Lacombe Against Racism was a peaceful protest against systemic and overt discrimination in central Alberta and around the world. (Todd Colin Vaughan/LACOMBE EXPRESS)

Hundreds turn out for Lacombe Against Racism peaceful protest

Event held in solidarity with protests around the world

Over 300 people came out to Lacombe Against Racism to hear the experiences of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in central Alberta.

The peaceful protest was in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movements happening around the globe and was also a way to address overt and systemic racism around Lacombe and Alberta.

Alden Boysis, one of the speakers, said it was the first time he has ever been able to use his voice.

“I was taught from a young age to not speak. I have been taught to be the token Indigenous person and just carry on,” he said.

Boysis spoke about creating a better world for his twin children.

“They are two years old and I don’t want a future like this for my kids. I want them to grow up in a country where everyone is equal, no one is hating and is about positivity,” he said.

Boysis hopes the message people took from the event was that if you see racism, you should do something about it.

“Don’t let it continue and stand there videotaping it. Step in. We are better than this. It is not the 60s, 50s, or the 40s. I have kids and I don’t want them to see someone get beat up just because they are different. They deserve to know love, happiness and unity and I think Canada can be better, it should be better and I really hope it will be better,” he said.

Boysis feels these protests are different that previous protests and will make a difference.

“My kids don’t know I am fighting for them but I am fighting for them and it makes it worth while. It’s one day at a time but I believe there could be change for the better,” he said.

Cheryl Baptiste grew up and Lacombe and said she felt the negative affects of racism.

“Almost every community we have moved to we have been told things like we should go back home,” she said.

Baptiste said it was important for her to speak up as an Indigenous woman because she still feels fear walking in the streets.

“Just yesterday my mom was telling me I need to watch my back. I don’t want this to be the rest of my life. I am not even 24 and it is not fair to me as a person when I am no different than anyone else,” she said.

Baptiste was surprised to see the large turnout in Lacombe, especially given some of the negative comments on the event’s Facebook page.

“I wasn’t surprised to see that stuff, but when I saw the turnout — I felt this was above and beyond,” she said.

Baptiste said she is working with different human rights groups through the community and she wants to continue to be educate people on the ills of racism.

Dieulita Datus, part of Ubuntu: Mobilizing Central Alberta which was the group that organized the event, said it was amazing to see so many people come out in her home town of Lacombe.

Despite the large turnout, Datus said systemic racism isn’t something that goes away in a day.

“You can’t dismantle something that has been around for so long in a day. We will keep the conversation going for as long as we can,” she said.

Datus thanked everyone who came out and said it is important to continuing sharing stories going forward.

“So many stories are coming out and so many people have reached out to me through social media to say they would like to be involved. That is how it continues,” she said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

Most Read