...But for most of Canada's history, for those of us from non-Anglo-Saxon heritages, the cost exacted for Canadian citizenship was slash and burn surgery and unconditional submersion. For my generation, assimilation demanded a denial of our ethnicity. Yet the aching pain remained. Uncomfortable within our own skins, we secretively tried to reconcile our reflections in the mirror with the reality that lay just beyond the front door. Even with today's official policy of multiculturalism, we minorities know that in the end we must finally cut the octopus-like tenacles that bind us to virtually every nation on the globe (Omatsu, 94).

Certainly redress was a form of recuperation and of exorcism. At a public community meeting in 1984 David Suzuki said, "As an adult, I ended up in psychoanalysis and was shocked to discover that virtually every psychological problem I had traced right back to the evacuation." Before redress the community similarly seemed to be in a state of psychosis. But by bringing a shameful past into the open and, more importantly, by demanding and fighting for its rights, the community became engaged in an important healing process. This healing had begun early on, as part of the redress campaign, and the energy created by the unleashing of those pent-up emotions was channelled into marches, signing petitions, organizing meetings, and attending rallies. For those who had taken the "cure," for the first time in their lives redress made them feel proud of being Japanese Canadian. As Joy Kogawa has expressed it, finally we could feel comfortable in our skin. We had gone through the nine stages of a rape victim that Margaret Atwood and others have detailed, and we emerged from the experience not just battered, but also wiser and stronger (Omatsu, 171).