Observing February as Black History Month, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney Tuesday called upon all Canadians to recognize the achievements of black Canadians in law enforcement.
"Black Canadians have made significant contributions to all areas of Canadian life, and this year we are focusing our celebration on the contributions of past black pioneers and present leaders who have done so much to serve and protect our communities," Minister Kenney said while speaking at the Canadian War Museum, according to a press release made by the Immigration office.
While acknowledging the contributions of black Canadians, the minister presented the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal to Abdulkadar Mohamed Dualeh, a black Canadian who bravely saved three lives in Ottawa last year.
"These inspirational stories remind us of the significant contributions that black Canadians have made throughout our shared history," Jason Kenney said in the news release.
"I encourage Canadians to celebrate Black History Month by participating in the many events that will take place across the country and by learning more about the law enforcement pioneers that we are honoring today."
The Immigration Minister applauded Lori Seale-Irving, who was the first black woman to become a commissioned officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Devon Clunis, who last year became Canada's first black Chief of Police, also attended the ceremony at the war museum.
February is commemorated as Black History Month in Canada and it is a month to honor the contributions made by black Canadians to the nation as well as an opportunity to celebrate the multicultural diversity of the land.
The U.S. and the U.K. also observe Black History Month annually in remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.
Black History Month dates back to 1926 when historian G. Carter Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be Negro History Week. The week was selected because it was the week that both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were born.
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