dozen or so volunteers, she decided to form the History and Archives Committee to process these records and accumulate additional records from the community. When the records were donated to the McGill University Archives in 2005, the volunteers were given space at the University to finish working on the collection.
A natural teacher capable of engaging audiences, Jackie tirelessly spread the message of her community’s history to students in elementary and high schools as well as with her own granddaughters in a modest, thoughtful, caring, and informative manner.