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Black History Month begins in Nunavut


Deputy Mayor of Iqaluit Janet Brewster (left) is awarded the Sankofa Community Collaborator Award by Stephanie Bernard, President of the Nunavut Black History Society. Trevor Wright/NNSL photo.

On Sunday, Feb. 7 the opening ceremonies for Nunavut’s Black History Month celebrations took place at the Astro Theatre in Iqaluit.

Hosted by Nunavut’s Black History Society, they presented the Sankofa Awards for a number of community members for their efforts in the community and helping in matters of social justice.

The winners were as follows:

Sankofa President’s Awards

  • Sankofa Community Collaborator Award - Deputy Mayor of Iqaluit Janet Brewster
  • Sankofa Social Justice Award - Clayton Greaves

Sankofa Awards for African Descent Excellence

  • Sankofa Volunteer Achievement Award - Milton Grace
  • Sankofa African Descent Person of Excellence in Nunavut Award - Dr. Camillus Chike Egeni
  • Sankofa Lifetime Achievement Award - Hon Dr. Jean Augustine

In attendance via Zoom were Bardish Chagger, federal minister of diversity, inclusion and youth, Nunavut Minister of Culture and Heritage Margaret Nakasuk and Winston LaRose, community activist and managing director for the Jane and Finch Concerned Citizens Association in Toronto (as well as an Elder Council Member for the Nunavut Black History Society).

Hon Dr. Jean Augustine was presented with the Sankofa Lifetime Achievement Award on Feb. 7. She was the first Black-Canadian elected to the House of Commons in 1993 and introduced legislation bringing Black History Month to Canada, passing unanimously 305-0 in the House of Commons in Feb. 2002. Trevor Wright/NNSL Photo.

There will be a number of films hosted at the Astro Theatre over the course of the next month with the first film ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ being shown Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.

Other events at times to be determined will be held from March to June of this year.

These events include 'Black History through Storytelling' - "Black Dance, a gift to the New World", Mardi Gras Valentine Party - "The Blackout" and the Black History Month Celebration Finale - "Black Moves & Sounds".