Pinoys share sentiments against racism in Yukon

By Krystle Alarcon, ABS-CBN Canada

Posted at Apr 03 2014 08:24 AM | Updated as of Apr 03 2014 04:24 PM

YUKON – Several community groups came together to share their experiences of facing negative stereotypes in Whitehorse as part of an effort to end racism in the Yukon.

The Filipino community in Canada's north celebrated the International Day to Eliminate Racism.

Filipinos shared their stories of migration through audio-slideshows, but the event was also intended to raise the issue of racism in the Yukon.

Even a Filipino police officer admitted he has witnessed discrimination.

"We're here to kinda educate everyone that racism is not a good thing and what's important is going to school and speaking to the students and make them understand what racism is and why it's not good," said Constable Winslow Dunlow.

A Filipina-Romanian woman wants more people to stand up to discrimination following her experiences at school.

"I think it's really important for people to know what racism is and not to stand by and watch it happen. Being half-Asian, lots of people comment on my background, calling me names sometimes and commenting on my eyes and stuff like that. I think it's a problem even now today," said Sheridan Curteanu.

In 2013, the city of Whitehorse signed onto the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racial Discrimination or CCMARD.

It recently formed a committee to identify issues and make recommendations to council.

But one committee member knows it's a long process to eliminate racism.

"This advisory committee is trying to speed up that process, speeding up to eliminate racism as fast as we could. To me, the most important thing is to respect the differences," said Fumi Torigai.

The committee worked with the Multicultural Center of the Yukon and the Francophone Association for the event.

Public input from the event will be reviewed by the committee and considered for recommendations.