February is Black History Month.
It recognizes the contributions of black people to Canada.
Jonathan Erau works at Lakehead University’s Human Rights and Equity office as its Administrative and Intake Officer.
He sees the Black community in northwestern Ontario slowing growing.
“I really would say that definitely has increased over time within the last couple of years from what I have observed,” says Erau. I think the more structures, the more programs, whether it’s sports, entertainment, education, or employment, that continue to look out for increasing diversity within these groups. I think we’re going to see a lot more involvement of Black people within northwestern Ontario and therefore better success with the northwestern regions.”
The 2021 Census noted over 16 hundred who identified as Black across the region, double the number in 2016.
Erau sees them creating their own history in time as they make northwestern Ontario their home.
“I think we’re witnessing an opportunity to really contribute.”
Erau says Black History Month is also a time for others to learn about the contributions Black people have made in Canada and elsewhere.
He says it’s also about hearing about their concerns and how to make Black people feel safe and inviting in our communities.