The City of Burnaby celebrates the role that diversity and culture play to support a cohesive, creative and engaged community, and recognizes cultural diversity as a source of community enrichment and strength. Burnaby has long focused on supporting its increasingly diverse community to create a welcoming environment where all feel a sense of belonging.
The land that Burnaby is on has always been home to diverse communities of indigenous peoples. In addition to Coast Salish Nations, the City is also home to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit from all over the country. For more information, the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study is a snapshot of the hundreds of thousands of indigenous people who live in Canadian urban centres. More information can also be found through the Burnaby School District (SD41) and their Aboriginal Education Program. For information on programs and services offered in Burnaby, please contact Spirit of the Children Society - an Aboriginal non-profit society serving families in the Burnaby, New Westminster and the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody) area.
Multicultural Policies and Initiatives
In embracing diversity, the City is guided by the civic Equity Policy and Multicultural Policy. The implementation of these policies is supported the City Language Bank, a volunteer group of City staff who provide interpretation services in a wide range of languages, as required. As well, Burnaby has implemented the Safe Harbour program in all City facilities. The City was awarded the Canadian Safe Harbour Champion Award in 2009 from the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA) for these efforts
Burnaby is also a member of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination.
The City is also a member of the award-winning Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table (BIPT), which works to share resources, identify service gaps and more fully support new immigrant and refugees in Burnaby, including work on inter-faith bridging. One key resource provided by the Table is the BIPT Inventory of Community Resources, an online database designed to meet the needs of agency and front-line workers aiding immigrants and refugees settling in Burnaby. The Table has also recently developed a 'Snapshot of Diversity' in Burnaby.