OTTAWA, Feb. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism, issued the following statement after the official launch event for Black History Month at the Canadian War Museum:
"Every February, Canadians mark Black History Month, an important annual celebration of the accomplishments of Canadians who trace their family heritage to Africa and the Caribbean.
"The proud legacy of black Canadians goes back to the early beginnings of Canadian history. The great sacrifices and tremendous contributions of their community have helped to create the Canada of today.
"This year, as we mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War, Black History Month provides an opportunity to recognize the efforts of black Canadian soldiers during these wars, and in other military campaigns.
"Canadians should learn more about many inspirational stories of heroism and service, including that of the largely black Number Two Construction Battalion, which proudly served our country during the First World War.
"Another great story is that of William Hall, the first black recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was also the first Canadian sailor and the first Nova Scotian to receive this honour.
"This year, Canada Post's 2014 Black History Month stamps will honour two historical communities that were located on opposite sides of our country: Africville in Halifax, and Hogan's Alley in Vancouver.
"Both of these communities played significant roles in black Canadian history, and their stories are well worth learning during Black History Month.
"Canadians can explore these and many other stories on the Government of Canada's Black History Month website, which hosts the Black History Virtual Museum.
"As Minister for Multiculturalism, I also encourage Canadians to participate in the many celebrations that will take place across the country throughout February in honour of Black History Month."
SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
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