The B.C. government has awarded the Indus Media Foundation a one-time grant of $248,500 to share South Asian heritage through exhibition displays and learning tools intended for B.C. schools and community spaces. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, along with Amrik Virk, MLA for Surrey-Tynehead, addressed Surrey high school students and community members at Simon Fraser University.
Directly before the announcement, the students participated in an interactive guided tour of the Indus Media Foundation’s heritage display, ‘Duty, Honour & Izzat – The Call to Flanders Fields,’ which commemorates the contribution of the Indian army to the First World War. During the war, Punjabi soldiers were fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with Canadians and suffered enormous losses. In death, they lie or are commemorated beside their Canadian brothers-in-arms in hundreds of cemeteries around the world.
The new funding will help the Indus Media Foundation expand its existing display exhibit and create learning tools and teacher resources that can be shared in classrooms throughout the province. This will provide additional opportunities for British Columbians to honour those who lost their lives, as well as engage youth of all cultures in our shared history.
The contributions of the South Asian communities to B.C. are part of British Columbia’s new K-12 curriculum, which will be fully implemented by the 2018-19 school year.