Joint Statement on Racism in the Cowichan Valley
Chief William (Chip) Seymour of Cowichan Tribes, His Worship Mayor Phil Kent, His Worship Mayor Jon Lefebure, and Board of Education Chair Candace Spilsbury have released the following statement regarding racism in the Cowichan Valley:
“Yesterday afternoon, we met to discuss the growing conversation and concern about racism in our diverse community. Together, we are developing a plan to deliver additional programs and services that will help our schools and our community on our journey towards providing every citizen with more tolerant, safe, and inclusive places to live, work, learn, and play in.
This work will begin immediately with some school-based sessions that will enhance current programs that help our children develop a strong sense of social responsibility. These sessions will involve Elders and prominent community members, will take place prior to winter break, and will continue throughout schools and the community in the new year. The work will be supported by local community agencies, the school district, and Cowichan Tribes staff. These programs and services will be built and delivered together.
We do not want racism to define our community. The solution to this issue is one that we collectively have a role in. Individuals also have a role to play in creating tolerant and inclusive communities, and that starts with choosing to treat each other with kindness and understanding. We have come a long way, but we still have work to do.
Together, we want to be clear—racism in our schools, and in our community, is simply not acceptable. We are committed to working together on this issue as we build safe, healthy, and caring communities for our children and our future generations.”
Cowichan Valley School District | Cowichan Tribes | City of Duncan | Municipality of North Cowichan