Lacombe Against Racism was a peaceful protest against systemic and overt discrimination in central Alberta and around the world. (Todd Colin Vaughan/LACOMBE EXPRESS)

Hundreds turn out for Lacombe Against Racism peaceful protest

Event held in solidarity with protests around the world

Over 300 people came out to Lacombe Against Racism to hear the experiences of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in central Alberta.

The peaceful protest was in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movements happening around the globe and was also a way to address overt and systemic racism around Lacombe and Alberta.

Alden Boysis, one of the speakers, said it was the first time he has ever been able to use his voice.

“I was taught from a young age to not speak. I have been taught to be the token Indigenous person and just carry on,” he said.

Boysis spoke about creating a better world for his twin children.

“They are two years old and I don’t want a future like this for my kids. I want them to grow up in a country where everyone is equal, no one is hating and is about positivity,” he said.

Boysis hopes the message people took from the event was that if you see racism, you should do something about it.

“Don’t let it continue and stand there videotaping it. Step in. We are better than this. It is not the 60s, 50s, or the 40s. I have kids and I don’t want them to see someone get beat up just because they are different. They deserve to know love, happiness and unity and I think Canada can be better, it should be better and I really hope it will be better,” he said.

Boysis feels these protests are different that previous protests and will make a difference.

“My kids don’t know I am fighting for them but I am fighting for them and it makes it worth while. It’s one day at a time but I believe there could be change for the better,” he said.

Cheryl Baptiste grew up and Lacombe and said she felt the negative affects of racism.

“Almost every community we have moved to we have been told things like we should go back home,” she said.

Baptiste said it was important for her to speak up as an Indigenous woman because she still feels fear walking in the streets.

“Just yesterday my mom was telling me I need to watch my back. I don’t want this to be the rest of my life. I am not even 24 and it is not fair to me as a person when I am no different than anyone else,” she said.

Baptiste was surprised to see the large turnout in Lacombe, especially given some of the negative comments on the event’s Facebook page.

“I wasn’t surprised to see that stuff, but when I saw the turnout — I felt this was above and beyond,” she said.

Baptiste said she is working with different human rights groups through the community and she wants to continue to be educate people on the ills of racism.

Dieulita Datus, part of Ubuntu: Mobilizing Central Alberta which was the group that organized the event, said it was amazing to see so many people come out in her home town of Lacombe.

Despite the large turnout, Datus said systemic racism isn’t something that goes away in a day.

“You can’t dismantle something that has been around for so long in a day. We will keep the conversation going for as long as we can,” she said.

Datus thanked everyone who came out and said it is important to continuing sharing stories going forward.

“So many stories are coming out and so many people have reached out to me through social media to say they would like to be involved. That is how it continues,” she said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owner found

Father and son found miniature horse while out for a walk at JJ Collett

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

Paula Law took the oath of office on Oct. 19 with Lacombe County Manager Tim Timmons. Photo courtesy Lacombe County.
Lacombe County re-elects Paula Law as Reeve

This will be Law’s eighth term as Reeve and tenth year on the county council

Rieley Kay owns both Moe’s Pizza and Cilantro and Chive which are businesses located in downtown Lacombe. (Alannah Page/Lacombe Express)
City of Lacombe announces updated plans for downtown redevelopment

The plan would see $1.7 million spent on the downtown over the next 10 years

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

From l-r., first lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden on stage at the conclusion of the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump, Biden fight over the raging virus, climate and race

Republican president declared the virus, which killed more than 1,000 Americans on Thursday alone, will “go away.”

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly spoke to Ponoka Chamber of Commerce members over Zoom on Oct. 20. (Image: screenshot)
Alberta chambers are ‘411’ to members, government: ACC president

Changes to government supports, second wave and snap election

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

RCMP. (Black Press File Photo)
Calgary man dies in two-vehicle collision near Sylvan Lake

A semi truck collided with a SUV just east of Hwy. 781 on Hwy 11.

Most Read