Canadian Built: Mixed Family

Canadian Built: Mixed Family

With everything going on with our neighbours in the South, it's more important than ever to join together as one. Our #IStandFor series couldn’t have come at a better time, as we got the opportunity to work and share the story of an interracial Canadian family that gives us hope for a better future, where love overpowers hate.

We met up with parents Dana and Jermaine and son Kai on an early Saturday morning to dress up in our Blue Jays Family Collection, play some baseball, and capture the authentic, beautiful moments that unfolded.

Can you tell us a little bit about the makeup of your family?

I’m a second generation Canadian of Ukrainian descent, and my husband Jermaine, is from Caribbean (St. Kitts & Nevis) descent. Our son Kai was born in Canada.

We met through my father who was a martial artist and the head coach of the provincial karate team for twenty-five years. My husband was an athlete on his team. Jermaine and I had just started dating when my father was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer thirteen years ago. When he passed away suddenly, we made the decision to continue his legacy and take over the dojo. We’ve been together ever since.”

What is the best part of a mixed family?

“You bring the best parts of different cultures and backgrounds together. Music and food have been the two biggest influences that we love passing onto Kai. We have reggae and soca constantly playing in our house when we’re cooking up different dishes of either Ukrainian & Caribbean descent. “

 The biggest challenge?

You also get the challenges that come with joining cultures together. You have to be open to change and accepting the differences without judging. “


What is something people don’t know about a mixed family?

“Even in this day and age, in this vastly multicultural country and society we still have to overcome issues of racism, judgment, and unacceptance far too often.  The recent images from the US on this subject just illustrates how far we still have to go before these issues are no longer a factor in our society.”

What’s something you want people to know?

“With all of our differences, we are more the same than not.”

Tell us about places in Canada that bring your family closest together.

“We’re blessed with an abundance of festivals that come to Toronto, which we enjoy as a family. The Ukranian festival, Caribana, and the CNE are some of our favourites. Our city brings a vast array of multi-cultural events and it’s great to see people from all backgrounds interested and able to participate. 

Niagara Falls holds a special place to us, as we got engaged there and try to visit every year.”

Most Importantly, What Do You Stand For?  

UNITY – no matter the race, religion or sexual orientation, we are all human.  Once we realize this fact as a society, the future of humanity and the potential for what we can accomplish is limitless.  We just hope this starts in Kai’s lifetime.”

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