SOICS strongly believes that in addressing the issue of discrimination, and in beginning to look for and consult about solutions, we can aid and assist our community to become stronger, and ultimately, more welcoming and inclusive of all residents and visitors of the South Okanagan Similkameen.
This initiative allowed SOICS to work with the community at large and create momentum towards the elimination of racism, discrimination, and hate crimes. Through CIRM, the project produced the Diversity Promotion Network – The South Okanagan Similkameen Diversity Protocol for Discrimination, Racism, and Disunity document. This report is available in both English and French and has been widely distributed throughout the South Okanagan. The protocol reflects the community’s commitment to being an inclusive and welcoming community, which honours and respects the diversity of cultures in the South Okanagan.
With assistance from the Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University, SOICS hosted a dialogue including cross-sector participation from local Federal, Provincial, Municipal dignitaries or their representatives. The event was an opportunity to create a forum for dialogue in our rapidly changing region. It also provided the venue for the official signing of the South Okanagan Similkameen Diversity Protocol.
Notable signatories of the Protocol include the Honourable Ben Stewart, Minister of Citizens’ Services and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism & the Public Affairs Bureau, Grand Chief Stewart Philip, The chiefs of the South Okanagan First Nations, the area mayors, and the RDOS.
1) Production of Diversity Promotion Network – The South Okanagan Similkameen Diversity Protocols for Discrimination, Racism, and Disunity (Available in English & French)
2) Developed a combination of preventative and responsive approaches to social problems that reduce the opportunities for negative interactions
3) Initiated dialogue addressing the issue of discrimination and discussion on solutions
4) Official Diversity Protocol signing document
Funded by Embrace BC (Ministry of Citizen Services)