Gender diversity added to data in Canada

In 2017, the Canadian government amended the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Criminal Code to protect individuals from discrimination and hate crimes based on gender identity and expression. Prior to the 2021 Census, some individuals indicated that they were not able to see themselves in the two responses of male or female on…

Creating culture with bannocks

Looking to connect with her Métis roots, Donna Lee started Bannock Queen Bakery in 2016 to share her culture. Alongside her husband Ray and son Michael, the family-run business operates from Lee’s home in Surrey, where her knowledge of baking bannocks takes her from one farmers’ market to another. “I learned so much about Métis…

The magic of informal helping

Julia Nakamura, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) health psychology program, is working to improve the health and well-being of a rapidly aging population, one step at a time. Nakamura’s research is focused on how positive psychological factors (like purpose in life) and pro-social behaviors (volunteering, helping behaviors) might reduce the…

Bitter Orientals – where love & advocacy coincide

Love Intersections is a media arts collective which is comprised of queer artists of colour. Artists who are a part of the collective are dedicated to using their passion for art to challenge systemic racism and advocate for underrepresented communities. David Ng and Jen Sungshine, co-artistic directors at Love Intersections, have created the virtual talk…

The Buddhist New Year – A time of peace and reflection

“The Buddhist New Year is a day to remind people about gratitude and appreciation,” says Reverend Aoki, minister for the Vancouver Buddhist Temple. This year, Jan 18 marks the Buddhist New Year – Buddhists around the world come together to pray. Reverend Tatsuya Aoki emphasizes the importance and sentimental value of the Buddhist New Year…

Indigenizing The Museum of Vancouver

The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) is one of the country’s largest and oldest civic history museums, with a long history dating back to the late nineteenth century. Today if one visits the museum, the very first thing one would encounter is a strong Indigenous presence according to University of British Columbia (UBC) anthropology professor Bruce…

Cultural Spotlight: The Indo-Fijian story in the Lower Mainland

The Indo-Fijians: Surrey’s Pocket of Paradise, the largely untold story of the Indo-Fijian community in the Lower Mainland is open to the public at the Museum of Surrey. The exhibit, created by Rizwaan Abbas, was, he says, inspired by his father and his community. “What I really wanted to do with this exhibit was to…

Racial bullying in schools – a grim picture

An estimated 58 per cent of Canadian youth (12–18 years old) declare they have seen kids bullied based on their race or ethnicity at school, according to an August 2021 survey data, in partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC), from the Angus Reid Institute. “The reason for the survey was anti-Asian violences in…

Challenging the status quo: Inequities in a pandemic

A better world has at its foundation the return to values learned in childhood, says academic-activist Manjeet Birk, PhD. “These values are interconnected to larger issues of social justice, like the ongoing effects of colonization, the environment and racial justice,” says Birk. As an instructor of a newly developed critical race studies minor program in…

Cultural Spotlight – Sonya Lalli – a writer breaks from conventions

Canadian-born author of Indian heritage Sonya Lalli is this year’s Richmond’s writer-in-residence. She writes novels aimed at diverse groups, and in her novels, she covers topics like interracial couples and the difficulties that women of colour face through adolescence. Lalli attended university in her hometown of Saskatoon and later Columbia University in New York where…

Cultural Spotlight – Sovereign Elevations: artful engineering

With bold strokes of colour, a touch of perspective and her expertise of visualization, Vancouver-based artist, author and engineer Kiranjot Kaur is redefining artistic mediums and celebrating Sikh culture through her Sovereign Elevations art exhibit. “Creating art is like communicating in my own personal language, but one that others can experience through their visual interpretation,” says Kaur.…

Cultural Spotlight: A dream come true

It was all a dream – literally. Rebecca Lyon was in the middle of pursuing her PhD in Indigenous studies when she had a dream about a jacket, unlike any she had ever worn. “One of our teachings as Ojibwe people is to listen to our dreams, and the dream was me in a jacket,”…