NDP MLA’s Dan Coulter and Kelli Paddon say multiculturalism grants will help fight racism in Chilliwack area

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CHILLIWACK- Chilliwack MLA Dan Coulter says multiculturalism grant funding will help local organizations fight systemic racism throughout the Chilliwack area. This year, priority was given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism.

“We know that Indigenous, Black and People of Colour in Canada experience pervasive and systemic racism, and we all must do what we can to stop it,” said Coulter, MLA for Chilliwack. “Funding programs in communities that educate and provide culturally sensitive supports is one step our government is taking to combat racism experienced in British Columbia.

“Nobody deserves to experience racism or prejudice,” said Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent. “When we support programs that share knowledge about communities, such as the Stó:lō Resource and Research Management Centre and Stó:lō Service Agency Societies anti-Indigenous racism series, we are contributing to a deeper understanding and acceptance, and actively condemning hatred towards our Indigenous community members.”

Multiculturalism grant funding is provided to non-profit and charitable organizations for projects that build intercultural interaction, trust and understanding, or challenge racism, hate and systemic barriers. MLAs Coulter and Paddon say that through these projects, people across B.C. will soon have improved access to tools and resources to help them learn about the diverse culture they live.

Projects in the Chilliwack area receiving grants include:

  • Chilliwack Youth Health Centre- $5,000– The Trans Youth Alliance Group Enhancement Project: the goals of this project are to improve quality of care for trans youth through enhancing existing services and to serve more LGBTQ2S+ youth in need through raising awareness of program availability at the Chilliwack Youth Health Centre.
  • The Stó:lō Resource and Research Management Centre and Stó:lō Service Agency Society – $10,000 – Learning  to Live Together in a Good Way: A Special Cultural Experience Series addressing Indigenous-settler relations in S’ólh Téméxw. This will emphasize the collaborative relationship between the Stó:lō Service Agency and the University of the Fraser Valley, this anti-Indigenous racism series shares Stó:lō knowledge with local and world communities. It encourages all people to live well together in S’ólh Téméxw(the Stó:lō World)

For 2020/21, the Province is providing a $944,000 one-time boost to the grant funding as part of anti-racism initiatives through Stronger BC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan.

This grant program is just one way the BC New Democrat government province is working to subvert systemic racism and protect human rights. The province has taken further action to tackle racism including: reinstating the B.C. Human Rights Commission after it was dismantled by the former BC Liberal government, launching an investigation into allegations of racism in B.C.’s health-care system, and developing a comprehensive, multi-year anti-racism action plan for B.C.’s K-12 education system.  A special committee of the legislature is currently undertaking a review of the 45-year-old Police Act to modernize it, with a specific focus on addressing systemic racism. The BC New Democrat government is also committed to introducing a new anti-racism act and legislation on race-based data collection.

Learn More:

Link to Provincial release: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021AG0044-000651

List of grant recipients: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/multiculturalism-grants/2020-21_bc_multiculturalism_grant_recipients.pdf

For more information about the BC Multiculturalism Grants program, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=05BC37ECB1AC4C87AF86BC303937F6EF

For more information about Resilience BC, B.C.’s Anti-Racism network visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/anti-racism/resiliencebc