Dear friends and union activists,
The month of May is Asian Heritage Month; a time to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian descent. In December 2001, the Senate adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy to officially designate May as Asian Heritage Month in Canada. In May 2002, the Government of Canada signed an official declaration to announce May as Asian Heritage Month. https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/asian-heritage-month/about.html
This month is an important time to learn and listen to the stories of Asian-Canadians, while acknowledging the systemic barriers and discrimination that racialized Canadians faced and continue to experience today.
The theme this year is Stories of Determination. It is through this theme that we acknowledge that each person has a unique story to tell, anchored in a diverse and rich history. Communities of Asian origin have shown strength and resilience throughout the last two centuries. This year’s theme represents these aspects -both the stories of Asian communities in Canada and the challenges they overcame to thrive and to contribute to our country. Please click on the following link to learn more about the Significant events in the history of Asian communities in Canada. - https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/asian-heritage-month/important-events.html
Let’s promote diversity and inclusion through concrete actions in our union and communities at large. These actions can vary from taking part in an event held in our communities or reading books about the influences of Asian Canadians throughout Canada’s history. There are many opportunities to participate and celebrate this month and I encourage each of you to find an opportunity to be engaged in some way.
Below are some resources that are available and I encourage you to read and take the opportunity to learn about the unique experiences of Asian Canadians.
Ask Me Anything Asian Heritage Month
The Ask Me Anything series is a platform to share stories, listen, ask respectful questions, and continue our journey to becoming more inclusive in our workplaces and the society we live in. Please listen to their last recording of last year’s session on Asian Heritage Month.
2023 — Anniversaries of significance in Canada
This year marks the 100th year of the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, which banned all Chinese immigrants from Canada for 24 years. Please take the time to learn more about the significance of this Act and its impact on the Chinese Canadian community.
The story of the Komagata Maru: https://humanrights.ca/story/story-komagata-maru
This month, let us take a step together in learning and recognizing the contributions of communities of Asian origin in Canada. Also, let's take the time to listen to the Stories of Determination of those around us.
We can’t change the past, but together and with our positive actions, we can influence the present for a better future.
Happy Asian Heritage Month to you all!
Coordinator, Racially Visible Members of PSAC BC & Yukon