June is now officially Filipino Heritage Month in the City of Yellowknife.
From the time when the first Filipino person arrived in Yellowknife in 1967 until the present day, the proclamation read by Mayor Rebecca Alty states the city and the Filipino community have built strong connections. The proclamation recognizes, in particular, the ‘tremendous commitment and accomplishment’ of the Philippine Cultural Association of Yellowknife (PCAY).
Councillor Rommel Silverio thanked they ‘very active officers’ of the PCAY present at council for the May 27th proclamation. He also thanked the city for welcoming members of the Philippine community, who are the largest single group of immigrants to settle in Yellowknife according to Statistics Canada data. A total of 1,060 residents self-identified as Filipino and 775 selected the Philippines as their place of birth in the 2016 census.
“This is what makes Yellowknife and Canada a good place to live,” Silverio said. “As an immigrant, they give us an opportunity to grow and be a part of the community and that means a lot to us as Filipinos.”
The proclamation follows Canada’s House of Commons in designating June as Filipino Heritage Month across the country, a motion passed in 2018. The month is also a ‘monumental month’ the proclamation states, as it marks 121 years since the country gained independence from Spain.
The Philippine flag will be raised at city hall June 10th in honour of the month. Silverio remarked this is the third time the flag has been raised since the city’s founding.