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Alberta anti-discrimination board includes local advocate

The Alberta anti-racism Advisory Council. This 24-member panel will consult with the government and work to end discrimination in the province. Included in its membership is local mental health advocate, Sithara Fernando, seated second from the left. Photo supplied by the government of Alberta.

In another first for Alberta, the province announced the development of an anti-racism council.

Education Minister David Eggen unveiled the new Alberta Anti-Racism Advisory Council.

The 24-member panel will consult the government and provide strategies to combat discrimination and racism in the province.

When asked about the establishment of the council, Eggen said “we owe this to our future generations.”

“Establishing the Anti-Racism Advisory Council is an important part of our government’s efforts in fighting racism in this province. Each of the council’s new members brings a wealth of knowledge and lived experience to our government’s anti-racism work. I have a great deal of confidence in this new council and I look forward to working together to ensure all Albertans feel safe and respected.”

The council received more than 300 applicants with the final group of panelists coming from places like Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray.

Local representation

Included in its membership is local mental health advocate, Sithara Fernando.

Fernando is an environmental monitoring instructor with Keyano College, and a registered professional forester.

Her past experience includes chairing the Pride Center of Edmonton’s governance committee, and serving as the vice-chair of Some Other Solutions crisis prevention center.

Fernando also makes trips north to work with children in Fort Chipewyan.