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What is it and why do we need it in Lions Bay?

Anti-racism is the action we take toward countering racial prejudice, and the work we do to dismantle systemic racism in our society. A lofty goal, and one that we thankfully don't have to think about much in our little village by the sea. After all, surely there's no racism here.

Of course, Lions Bay has traditionally held a white majority population. And while the village itself sits on unceded Indigenous territory, these days, people of all skin colours and races live here in harmony.

Don't we?

As The Watershed has been exploring in the 'Settler Ed 101' series, racism is baked into every social, cultural and political institution in this country. But even if we know this, even if we object to it, every time we don’t act to change this status quo, we perpetuate it. Anti-racism means that we don't just sit by and do nothing when a system continues to treat individuals differently, based on the colour of their skin.

But that can't happen in Lions Bay, can it? We villagers are not racists. We have friends who are people of colour. Some of us are people of colour ourselves! We belong to a book clubs that read diverse literature. We fund-raise to bring refugee families to Canada. We use our power and privilege to make good things happen.

And yet when news emerges of a family, new to Lions Bay, who have removed their child from a local school because of racist, exclusionary behavior on the part of students, their parents and even their teachers, it becomes clear very quickly that someone is not exercising that power. Perhaps a lot of someones.

This is a story about a little girl. It's a story that happened here - a story that continues to happen. And unless we stand up and address this problem, nothing will change. In this series, The Watershed is stepping forward to talk to the people involved. We want them to have the space to tell their stories.

It's time to listen, and learn, and to think. What can we do to make a difference? How can we, as individuals and as a community, embrace anti-racism? We invite you to follow along with The Watershed as we explore this difficult topic – a topic that shouldn’t be as hard to address as it is.

Why here, in one of the most well-educated and wealthy communities in the province, in our gorgeous little village that exists at the point where the sea meets the sky - why is this family still considering selling their house, and moving away?

Read on. Find out more.

Anti-racism isn't an act, or even a series of actions. It requires an adjustment of attitude, and a lifetime of commitment. Let's learn what changes we can make – small and large – to ensure Lions Bay is a safe place, a welcoming place, for everyone.

This is the first in a series of articles presented on anti-racism by The Watershed. We welcome your thoughts! If you would like to share your own experiences with racism and anti-racism in Lions Bay, please feel free add your comments below, or send them to

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Thank you so very much for bringing the start of this little girl's story forward to all of us.


brenda broughton
brenda broughton
Mar 11, 2023

Thank you, Karen.

Systemic racism is such an important discussion. It affects us all, including each resident of Lions Bay..

I encourage all Council to vote to begin Council meetings with the First Nations acknowledgement.

I am very sorry about this little girl's experience along with the heartbreak of her family.

Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper and owner of the Magnolia TV Network, showed a clip of walking in the corridor of her former school, where she was discriminated against and made to feel less than, as a result of being part Asian. She is a phenomenally creative, talented trail blazer and loving mother of 5.

My own grandchildren have diverse cultural heritage.

It is heartbreaking to hear of this…


Thank you for delving into this awkward, touchy topic. Tragically, I don’t this would be the first family to leave Lions Bay for similar reasons and I’m hoping white folks like me can suck in their breath, not be fragile and really listen to this family’s perspective without being dismissive or trying to explain things away. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a racialized person in this village. This is a good read:

kc dyer
kc dyer
Mar 11, 2023
Replying to

What a fantastic resource, Alison -- thank you for posting! As this series goes along, I'll be posting links to anti-racism resources, and this can be the first! I've just finished reading 'WHITE WOMEN: EVERYTHING YOU ALREADY KNOW ABOUT YOUR OWN RACISM, AND HOW TO DO BETTER' by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao. Tough, tough, fantastic read. Now I can add Iljeoma Oluo to my list of heros!

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