The southwest is home to sizeable populations of Asian groups who will be celebrating their culture, identity, and ethnic roots this May for AAPI and Asian Heritage Month. 

According to Stats Canada, a 2021 consensus noted that persons of Asian origins represent more than 19 per cent of the overall Canadian population, yet people of South Asian and Chinese ethnicity are the two most racialized groups in Canada.

Despite intellectual and technological advancements, cultural biases and prejudices are still very much prevalent in today's society, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Stats Canada also noted that over 52 per cent of Filipinos and 54 per cent of Chinese Canadians over the age of 15 had experienced discrimination in general, while a staggering 58 per cent of Southeast Asians experienced discrimination in a bank, store, or restaurant.

Although Asian Heritage Month was observed for years prior, it wasn't until 2002 that the federal government signed an official declaration designating May as Asian Heritage Month.

"One of the worst things was being told to go back to my country, even though I grew up in Canada," noted a Chinese-Vietnamese Canadian. 

Community members can show their support by shopping at Asian-owned businesses, watching an Asian documentary or film festival, donating to a non-profit such as the National Coalition of Canadians Against Anti-Asian Racism or Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and attending upcoming events such as USask.'s panel discussion. 

The USask panel discussion is set for tomorrow at North Concourse at Place Riel and will highlight the challenges and complexities Asians experience.

The discussion will run from 3 - 4:30 p.m. and will feature panellists David Chuong, Isabella Barrieses, Dr. Xulin Guo, and Khin Chan Myae Nyo.