June 30, 2021

(Vancouver, BC) — On June 30, 2021 a wildfire broke out near the town of Lytton, British Columbia. Since then, the fire has destroyed most of Lytton as well as the surrounding area. Lytton is inhabited by a majority of the Indigenous Nlaka'pamux people. The estimated population of the Nlaka'pamux is around 1,500 in number. The wildfire displaced the entirety of the Indigenous community as well as the residents of the town. As of July 11th, 2021 the wildfire is still classified as Out of Control by the BC Wildfire Service.

Several interfaith groups, charities and NGOs have committed to assisting the people of Lytton and the Lytton First Nations community in rebuilding and securing immediate aid (food, shelter, clothing etc.). Together, we have raised $35,450.02 to support the community. This was initiated by the Chairman of BCMA. Surrey Al Jamia Masjid, Mr. Asad Gondal and spearheaded by the BCMA VP Media and Public Relations Mr. Tariq Tyab with support from the BCMA Executives, including VP of Planning and Development Malik Arfan and BCMA President Iltaf Sahib.

Contributing organizations include the BCMA, Human Concern International (HCI), the International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF), Islamic Relief Canada (IRC), the Muslim Food Bank & Community Services (MFBCS), and Foundation for a Path Forward.

On Friday, July 16th at 9:30AM at the Chilliwack city hall, we will be presenting the funds raised in a ceremony with Chief Janet Webster of the Lytton First Nation, representatives from the supporting organizations, and representatives from the Resilience B.C. Network, Chilliwack Community Services. The local branch of the BCMA, the Chilliwack Islamic Center, will be hosting this event, and officials of the branch will be joining the ceremony.

About BC Muslim Association (BCMA)

The BCMA is the largest Muslim organization in British Columbia. They are a 55-year-old organization with 17 branches across the province, supporting not only the Muslim community with cultural and religious support, but also the general public with humanitarian and cultural outreach.

About Human Concern International

HCI delivers life-saving aid to millions of people crippled by crisis, HCI is committed to sustainable development. This commitment allows us to maximize the impact of your donations by taking a holistic approach to development rooted in empowering the communities we work in.

About Muslim Food Bank & Community Services (MFBC)

The Muslim Food Bank programs serves the needs of clients who have special dietary needs (halal, kosher, vegetarian, vegan, etc.). Their client base demographic is predominantly Muslim from all ethnicities. However, they are non-denominational and try to serve families from all faiths and cultural communities.

About International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF)

IDRF (International Development and Relief Foundation) is a Canadian registered charitable organization dedicated to empowering the disadvantaged people of the world. IDRF provides effective humanitarian aid and sustainable development programs, without discrimination, based on the Islamic principles of human dignity, self-reliance, and social justice.

About Islamic Relief Canada

Islamic Relief works with communities to strengthen their resilience to calamities, and they provide vital emergency aid when disasters occur.

About Foundation for a Path Forward

Foundation for a Path Forward is the Official B.C. Faith Community Convener, working in partnership with Resilience B.C. They take a start-up mindset to developing innovative and impactful solutions to support anti-racism initiatives, cultural programs, technological innovation, environmental protection, gender equality, youth development, refugee support, and mental health resources in B.C. and across Canada.

About Resilience B.C. and the Chilliwack Community Services

The Resilience BC anti-racism network offers a multi-faceted, province wide approach in identifying and challenging racism. The program will connect communities with information, support and training they need to respond to, and prevent future incidents of racism and hate.

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