Appendix E: Cultural Diversity
The John Humphrey Centre, Rights in Play Guide, provides the following background information on cultural diversity:
Diversity and similarities are explored in the games in this section. The games encourage a celebration of diversity and foster attitudes that embrace the acceptance of all people (for more information on celebrating diversity, visit www.unicef.org). Aspects of diversity that can be explored include: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies (for more resources on these specific topics, see the other sections of the curriculum, including: Disabilities, Discrimination, Stereotypes, and LGBTQ Rights).
Cultural diversity is a main focus of this section and is often brought up in international human rights documents. Culture provides children and adults with identity and continuity. Respecting cultural diversity through the promotion of minority rights is brought up in Article 30 of the CRC [see Appendix B], which protects the rights of children who are from minority or indigenous groups to enjoy their culture, practise their religion and use their language together with other members of their group. Article 27 of the UDHR [see Appendix A] also promotes cultural diversity by guaranteeing the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community [see Appendix A].
Canadian society is increasingly diverse, and multiculturalism has become an integral part of the Canadian identity. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act is a legal instrument used to promote cultural diversity and equality in the economic, social, cultural and political life of the country. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [see Appendix C] is also a source of multiculturalism policy. Section 27 of the Charter specifies that the courts are to interpret the Charter “in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canada.” However, in some cases, diversity poses a challenge in Canada. Tensions over the “reasonable accommodation” of cultural and religious traditions, and racism and discrimination persist.”
FACTOID: CELEBRATING DIVERSITY
Diversity: the recognition of differences; that each individual is unique. Differences can include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
Multiculturalism: the idea that several different cultures can live together peacefully and equitably in a single country.
Understanding the Concept:
Diversity is an integral aspect of human rights. Human rights promote the equality of all people and provide a framework for respecting and celebrating diversity. Human rights guarantee the right to culture, to religion and to other aspects of diversity such as non-discrimination based on sex, race or language. Promoting multiculturalism is a way of embracing diversity in Canada.
Multiculturalism ensures the ability of all to practice their own religion, keep their identity and take pride in their ancestry.
DID YOU KNOW? [This information can be expanded and amended.]
There are around [ ] major religions in the world today and hundreds of smaller religions.
Around [ ] countries exist in the world, many with people of more than one culture or national group within them. That means that there are a huge number of different and diverse cultures and peoples in the world.
Canada is home to [ ] different ethnicities.
The first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as a policy was Canada (1971).
May 21st is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
May is Asian Heritage Month and February is Black Heritage Month in Canada.