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Equity Inclusion North Bay recognizes that their community sits on the traditional territory of Anishinabek peoples, and that Indigenous residents make substantial contributions to the quality of life in North Bay.

Equity Inclusion North Bay was formed in September of 2020 after a group of community members from varying backgrounds, races, and ethnicities completed a nine-week anti-racism book study.

The motivation for starting the book study came from Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) community members who were experiencing unrelenting incidents of racism and discrimination in their workplaces, as well as in the community, that were continually being dismissed by white management and white community members. The cumulative impact of these experiences was detrimental to the mental and physical health of our BIPOC population, but was not always obvious to non-racialized community members.

The book study presented a safe and brave space, where participants were given the opportunity to share their lived experiences in our community and describe how they were being impacted. Halfway through the study, many participants were moved enough to make the decision to take action towards the goal of making our community a healthy and inclusive one for everyone.

Research has proven that racism and discrimination have a horrendous negative impact on the health of the targets. The latest research likens the impact of racism and discrimination to PTSD on the target community. Today’s racism is not overt, but a smiling, polite form that cuts even deeper. These subtle slights, snubs, and insults are so insidious in nature that they often go unnoticed by the dominant community, but have a humiliating and dehumanizing impact on the target.

EINB is currently a working group of five committed individuals with a passion to make our community truly welcoming and inclusive for everyone. We have placed a call out to sector representatives to join us in forming a wider committee that is truly representative of our community, and that can work together to create opportunities to build a healthier community for all.

North Bay’s population includes an almost 20% BIPOC population. The City also holds an expectation that the ‘Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot’ will attract 200 more skilled immigrants, and their families, to the region. In addition, there is a push from the Canadore College and Nipissing University to serve an increasing number of International Students in order to maintain their student numbers and ensure adequate funding. The work that EINB does will be of invaluable assistance with retention of these newer members of our community, and the success of these initiatives.

ENIB has met with the Mayor, and has presented at a North Bay Town Hall meeting and to City Council. Our requests were to:

  1. Proclaim 2021 the year of Equity and Inclusion in North Bay.
  2. Assign a city councillor to sit on the committee and work with the group
  3. Make North Bay a member of the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities.

We are pleased to report that North Bay City Councillor Mac Bain was appointed to EINB.   With his assistance, we are thrilled to announce that North Bay has joined the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities and proclaimed 2021 to be the Year of Equity Inclusion in North Bay! 

EINB has started with a strong focus on education in the year of 2021.   We have already partnered to host some amazing events, and more will be announced, so stay tuned!  

With the ideas and contributions of our valued committee members, EINB is dedicated to furthering education, bringing progressive and helpful policy to all sectors, hearing the voice of marginalized community members, and serving as a forum for everyone to steer our community ship in the right direction. If you truly have a passion for making our community a place where everyone feels that sense of belonging, please join us in doing this work! 

EINB can be reached at: equityinclusionnorthbay@gmail.com

September 2021 Update:
Equity and Inclusion North Bay (ENIB) is a volunteer group created by some members of a book club studying “…But I’m Not Racist!” by Kathy O’Bear.
This summer we reflected quietly in solidarity with Indigenous peoples.
Our initial focus is to fill the gap we see in our community regarding supporting communities of colour as they experience discrimination. However, the diversity umbrella is large and, as we grow and gain capacity, we look forward to being able to facilitate equity as broadly as possible.
Next, EINB will incorporate so we can access further funding and start more projects. We are also in the process of searching for additional working group members.
In our first year, we worked from an education and awareness focus and accomplished the following:
– circulated a letter of support, addressed to the Mayor of North Bay, calling for the City to work with an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion group. This letter was signed by 60-70 people
– hosted a talk with a lawyer, Leonard Kim, who spoke about his experience crafting Sudbury’s diversity policy
– created an EINB website (funded by the North Bay and District Public Health Unit)
– opened a bank account
– created a social media presence – check us out on Facebook and Instagram
– recommended that the City of North Bay apply to be part of the Inclusive Municipalities Coalition (application submitted and is being reviewed)
– advocated for, and successfully arranged for, the City of North Bay to declare 2021 as the Year of Equity and Inclusion
– developed a strategic plan
– supported the Black and Brown Network by hosting their monthly affinity group meeting and created a safe online space via the EINB Zoom platform
– worked with the Police, School Boards, and others to go beyond good words on their websites and mobilize change
– obtained a commitment from the Indigenous Friendship Centre to provide a space for EINB meetings at the Indigenous Friendship Centre once Covid restrictions have passed.
We look forward to hearing how other organizations have been incorporating Equity and Inclusion in their work, and developing possible collaborations.
Equity Inclusion North Bay
Gemma Victor, Vindra Sahadeo (cofounder), Vijanti Ramlogan, Leo DeLoyde and Dr. Dielle Raymond, N.D., Heidi Buck (cofounder), Maurice Switzer (cofounder)

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