Eat and get quizzed for multicultural understanding in Vanderhoof

Vanderhoovians are invited this month to warm their tummies, test their knowledge, and challenge stereotypes together.

On June 2 last year

Vanderhoovians are invited this month to warm their tummies, test their knowledge, and challenge stereotypes together.

On Feb. 25, Vanderhoof’s Good Neighbours Committee will be presenting a Myth-Matched Diversity Dinner and Quiz show at St. Joseph’s School.

“It is in our mandate to respond to racism and hate through education,” said Lisa Striegler, GNC’s chair. “Over the years, things have been posted online or people have come to us with their concerns, and in 2016, there was an incident serious enough to go to the police.

“We are not immune from hate crime in this community.”

The interactive quiz show is a fun way for people to explore questions around diversity and racism, and reflect on how people think of those as “others”.

“It’s safe discussions with some humour embedded in it, so we can laugh at ourselves about it and learn at the same time,” Striegler said. “Learn to respect each other in our community.

“Most of us don’t want to be racist.”

After a catered dinner of dishes reflecting cultures present in Vanderhoof, a quiz show hosted by Sylvia Byron will follow, featuring cultural myths and statements involving cultural issues.

Invited to comment are four panelists portraying four different characters: two men and two women, one recent newcomer, one aboriginal, one Caucasian man, and one Caucasian woman. Audience members can also express their agreement or disagreement through an automated response system, which will provide a survey on attendees’ attitudes and support immediate post-show participant feedback.

Leading up to the event are five free cooking workshops to provide an intimate setting for cultural exchange and allow participants to learn about each other through food. Those who are interested can contact event coordinator Becca Shears at 250-570-7485 or beccashears@gmail.com.

1) On Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Asha Dhak will be showcasing Indian food at Neighbourlink.

2) On Feb. 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Cristy Brennan will be preparing Filipino food at Saik’uz Health Centre.

3) On Feb. 20 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Colin Walker will be featuring traditional Irish food at Neighbourlink.

4) On Feb. 23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Vera Antoine will be demontrating Dakelh (Carrier First Nations) food at Saik’uz Health Centre.

5) On Feb. 24 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Melanie Labatch will be cooking North American desserts at Saik’uz Health Centre.

The 18-year-old Good Neighbours Committee also hosted a Multicultural Dinner and Sharing Event last summer at Saik’uz First Nation’s band office, showcasing dishes, music, dance, and customs from different cultures in Vanderhoof.

Other past projects include producing the play “Mirrors”, which is written by Striegler based on research and intervews with Vanderhoovians, and explores settler community reflections on privilege as well as livees of newcomers and First Nations.

Scenes of the play were performed last year to businesses, Nechako Valley Secondary’s teaching staff, Vanderhoof’s medical community.

Those who have concerns on raism and hate, or were in related uncomfortable situations, can reach out to GNC members the Good Neighbours Committee has a Facebook page for support and confidential discussions on next steps, Striegler said.

For next year’s project, she added that ideas in how to discuss these issues in a safe way are also welcome, contributing to the committee’s annual project proposal.