Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, issued the following statement on Black History Month:
“The black community in Alberta has a long and varied history – from the homesteaders who travelled north from the United States to build a safe, free home for themselves and their families, to those who continue to come to Canada from around the world in search of a new beginning.
“This month, we celebrate the contributions of Albertans of African and Caribbean heritage to our cultural vibrancy and economic prosperity. We also reflect on the discrimination and prejudice they have faced in Canada and around the world.
“To celebrate and raise awareness of this important piece of Alberta’s history, the Alberta Government is hosting an event in Edmonton on February 13 and one in Calgary on February 19. Through a short film screening, a panel of speakers and a display of archival records, we will explore our shared past, better understand the current environment, and reflect on how we can continue to embrace and support our province’s cultural diversity. When we connect on a personal level and make an effort to truly understand each other, we are able to work together to end discrimination.”