Blackfalds Against Racism recently held a peaceful protest and march which saw over 120 people attend.
Organizer Kisha Daniels was encouraged by the turnout and said there was very little disruption at the event.
“We had a few people while we were marching, but luckily we had the support of Blackfalds RCMP,” Daniels said.
Despite being encouraged by the event, Daniels said the conversation needs to continue — especially given that 120 people makes up a very small number of the over 10,000 people that live in Blackfalds. To do so, Blackfalds Against Racism is starting a lending library to help connect residents with BIPOC authors
“You won’t be getting something with misinformation. The majority of those books will be by Black, Indigenous and persons of colour authors,” Daniels said.
Additionally, Blackfalds Against Racism recently presented to the Town of Blackfalds council, who showed support for the group according to Daniels.
“The feedback from the majority of councillors was good, except for one councilor who I am planning to send an email to in order to further provide education and understanding,” she said.
“The support from the mayor and council was great at the protest and they stayed for everything. That is encouraging and they want to work with us further on things we can do to change the town.”
Daniels sees things moving in a positive direction but said central Alberta still has learning to do.
“I think that some of the things brought to the protests by antagonists are not even part of the issues we are discussing,” she said, adding counter-protesters have diminished in central Alberta since the first demonstration in Red Deer a few weeks ago.
“I would like to hope that is because they are reconsidering their position and bias. I hope they are trying to listen and learn from the conversation,” she said.
Going forward, Daniels said it is important to continue discussing the message in the community.
“We need to be talking about how Black Lives Matter, how Indigenous Lives Matter and how other peoples of colour lives matter,” she said. “We need people to understand what we mean when we talk about defunding the police.
“We are not talking about anarchy, we are talking about taking a portion of the amount allotted to the police and instead putting it into healthcare, mental healthcare and kids program so that issues are better taken care of.”
Daniels said Blackfalds Against Racism is continuing to work on local initiatives and will have other events in the future.
“I am not naive but I am excited for the possibility of positive change,” she said.