Premier-designate Iain Rankin delivers remarks to participants of the Africa Festival of Arts and Culture Society’s 2021 Black History Month Cultural Virtual Event

- Virtual event

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Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is my privilege to join you for tonight’s events.

Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge that we are in Mi'kma'ki, the traditional territory of the Mi'kmaq People.

As you know, Nova Scotia is full of unique, diverse, and inspiring stories of the more than 100 cultural groups that call this province home.

And this month we pay tribute to people of African descent, who have made significant cultural, religious, and economic contributions to Nova Scotia for more than 400 years. Contributions of African Descent are not one offs. They are woven into the fabric of our province, And we - all of us - are better for it.

The history of people of African descent is our shared history.

The stories, culture, and traditions of people of African descent deserve to have a stage all year ‘round. As we get closer to the end of this month we need to continue to talk about the contribution…now, during the decade of people of African Descent and into the future.

The Africa Festival of Arts and Culture Society has been exceptional at showcasing cultural heritage and artistic works created by people of African descent in Nova Scotia. And I must say, the talent is outstanding.

As Premier of Nova Scotia, I will unquestionably support events like this one.

Our province is a symbol of diversity. And I will make it a priority to promote equity, inclusiveness, and safety for all people.

I am aware of the issues still facing people of African descent and am committed to work with community to confront issues like Systemic racism, which is embedded in all of our institutions.

Government leadership is critical and partnership is too. I will do what I can, and ensure equity is at the forefront of hiring practices, departmental structure, and I expect businesses to do the same.

I want to be that leader - and be that partner. One that works with people, with communities. Someone who listens, learns, and recognizes my own privilege.

My government will provide leadership and work in partnership with you -- creating and promoting ways to eliminate systemic barriers and championing inclusive opportunities for everyone.

That way, we all benefit.

In closing, I want to thank the Africa Festival of Arts and Culture Society for sharing African arts and culture with all Nova Scotians.

Congratulations on your continued success.

Thank you and please enjoy the event.