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BC to develop resources celebrating Punjabi Canadians

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:06 PDT, Fri September 4, 2020

BC 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 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 BC 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 BC to its economy, history and culture, and the community's resilience in the face of injustice and discrimination.

The project will continue to be developed over the next few years to include:

• Provincewide digitization of South Asian Canadian collections, including artifacts, photos, texts, materials, oral histories and other resources for the online South Asian Canadian Digital Archive

• Creation of a travelling exhibition on South Asian Canadian history

• Documentation and marking of sites that are of historic importance to South Asian Canadians and BC communities

• Development of Punjabi Canadian learning resources for social studies curriculum in BC schools

research and development of an online comprehensive BC Labour Movements Social Histories Research Project

• Production of a public history book: South Asian Canadian Social History Project

“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 BC’s diverse society.”

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