New project to showcase Punjabi Canadian history in B.C.

British Columbia is celebrating the contributions of the Punjabi Canadian community to its economy, history and culture through the development of new educational supports, exhibits and online resources.
The project is part of the Province’s commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive society.

“The Punjabi community has a long and unique history that has contributed significantly to the strength and success of our province,” said Premier John Horgan. “The Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project will share these stories with future generations, while honouring the resilience and diversity of our multicultural communities.”

The Province is providing $1.14 million to the Abbotsford Community Foundation to create and deliver Haq and History: A Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project in collaboration with the South Asian Studies Institute of the University of the Fraser Valley and other community partners.

Haq and History reflects on the right of Punjabi Canadians in British Columbia to record their vast and significant history, correct and enhance the public educational and historical records, and create community legacies that extend beyond the current time for future generations. The project will showcase the valuable contributions of the Punjabi community in B.C. to its economy, history and culture, and the community’s resilience in the face of injustice and discrimination.

“British Columbians need opportunities to learn more about the people that comprise our diverse and multicultural society,” said George Chow, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview. “The Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project will provide great insight into a unique part of our province’s history, help build intercultural connections and foster respect and appreciation among people of all backgrounds.”

“Education is key to fostering a greater respect and appreciation for one another across our multicultural society,” said Satwinder Kaur Bains, director of the South Asians Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley. “A primary goal of the project is to improve the historical record of the significant contributions of Punjabi Canadians, with the goal to reduce racism while underscoring the value of B.C.’s diverse society.”

The development of Haq and History: A Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project was led by the Punjabi Legacies Advisory Committee with South Asian Canadian community partners in Golden, Prince George, Vancouver Island, Kelowna, Vancouver, Surrey and Abbotsford.

For more information about the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley, visit: https://www.ufv.ca/sasi/

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