In the afternoon of Saturday Sept. 19, 2020, the Black and Indigenous Alliance, formerly known as the Black and Indigenous Alliance Alberta, gathered at the Wetaskiwin City Hall grounds.
Those gathered with the Alliance and from outside it came to protest peacefully. They hung signs on the fence outside City Hall and were present to bring awareness to the demands that the group has recently brought forward to Wetaskiwin City Council.
“Today was a round table discussion with community members to talk about the demands that we’ve already given to City Council after we’ve had several meetings with the people of the community, racialized folk in the community,” Kisha Daniels, head of media and partial founder of the group, said on Saturday.
“We wanted to share those with the community, and we wanted to see what else the community wanted us to work for to bring equity in their communities.”
Daniels said that promoting equity for racialized and minority groups in Alberta is the main focus of the Alliance.
“We are looking for equity,” Daniels said. “Equity in mental health, equity in finances, equity in accessibility. And we are also looking to peel back police activity with racialized folk in this area.”
Daniels also pointed out the difference between their gathering at the Wetaskiwin City Hall grounds and their Monday Sept. 14, 2020 press conference in Ponoka, Alta. The Alliance held a press conference to speak about the alleged hit and run that occurred Sept. 10, 2020 during one of their protests in Ponoka. Tensions started to heat up when two men, believed to be from out of town, loudly protested the conference.
Unlike their Ponoka press conference, no counter protests were made to their gathering at the Wetaskiwin City Hall.
One of Black and Indigenous Alliance’s founders Callum Daniels said that the group’s efforts are “a fight for everyone as well. It’s not just to bring equity to racialized people, it’s to bring equity to all oppressed, marginalized groups.”
Kisha Daniels says that the Black and Indigenous Alliance was thrilled when the City of Wetaskiwin approved the 24/7 Integrated Response Hub that will be open November 1, 2020 in the City.
“We were over the moon when we heard that,” she said. Daniels believes this is a big step forward in helping with equity for racialized groups in the Wetaskiwin area.
“We just want people to be able to get these resources that they need and equity in these communities. We want racialized people to feel safe and comfortable in the places that they live.”