Canada’s British Columbia province has recognized April 2022 as Dalit History Month and it’s just extraordinary.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) government in Canada took the monumental step and declared April 2022 as Dalit History Month.
April is the birth month of Dalit icon, Dr. B.R Ambedkar, it has significance for Dalits across the globe. Dalit History Month is observed every year to remember important people and events in the history of the Dalits or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities.
April month is also considered significant for the community because of the birth and death anniversaries of other tall Dalit leaders like Jyotirao Phule, Mangu Ram Mugowalia, and Sant Ram Udasi.
The leader o the govt said, “April is a significant month for Dalit communities because it commemorates the birth and death anniversaries of important Dalit leaders and social reformers in the movement against systemic caste discrimination, such as BR Ambedkar, Jyotirao Phule, Mangu Ram Mugowalia, and Sant Ram Udasi.”
The proclamation noted that British Columbia is “a culturally diverse province comprising many peoples and communities”.
The British Columbia proclamation not only recognizes these individuals but also acknowledges “the strength and resiliency of the Dalit community in overcoming hardships and advocating for social justice and equality for all”.
“Indigenous people, Black people, and people of colour in British Columbia continue to experience systemic racism, injustices, discrimination, and hate, and the government of British Columbia is committed to addressing all forms of racism.”
Last year, the province celebrated the 130th birth anniversary of Ambedkar on April 14 as ‘Equality Day’.
About British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the continental divide of the Rocky Mountains, the province has a diverse geography, replete with rugged landscapes that include rocky coastlines, sandy beaches, forests, lakes, mountains, inland deserts, and grassy plains. It borders the Canadian province of Alberta to the east and the Canadian territory of Yukon to the north. With an estimated population of 5.2 million as of 2021, it is Canada’s third-most populous province. The capital of British Columbia is Victoria and its largest city is Vancouver. Vancouver is the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada; the 2021 census recorded 2,642,825 people in Metro Vancouver. The majority of the population resides in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and Okanagan regions.
The province’s name was chosen by Queen Victoria, when the Colony of British Columbia (1858–1866), i.e., “the Mainland”, became a British colony in 1858. It refers to the Columbia District, the British name for the territory drained by the Columbia River, in southeastern British Columbia, which was the namesake of the pre-Oregon Treaty Columbia Department of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Queen Victoria chose British Columbia to distinguish what was the British sector of the Columbia District from the United States (“American Columbia” or “Southern Columbia”), which became the Oregon Territory on August 8, 1848, as a result of the treaty.
Ultimately, the Columbia in the name British Columbia is derived from the name of the Columbia Rediviva, an American ship that lent its name to the Columbia River and later the wider region; the Columbia in the name Columbia Rediviva came from the name Columbia for the New World or parts thereof, a reference to Christopher Columbus.
The province’s most populous city is Vancouver, which is at the confluence of the Fraser River and Georgia Strait, in the mainland’s southwest corner (an area often called the Lower Mainland). By land area, Abbotsford is the largest city. Vanderhoof is near the geographic center of the province.
British Columbia contains a large number of provincial parks, run by BC Parks under the aegis of the Ministry of Environment. British Columbia’s provincial parks system is the second largest parks system in Canada, the largest being Canada’s National Parks system.
Another tier of parks in British Columbia is regional parks, which are maintained and run by the province’s regional districts. The Ministry of Forests operates forest recreation sites.
In addition to these areas, over 47,000 square kilometers (18,000 sq mi) of arable land are protected by the Agricultural Land Reserve.