by Ryan McNutt, Matt Reeder and Matt Semansky
Originally published: June 27, 2016
In 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy — which means students like Catalina Albury, going into her second year of her Bachelor of Science studies, haven’t known a Canada without it.
“Multiculturalism to me is important because it’s a learning asset,” says Catalina, who came to Canada from the Bahams to study at Dal. “You gain so much deep, rich knowledge from so many people that you wouldn’t get if you were elsewhere.”
Designated as such by the Government of Canada in 2002, Canadian Multiculturalism Day is meant to “celebrate our diversity and our commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect.” It comes in the middle of a four-day celebration called “Celebrate Canada,” which also includes National Aboriginal Day (June 21), Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24) and Canada Day (July 1).
Sarath Sadidharan, a fourth-year Commerce student, was brought up in Dubai, India and has also been able to experience Canadian multiculturalism as a newcomer.