Co-authored by Greeshma George and Mingma Lama, this blog post offers a listing of resources for those looking to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, acknowledge the contributions people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have made, and deepen their learning about Anti-Asian racism.
Grounding Thoughts From Rochelle Ignacio, Tamarack's Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Canada has a deep history with the Asian and Pacific Islander community dating back to the 18th century. The country’s Asian community is distinct and includes Southeast Asians, East Asians, West Asians, Central Asians and South Asians, each contributing significantly to the fabric of Canada. During this month we must also reflect on the harms inflicted on Asian and Pacific Islander communities both in our past - such as the Komagata Maru and Japanese internment camps - to our present - Tamil MV Sun Sea Asylum Seekers and anti-Asian racism and hate crimes which continue following the start of the pandemic.
Tamarack’s mission to catalyze collective action with diverse leaders to solve major community challenges requires a place-based, intersectional approach to lead to sustainable and equitable outcomes. As we celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month let us also consider how Asian and Pacific Islander communities experience poverty, build youth futures, deepen community and experience the impacts of climate change. In order to solve these challenges, we need to consider how we support Asian and Pacific Islander communities and leaders who hold the knowledge and experience that will help lead us to a more equitable society. During this month and beyond, let us commit to #StopAsianHate.
About Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Co-Authored by Greeshma George and Mingma Lama
Greeshma George and Mingma Lama are students from Conestoga College who completed their work placements at Tamarack in the beginning of 2023.
May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, a time to reflect on and recognize the many contributions that Canadians of Asian heritage have made and continue to make to Canada.
Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated since the 1990s. In December 2001, the Senate of Canada adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy to officially designate May as Asian Heritage Month in Canada. In May 2002, the Government of Canada signed an official declaration to announce May as Asian Heritage Month.
We have compiled several resources to support your learning of Asian history and anti-Asian racism in Canada. As part of your anti-racist praxis consider the ways you are amplifying Asian voices, shifting power to Asian communities and supporting Asian-owned businesses. These small actions can contribute to dismantling systems of oppression and creating welcoming communities for all.
National Coalition of Canadians Against Anti-Asian Racism
- Alberta Teachers' Association’s Asian Heritage Month (May) resources
- CCDI’s Anti-Asian discrimination resources
- Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s Resources for Combatting Anti-Asian Racism & Learning About Canadians of Asian Descent
- Government of Canada: Asian Heritage Month 2022... by the numbers EN
- Government du Canada: Mois du patrimoine asiatique 2022... en chiffres FR
- Government of Canada: Organizations and educational resources EN
- Government du Canada: Organisations et ressources éducatives FR
- Government of Canada: Significant events in the history of Canadians of Asian heritage EN
- Government du Canada: Événements marquants de l’histoire des Canadiens d'origine asiatique FR
- Government of Canada:Discrimination before and since the start of the pandemic EN
- Government du Canada: La discrimination avant la pandémie et depuis le début de celle-ci FR
- Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter’s Another Year: anti-Asian racism across Canada two years into the covid-19 pandemic
- University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work’s 2020 In Hindsight: Intergenerational conversations on anti-Asian racism during the covid-19 pandemic - Community research report
- Western University Violence Against Women Learning Network’s Examining the intersections of anti-Asian racism and gender-based violence in Canada
- ACCT Foundation & Act2endracism Human Rights Commissions and Anti-Asian Racism Consultation Report
- University of Victoria’s Cultivating Growth and Solidarity Zine (for youth)
- Ryerson University’s Responding to Hate Toolkit
- Stop Race-Based Hate
Workshops and Training
- Right to Be Training (free workshops available)
- Canadian Race Relations Foundation’s Media Training Webinar for Asian community leaders in Canada
- University of Toronto’s Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office’s Asian Heritage Month events and workshops
Additional resources and organizations:
- Chinese Canadian National Council: Toronto Chapter
- Purveyr (Explores and nurtures the humanity in creativity through creative Filipinos)
- Diet Paratha (a resource for youth focused on the Southeast Asian creative community)
- Sifarish (South Asian Networking)
- Compilation from Canadian Heritage and the Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat
- Faces of Racism
- Ryerson University Human Resources Student Association’s Anti-Asian Racism Resources
- Asian Arts and Culture Trust
- Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice
- Winnipeg Public Library’s Anti-Asian racism Information Guide
- École de travail social - Université de Montréal’s Comité antiraciste et inclusif de l'École de travail social de l'UdeM (CAÉTSUM)
- Service à la Famille Chinoise du Grand Montréal
Pictured: Raeland Mendoza, Co-founder of I’ll Call You Tomorrow, as part of the A Portrait of Chinatown Docuseries S1. E.4. filmed in Edmonton, AB.
- A Portrait of Chinatown Docuseries by Jordon Hon
- GRAMMY & JUNO Nominated Keavan Yazdani "Making it in Canada" Full Episode
- Sikolohiya at Diwa Podcast - Philippine Psychology
Asian Heritage Book Lists
- Cold tea collective’s 5 climate fiction books by Asian authors
- CBC’s 17 books to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in Canada
- All Lit Up’s 32 Books for Asian Heritage Month
- Simon Fraser University’s Asian Heritage Month Book Recommendations
Ways to observe beyond Canada
- Learn about the unique history, contributions, languages, cultural practices, diversity of foods and spiritual beliefs of people of Asian descent in your communities
- Learn and listen to who is working to build a thriving, economically prosperous Asian community