FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Mayor Lori Ackerman has proclaimed April 2022 as Sikh Heritage Month in the City of Fort St. John.

In January 2022, Shubhdeep Kaur reached out to the Mayor and Council requesting April 2022 be proclaimed as Sikh Heritage Month, citing in their letter that April is officially named Sikh Heritage Month in British Columbia already. Mayor Ackerman officially proclaimed it as of March 28th, 2022.

In both the letter and the proclamation, it was stated that April marks the birth of Khalsa, which refers to both the community of Sikhs and a special group of initiated Sikhs. This was formed in 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh and Mata Sahib Kaur. It teaches equality, community service and social justice.

The Sikh New Year is also celebrated in April, landing on the 14th this year.

Both the request letter and the proclamation have also mentioned that Sikhs have been part of the City for a long time. Guru Nanak Sikh Temple and Cultural Society of Fort St. John was founded in April 1987.

The Sikh community as a whole across the country has grown to over 500,000.

Shubhdeep also mentioned in the letter that the langar, a community kitchen inside the Fort St. John Sikh temple, provides free food every Sunday, like all Sikh places of worship. Anyone can come in regardless of their faith.