(VANCOUVER) It was like a great, big group hug at the Embrace B.C. gala when they handed out the 2011 Nesika Awards.

And the event left a smile on the face of New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS) Co-chair Terry Raymond and Secretary Brent Rutherford.

“It is such an honour to be nominated and recognized along with such an amazing group of organizations and people,” said Raymond.

Rutherford, a resident of the Cariboo, agreed.

“All these individuals and organizations working towards the same goals of diversity and tolerance — it’s very inspiring,” Rutherford said.

The NPTGS was nominated in the Organization Category of the Nesika Awards, organized and sponsored by the Government of B.C. and the Multicultural Advisory Council. Raymond accepted a certificate of merit presented to the Society by Harry Bloy, Minister of State for Multiculturalism, at a ceremony held Nov. 18 in Vancouver.

The awards honour and celebrate B.C.’s cultural diversity and indigenous communities. They recognize people, organizations and businesses whose exceptional work is helping to bring diverse cultures together. Nesika means “we, us, our” in the Chinook trading language used extensively by Indigenous Peoples along the West Coast.

This year’s recipients were recognized as part of the activities for Multiculturalism Week and include:

Organization: The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC, Safe Harbour: Respect for All Program, encourages businesses and organizations to create safe places for those experiencing discrimination, and to embrace diversity in the workplace.

Individual: Farid Rohani, a successful entrepreneur and champion of multiculturalism and social causes, also heads the Laurier Institution to advance and disseminate knowledge about the economic and social implications of Canadian diversity.

Business: The Afro News: a newspaper that covers the African communities of B.C., Canada and worldwide, aims to provide unbiased pertinent information, often showcasing events, issues and cultures not always carried or visible in the mainstream media.

Bloy said the awards honour and celebrate B.C.’s cultural diversity and indigenous communities.

“These awards honour and celebrate British Columbia’s cultural diversity and indigenous communities,” Minister of State for Multiculturalism Harry Bloy.

“In B.C., we can be proud to live in a province that is recognized globally as a society that promotes inclusion and acceptance.”

The NPTGS was nominated by the Lytton First Nation, the Heritage Tourism Alliance of British Columbia, and the Barkerville Heritage Trust. The nominator’s cited NPTGS’ commitment to First Nations reconciliation and multiculturalism. All three have worked with the Society as partners in various projects.

About New Pathways To Gold Society (NPTGS)

NPTGS is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation working with communities along the Gold Rush/Spirit Trails corridor from Hope to Barkerville. The Society is dedicated to heritage tourism, First Nations reconciliation and economic development. NPTGS acknowledges the financial support of the B.C. government.

For more information, please contact:
Don Hauka, Communications/Creative Director  |  604.524.1884