FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – The Guru Nanak Sikh Temple and Cultural Society of Fort St. John requested April 2021 to be proclaimed Sikh Heritage Month in Fort St. John

The city will join the rest of the province in celebrating all month long after Mayor Lori Ackerman made the proclamation Monday during a council meeting.

The Sikh flag will also be flown outside City Hall to raise awareness about Sikh culture.

Shubhdeep Kaur penned a letter to council on March 2nd requesting the proclamation.

“Sikhs have been part of Fort St. John for a long time,” said Kaur in the letter presented to council on March 22nd.

The month of April is officially named Sikh Heritage Month in British Columbia. April marks the birth of Khalsa, and his teachings of equality, community service and social justice. Vaisakhi is celebrated in April every year, and it marks the Sikh New Year.

“There are Sikh communities in every Province in Canada. Canada’s 2011 Census showed Punjabi to be the most spoken immigrant language in the country,” said Kaur.

Sikhs have a long history in Canada. In 1897, the first Sikhs came to Canada as members of British Indian Army, on their way to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Guru Nanak Sikh Temple and Cultural Society of Fort St. John were founded in April 1987. According to Kaur, like all Sikh places of worship, the langar, which is a community kitchen, provides free food every Sunday in Fort St. John in the Sikh temple, anyone can come in and enjoy the meal regardless of their faith.