Artifacts at the Stólō Interpretive Centre on the Coqualeetza grounds in Chilliwack on Nov. 16, 2017. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress file)

Two provincial grants to help groups fight systemic racism and protect human rights in Chilliwack

‘Nobody deserves to experience racism or prejudice,’ said Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent

Two provincial grants are aimed at fighting racism and intolerance in the Chilliwack area.

Chilliwack MLA Dan Coulter said the $15,000 in funding will help two local organizations fight systemic racism and protect human rights.

“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,” Coulter said in a release. “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.”

Receiving B.C. Multiculturalism grants are two projects:

• The Trans Youth Alliance Group Enhancement Project ($5,000) from the Chilliwack Youth Health Centre, and

• Learning to Live Together in a Good Way: A Special Cultural Experience Series addressing Indigenous-settler relations in S’ólh Téméxw ($10,000) from the Stó:lō Resource and Research Management Centre.

“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 Society’s 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. Projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism took priority this year.

“This grant program is just one way the BC New Democrat government province is working to subvert systemic racism and protect human rights,” according to the release.

The Trans Youth Alliance Group Enhancement Project will get $5,0000 “to improve quality of care for trans youth through enhancing existing services” and to serve more LGBTQ2S+ youth in need, by raising the project’s profile through the Chilliwack Youth Health Centre.

The Stó:lō Resource and Research Management Centre and SSA will receive $10,000 for cultural experience workshops on 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),” according to the project description.

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

READ MORE: B.C. Multiculturalism grants tackle racism

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