January 31, 2008 11:00 ET
The Government of Canada Participates in Launch of Black History Month
MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 31, 2008) - On behalf of the Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, Denis Lebel, Member of Parliament (Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean) today participated in the launch of Black History Month.
With the theme From Yesterday to Today: Recognizing our Presence, Confirming our Contribution, the 2008 edition of the Round Table on Black History Month highlights, among other things, the 400th anniversary of Quebec City. A tribute will be paid to Mathieu Da Costa, an interpreter of African descent who participated in one of Samuel de Champlain's expeditions in the 17th century. As part of Black History Month celebrations, the Round Table and its partner organizations will be holding a number of activities, including conferences, workshops, films, concerts, debates, and a fair.
"Celebrated in February throughout North America, Black History Month is an opportunity for members of the black community to share with all Canadians the events that have marked our collective history," said Minister Verner. "I am pleased that our Government is associated with organizations, such as the Round Table on Black History Month, which encourage understanding of the rights and responsibilities of shared citizenship."
"The black community plays a vital role in cultural, social, and economic spheres in Quebec and across Canada, and their achievements should be recognized," said Mr. Lebel. "Congratulations to everyone who makes Black History Month a golden opportunity to foster exchanges between citizens of all backgrounds."
"The laws and policies promoted by our Government support dialogue, the resolution of conflicts, and the battle against discrimination", said the Honourable Jason Kenney, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity). "This year we are celebrating the 175th anniversary of the passing of the Act to Abolish Slavery in the British Empire. At the same time, we are recognizing the efforts of those men and women who fought and won the struggle for liberty and human dignity."
(Also available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.)