SURREY – New Democrat MLAs Jinny Sims, Garry Begg, Jagrup Brar, Rachna Singh, Bruce Ralston, and Harry Bains say new provincial funding will support a project to celebrate the contributions of Punjabi Canadians to British Columbia.
The Punjabi Legacy Project will showcase the contributions of Punjabi Canadians to B.C.’s communities and economies with a travelling display on South Asian Canadian history, new recognition and marking of places of historic importance to B.C.’s South Asian community, and a new book on South Asian Canadian history.
“For too long, many stories of the rich history of Punjabi Canadians have gone largely untold,” said Jinny Sims, MLA for Surrey-Panorama. “Every child needs to see their history recognized and celebrated, and I am so proud to see our government supporting a project that will tell the incredible stories of our community.”
The Punjabi Legacy Project will also explore the strength of Punjabi Canadian communities facing racism and discrimination through the years, and will add to educational and historical records to include more stories about Punjabi Canadians.
The Province is providing $1.14 million to the Abbotsford Community Foundation to create and deliver the project in collaboration with the South Asian Studies Institute of the University of the Fraser Valley, and other community partners.
“The histories we record and the stories we tell help us understand who we are as a province, but historically the contributions of Punjabi Canadians have not been recognized as much as they should have been,” said Jagrup Brar, MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood. “I am so proud to be part of a government that is recognizing the important contributions Punjabi-Canadians have made to our province over the years.”
“In Surrey alone, the stories and contributions of Punjabi Canadians to our society are immense,” said Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers. “I am so happy to see our government supporting a project that will capture our rich history, in order to share it with current and future generations.”
“The stories of Punjabi Canadians in Surrey and across B.C. are stories that need to be told,” said Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford. “From a culture of volunteerism and service that benefits our communities, to countless contributions to our economies, I am pleased to see the many contributions of Punjabi Canadians recognized in such a meaningful way.”
“This project will allow us to share the stories of Punjabi Canadians for generations to come,” said Harry Bains, MLA for Surrey-Newton. “I am so proud to be part of a government that is supporting work that will allow these stories to be celebrated and told.”
“This project will help people of all backgrounds in Surrey and across B.C. recognize and celebrate the many contributions of Punjabi Canadians to our province,” said Bruce Ralston, MLA for Surrey-Whalley. “By celebrating our shared past, we are also creating a future that is more welcoming, inclusive, and understanding for people of all backgrounds in B.C.”