A National Voice
A core activity of the CRRF is to research and report, and give voice to, the current issues that impact Canada’s democratic principles and multiculturalism policies. These include issues and events connected to race relations, Canadian identity, belonging, and the mutuality of citizenship rights and responsibilities.
The CRRF regularly posts press releases via the Canadian Newswire Service, and articles and announcements via the website and the Foundation's monthly newsletter. The Foundation's spokespersons regularly comment on issues related to contemporary race relations.
Canadian by Design
Canada Day on July 1st marks the culmination of a celebration of the best of Canada. The celebration began on June 21 with National Aboriginal Day, continued with La Fête nationale du Québec and la Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on June 24, and Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27. This is a period to explore and enjoy the diversity of Canadian society while celebrating the contributions of the founding nations of this country.
Among our national accomplishments – we can be proud of how Canada has adapted democratic values such as bilingualism and multiculturalism to the historical and geographical circumstances of our country and the patterns of immigration.
The CRRF Report on Canadian Values provides interesting insights, for example, Canadians see themselves as respectful individuals that are accepting of others. The report highlights that the vast majority of Canadians rate "respect for human rights and freedoms" and "equality and equal access to basic needs" among the most important values. Civility, respect for laws, loyalty to the country and multiculturalism came out top on the list of Canadian values.
When asked specifically about multiculturalism, 60% of respondents agreed that multiculturalism includes the reasonable accommodation of cultural practices, even including practices about which the respondent might feel uncomfortable.
Canadian Multiculturalism Day is a day that is set aside to recall our commitment to Canadian values while celebrating the contribution of all Canadians to a country built on shared values and fundamental principles.
Events that took place during June served to remind us that this commitment does not happen without ongoing nurturing. The Foundation spoke out in condemnation of the senseless defacement of Chinese advertisements in Nanaimo, British Columbia as well as the vandalism of a welcome sign at the Skeetchestn Indian Band. These were just two of the many acts of racism recorded across Canada during the month.
As the Report on Canadian Values highlights, while Canadians celebrate diversity in principle there is a troubling schism between theoretical acceptance and practical application. This certainly highlights the pressing need for an ongoing, national dialogue led by the CRRF.
As we head into Canada Day, let us celebrate the best of our country, its many accomplishments and also its diversity. To truly celebrate, we must resolve to reject prejudice and racism. Let us resolve then to celebrate being Canadian with intent – and, by design.
Stay in Touch!
Asian Heritage Month Across Canada, May was dedicated to celebrating Asian Heritage Month. CRRF joined in this celebration by publishing the stories of three fascinating Asian Canadians as part of the Our Canada: 150 Stories initiative. Indeed, this was a month in which we honoured the vast contributions that those of Asian heritage have made to this country. Yet, we must acknowledge that there is much more to do. If we are to truly heed the message of the various months throughout the year whi...
Volunteerism The CRRF recognized and celebrated the important contributions of our many volunteers during National Volunteer Week this month. Governor General David Johnson summed up our feelings well in a tweet: "Volunteerism is an expression of citizenship and an integral part of Canadian culture." Reports such as Statistics Canada's 2010 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating (CSGVP) confirm what many of us know and experience, namely that Canadians are engaged with their c...
Why the Dress Matters For a few intense days recently, people around the world were fascinated by the differences in the ways we perceived the colours of a dress: was the dress in the photograph white and gold or was it blue and black? The dress's true colours and the reasons why our brains perceived those colours differently were the subject of endless debate even after a second photo posted online revealed its true colours. The dress challenged our perceptions and – to take it a step further ...
A busy year ahead … This has been a very busy time for the CRRF, as the three-year Our Canada project is well underway and we continue to advance the overall mission of the Foundation. This year promises to be one of our busiest and most productive yet, so we are also launching a new monthly newsletter to help keep you informed about our many interesting activities. CRRF February newsletter > To learn more about some of the thought-provoking programs we have offered recently, be sure to take ti...