Laura Saimoto

Born and raised in Vancouver, Laura Saimoto has a double major in History & Japanese from UBC, with a master’s degree in sociology from Sophia University in Tokyo.  Bringing her professional wisdom from her business background working in Asia and Vancouver, she serves as a change agent and community leader in the Japanese Canadian community for close to two decades.  In light of her family’s Internment history on both sides, she is passionate about the education of Japanese Canadian history by transforming built heritage to living cultural heritage.  She sees heritage as a tool to raise consciousness to empower Canadians to feel, align with, and reclaim their sense of identity and resilience.  Projects:  Vancouver Japanese Language School & Hall heritage rehabilitation project chair and launch of licensed childcare centre; Highway Legacy Sign Project in partnership with BC government to install interpretive signage at actual internment and roadcamp locations across BC; community steering committee member and fundraiser for Landscapes of Injustice Project; project chair to build East Lillooet Memorial Garden in partnership with the town of Lillooet renewal launch May 2022; current project co-lead of heritage rehabilitation project of Historic Hope Station as part of Tashme Historical Society.