Multiculturism is a driving force in B.C. and the provincial government wants to recognize those who are doing exceptional work embracing it.

The 2012 Provincial Nesika Awards have been established to honour individuals and groups promoting cultural diversity and celebrating Indigenous communities in the province of British Columbia.

Organized and sponsored by the Province of B.C.’s Multicultural Advisory Council, the awards are set to take place in late November during B.C. Multiculturalism Week.

Nesika (Ne-SAY-ka), which means “we, us, our” in Chinook, comes from a trade language used  extensively in British Columbia during the 19th and early 20th centuries to help Aboriginal people communicate, first among themselves and then with European newcomers.

The Nesika Awards are comprised of four different categories — individual, business, organization and youth.

Winners in each category will receive an award trophy and $5,000 to further support the work of multiculturalism in the province.

Nominations can be submitted until 5 p.m. on Monday, September 24 and forms are available at

To learn more about the Nesika Awards, visit EmbraceBC at