Transcript of Video message from the Honourable Bardish Chagger — Black History Month
Video length: 2:16 minutes
[2021 Black History Month – The Future is Now visual animation appears onscreen.]
[The Honorable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth appears onscreen and is speaking indoors. A yellow, orange and brown maple leaf with symbols from West Africa appears on the left-hand corner of the screen throughout the video.]
This February, join me in celebrating Black History Month 2021.
Did you know that it was 25 years ago that the Government of Canada officially declared February as Black History Month?
This was thanks to the efforts of the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black woman federal Cabinet minister.
While this is an important milestone to note – 25 years – we know that Black people have helped to shape communities from coast to coast to coast for more than 400 years, well before this country was even called Canada.
Black History Month is about honouring the enormous contributions that Black people have made, and continue to make, in all sectors of society.
It is about celebrating resilience, innovation, and determination to work towards a more inclusive and diverse Canada—a Canada in which everyone has every opportunity to flourish.
This year’s theme, “The Future is Now", is a chance to celebrate and acknowledge the transformative work that Black Canadians and their communities, including Black youth, Black essential healthcare workers, and many others, are doing now.
It is a chance to acknowledge that they are building a better future for everyone by making a difference in all areas, including academia, the arts, health, sciences, sport, business, and on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Black History Month reminds us that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and that we owe it to them, and ourselves, to continue their efforts to combat systemic anti-Black racism and to keep working to build a true and lasting equity that is informed by Black history, Black voices, Black expertise and Black lived experiences.
As we mark the 6th year of the International Decade for People of African Descent, the work is to listen, learn, and foster greater understanding and compassion every day, and in every interaction with our families, colleagues, friends, and acquaintances.
This is how we build the future we all want to see now. This is how we build a stronger and more consciously inclusive Canada.
Happy Black History Month.
[The Canada wordmark appears, which has a waving Canadian flag above the last “a” in the word “Canada”.]