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Posted: February 12, 2018

Celebrate International Day of Happiness this May

This year (2018) marks the seventh year that the East Kootenay Humanity Network has celebrated an International Day with a free presentation event for the public.

The Network began in 2010 as part of the Multiculturalism Program of the BC Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’s initiative to create welcoming and inclusive communities with the support of the East Kootenay Organization for Human Dignity and Equality (EKOHDE). In December 2017, Cranbrook and District Restorative Justice took over this supportive role. Human dignity is the foundation for both organizations allowing for a seamless transition.

The EK Humanity Network promotes awareness of three International Days each year as part of the BC Government Organizing Against Race and Hate initiative. These days are chosen at their annual Stakeholder Roundtable and one of these three days is then celebrated with a signature event.

This year’s signature event will focus on the International Day of Happiness.

Public events have celebrated a diverse range of International days such as International Mountain Day, Human Rights Day, World Refugee Day, International Day of Peace and World Food Day. This year, to celebrate the International Day of Happiness the East Kootenay Humanity Network is pleased to offer a presentation by the Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair.

Appointed to the Senate in 2016, Sinclair was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and the second appointed in Canada. He is a recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016) and has received Honorary Doctorates from eight Canadian universities.

Most notably, Sinclair served as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada that culminated in the issuance of the TRC’s report in 2015 and oversaw a multi-million dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and enable survivors to travel to attend TRC events.

According to Debbie McPhee, Chair of East Kootenay Organization for Human Dignity and Equality, The EK Humanity Network chose the International Day of Happiness because it creates an opportunity for dialogue about the many factors that contribute to our happiness and develop strategies that may reduce the barriers to our happiness.

“What is the International Day of Happiness? It’s a day to be happy, of course!” says McPhee. “The United Nations sanctioned the International Day of Happiness in 2013 to highlight the importance of happiness for all people around the world.”

In 2015, the UN outlined seventeen Sustainable Development Goals directed toward ending poverty, reducing inequality, and protecting the planet; goals that are key global to well-being and happiness.

Senator Sinclair was chosen for his insight into what we can do throughout the East Kootenay to establish and maintain respectful relationships, which is key to reducing the inequalities that exist in Canada. “Taking these first steps is critical to the happiness of all Canadians,” says McPhee.

Senator Sinclair’s presentation is on Monday, May 14 at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook, beginning at 7 p.m. The event is free to the public.

East Kootenay Humanity Network

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