Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, issued the following statement on Sikh Heritage Month:
“In April, we honour Sikh heritage month. Alberta’s rich and vibrant Sikh community is a tribute to our incredible diversity and we acknowledge the many contributions of Sikh Canadians in our own communities.
“The first Sikh pioneers to Alberta were miners, farmers and lumber workers. They helped build this province from the ground up and supported other immigrants in Alberta.
“Today, the community is thriving. Alberta has the third largest Sikh population in Canada, which continues to help our province flourish. The Sikh community’s values of family, philanthropy and service are an example for all Albertans to follow.
“This month, Sikhs will recognize Vaisakhi, a celebration of their faith and history. It is a spring harvest festival and commemorates the creation of the Khalsa Panth by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, which promotes the creation of a just and equal society.
“Over the next few months, we will need to find new and creative ways to celebrate cultural events such as Vaisakhi. As we self-isolate and practise social distancing, emotional and mental support from our community is more important than ever. However you are celebrating, I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.”