Alberta Multicultural Policies
In 1972, the Government of Alberta passed the Alberta Bill of Rights. The Bill was included in the Human Rights, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism Act of 1996, an act stating that all Albertans have an equal right to dignity and justice regardless of “race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, or family status,” and that the Government of Canada is committed to supporting multiculturalism.
Alberta Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture (formerly the Ministry of Community Development) is the main Albertan government body that deals with Alberta’s multicultural and diverse heritage. As its name suggests, the ministry works to assist communities, including ethnic groups, to survive and to succeed. The ministry has program divisions, agencies, and foundations which preserve and advance Alberta’s diverse heritages. These include:
- Francophone Secretariat
- The Francophone Secretariat was established in 1999 to show the Alberta government’s dedication to recognizing its Francophone community. The Secretariat acts as a bridge between the government and the community and represents Francophone Alberta at the provincial and federal government levels. Its website also provides links to other Francophone societies in Alberta, such as L'Unithéâtre, Edmonton’s Francophone theatre company, and the Francophone bookstores of Alberta.
- Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission
- The Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission verifies that all Albertans are being treated with respect according to the Human Rights, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism Act. This commission also works to teach Albertans more about human rights.
- Provincial Government Funding for Multiculturalism
- The Human Rights, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism Education Fund provides grants to community organizations and public institutions and helps to fund educational programs to teach Albertans about human rights and multiculturalism. Some money goes to promote equality, fairness, and inclusion of everyone in Alberta’s communities. Part of the money in the Human Rights, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism Education Fund comes from the Alberta Lottery Fund. Among the organizations supported by this fund are the Asian Heritage Foundation, the Association for the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women, the Calgary Jewish Centre, the Central Alberta Diversity Association, the Heritage Community Foundation, and the Edmonton Multicultural Society.
- Alberta Lottery Rund
- The Lottery Fund is administered by the Alberta Gaming. Part of the money that the government receives from lottery and other gaming revenues goes into this fund. Money from the fund is then put towards the Human Rights, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism Education Fund. The Lottery Fund also supports other multicultural events and organizations in Alberta, including Afrikadey, Cariwest and Carifest, and La Fête franco-albertaine.
- Alberta Award for the Study of Canadian Human Rights and Multiculturalism
- The Alberta Award for the Study of Canadian Human Rights and Multiculturalism is given to a graduate student who is studying human rights or multiculturalism. One award of $10,000 is made each year. The award is sponsored by the Human Rights, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism Education Fund.
- Diversity Leadership Award of Distinction
- The Diversity Leadership Award of Distinction is supported by the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission and it recognizes an organization that encourages diversity and inclusion in its workplace and discourages discrimination.
- Alberta Foundation for the Arts
- The Alberta Foundation for the Arts receives some of its funds from the Alberta Lottery Fund. It gives grants to individual artists and to arts industries in general. The Alberta Foundation for the Arts also funds many of Alberta’s festivals, including Afrikadey, GlobalFest, and ExpoLatino.