All posts by Guest Post

Tying history to present-day racism

By Aly Laube, Fraser Valley Community Radio, CIVL 101.7 FMLocal Journalism Initiative

A co-chair of the Race and Anti-Racism Network and professor at UFV, Ian Rocksborough-Smith says white supremacy in the city now looks different than it did in the 1900s. Organizations like the Heritage Society are predominantly white as well, as are most of the other influential groups in the valley. Abbotsford is also the only city in the valley that didn’t swing NDP, and stayed largely Liberal in the last provincial election, and it’s the home riding of the Christian Heritage Party, which Rocksborough-Smith describes as “a white nationalist neo-fascist party.” This reflects the ideals and beliefs of the people living there: Largely conservative and religious. 

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Auditor General: BC is Falling short on commitment to protect fish and wildlife habitat

By Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

BC is falling short on its commitment to protect fish and wildlife habitat, according to a report released by the province’s auditor general on Tuesday.

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Searching for solutions in the Kispiox Valley

By Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Clear plastic bags hang from small spigots plugged into birch trunks in a  mixed stand of deciduous and coniferous trees on a hillside above the  Kispiox River in northwest B.C. Denzel Sutherland-Wilson and his  19-year-old niece, Hailey Wilson, pour the birch water collected  overnight from five trees into a 20-litre bucket, explaining they’ve  been doing this every day for a couple of weeks. 

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The Klu Klux Klan comes to Abbotsford

By Aly Laube, Fraser Valley Community Radio, CIVL 101.7 FMLocal Journalism Initiative

To understand the nature of systemic racism and white supremacy in Abbotsford, you have to understand the history. But that history can be hard to find, tucked away in archives and couched in vague language. The information is there if you look, and it speaks volumes about the area’s past in relation to upholding structures that support white settlers.

In 1925, American Klu Klux Klan members came to Abbotsford in search of new recruits. For $10 apiece, residents born in Canada, the US, the UK, and Northern Europe who were white, male, able-bodied, Protestant, and “of sound mind” could sign up to join the KKK and become part of an organized effort to “maintain forever White Supremacy.” 

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Abbotsford’s secret History of Racism: Introduction

By Aly Laube, Fraser Valley Community Radio, CIVL 101.7 FM, Local Journalism Initiative

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity. This content might include some explicit language. 

Abbotsford, BC is the largest municipality in the Fraser Valley Regional District, an exurban area about an hour east of Vancouver. It’s growing very quickly, with a 2013 City of Abbotsford Official Community Plan expecting 40,000 new residents within 20 years.

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