Celebrating and honouring Asian Heritage Month

Celebrating and honouring Asian Heritage Month

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada. We are proud to celebrate Asian Canadians, whether they’re newcomers or their families have been deeply rooted in Canada for generations.

Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated by Canadians since the 1990s and received its official declaration in 2002 after Vivienne Poy, the first Canadian Senator of Asian ancestry, brought forward the motion.

The Government of Canada calls the month, “an opportunity for all Canadians to learn more about the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian descent who, throughout our history, have done so much to make Canada the amazing country we share today.”

The theme for Asian Heritage Month 2021, “Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve”, embodies the sentiments that peoples of Asian descent in Canada have experienced and honours their contributions and their diverse stories which are rooted in resilience and perseverance. It is also a call to action for all Canadians to come together to combat all forms of anti-Asian racism and discrimination.

Troubling times

Between March 2020 and February 2021, 44 per cent of all cases of anti-Asian racist attacks and incidents in Canada were reported in BC, leading all other provinces. The Burnaby RCMP has reported a 350 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes. We at TransLink pride ourselves on being an equal opportunity and highly diverse workforce with many of our employees being of Asian decent. Anti-Asian hate crimes are not OK. When travelling on transit, if you see something, say something — we encourage transit riders to report any and all troubling incidents to Transit Police via text 87-77-77 or through the SeeSay App, or by calling 604-515-8300.

Let’s do better

Over the course of this month, The Buzzer will share stories of Asian Canadians who have a connection to Metro Vancouver transit and have uniquely contributed to our communities. We want to take this opportunity to celebrate and uplift our Asian-Canadian friends, neighbours, colleagues, and family.

But we also want to use this as an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge four key pieces of our local history that have deeply affected Asian Canadians in the past, and continue to impact Asian Canadians today:

We hope that in taking a moment to remember, reflect, and educate ourselves, we can see how our history informs our present.

Asian Heritage Month is a collective opportunity to learn, listen and take action.

We’re all headed in the same direction: a better place to live. And the better we know each other — our neighbours, colleagues, friends, and family — the stronger our communities are.

Share your story

We want to get to know you! We welcome reflections on Asian Heritage Month in the comments section below.