Williams Lake Anti-Racism Committee continues to hold public meetings on how to tackle the topic that has been put under the rug for far too long.
Virginia Gilbert, an elder from the Williams Lake Indian Band, took part in one of the Committee meetings on Wednesday.
“I shared about how I went in the day school from grades 1 to grade 6 and we had a teacher there that she was French and she could hardly speak English and we were never taught our own ways or our traditions in that school,” she says.
Community Development Coordinator with the Multiculturalism Program at CMHA, Margaret-Anne Enders says they’ve been seeing new people coming to the meetings each time.
“There’s a really a wide variety of experiences in Williams Lake and so those experiences when they’re presented and some are really hurtful experiences; it’s really important for us to hear those and understand the level of racism that happens in Williams Lake.”
Enders says it is also important to see the strength around the table because people are not just victims and have succeeded in spite of the barriers that are presented.
She adds that although they do have some men on the Committee they could always use more.
“Those voices are really important,” Enders says.
“We have a lot of women on our committee and I think women they’re more used to having discussions kind on this deeper sort of level with each level so it’s a real opportunity for men and women to come together and listen to each other.”
The Committee’s next meeting takes place on March 2 as they get ready to take their cause to social media.
“We have a fantastic admin person at CMHA-Sarah Thompson and she’s getting us all set up on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter so we started the Facebook page, and we’ll actually launch the Dirty Laundry Campaign which will be next week,” Enders says.
You can find the Committee’s Facebook page by visiting the Cariboo Chilcotin Racism Awareness Network.