Lorene Oikawa

Vice President

Lorene is the President of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC). She was the first Asian Canadian Executive Vice President for the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) and served three terms.

Lorene is an activist who speaks and writes about her passions, including human rights. She is a co-editor of the book, Honouring Our People: Breaking the Silence. She is also a director on the board of the Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF), and was part of the festival’s founding committee in 2009.

Her education includes a Bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia. She is a strong advocate of life-long learning. She was part of a multi-union design team that created a climate change workshop for union educators across Canada.

Lorene is a fourth generation British Columbian whose family migrated from Japan in the 1800s and 1906. Her family is connected to environmental concerns, including the early work of her Uncle Buck (T. Buck Suzuki) to protect fish habitat.

On board since: September 2008


  • West Coast Environmental Law Association
  • West Coast Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund Society
  • West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation