News / Edmonton

Edmonton MLA successfully pushes for Black History month at legislature

'It’s important to recognize the rich history and diversity of black heritage in the province.'

Edmonton-Centre MLA David Shepherd appears in this file photograph.

Metro file

Edmonton-Centre MLA David Shepherd appears in this file photograph.

David Shepherd is set to bring Black History Month to Alberta’s Legislature. 

The MLA for Edmonton-Centre said Friday he has received official word from the Speakers’ Office that he can host a formal event at the provincial building next year — the first time the month has been officially recognized.

Shepherd said he thinks it’s vital to honour black history in Alberta. 

“It’s important to recognize the rich history and diversity of black heritage in the province. Also recognizing the African and Caribbean community are part of our province and they're great contributors,” Shepherd said. 

“Diversity is a real strength in our province and adds a lot to our communities.”  

He said he felt that as the only current sitting MLA who is black, he should help make it happen.

Shepherd said he believes this will be the first time Black History Month will be officially marked at the Legislature.

It will be among other firsts celebrated at the provincial buildings in recent years, including The Day of the Dead on Nov. 1, 2016.

The upcoming Feb. 2 event will have speakers from the government, official opposition parties, and representatives from the African and Caribbean communities.

Plans are still in the works but Shepherd, who sits in the NDP government caucus, said he hopes more get involved.

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