Three local organizations will receive a share of $944,000 in provincial multiculturalism grant funding to fight systemic racism throughout the North Coast, NDP MLA Jennifer Rice announced, on April 8.
The one-time funding boosts which are part of anti-racism initiatives through Stronger BC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan this year are prioritized to be given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism.
“Everyone in our community has the right to feel safe and respected here in the North Coast,” Rice, MLA for North Coast, said. “These projects will help people of all ages in our community build up trust and understanding in order to speak out against racism and discrimination.”
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, Rice said.
“It is through these projects, people across B.C. will soon have improved access to tools and resources to help them learn about the diverse culture [in which] they live.”
Organizations in the regions to benefit from the funding are Change Makers’ Education Society which is granted $10,000 for a project to honour traditional Indigenous Ts’msyen teachings and promote łoomsk respect.
North Coast Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society is granted $5,000 to support community presentations and group workshops in schools by Bob Joseph, a hereditary chief.
Qqs (Eyes) Projects Society is granted$9,000 for a Covid-safe, youth-led project in which a series of posters and public art will be designed to elevate the HaiÌ É«zaqv (Heiltsuk) cultural values.
“This grant program is just one way the BC New Democrat government province is working to subvert systemic racism and protect human rights,” the press release announcing the funding on April 8, stated.
“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 healthcare 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,” the media release stated.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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