Historic NDP bill marking July as Tibetan Heritage Month passes in Legislature
QUEEN’S PARK — A bill tabled by NDP MPP Bhutila Karpoche (Parkdale—High Park) to mark July of each year as Tibetan Heritage month passed unanimously in the Ontario Legislature today.
Bhutila represents the diverse Toronto riding of Parkdale—High Park, the Parkdale portion of which is home to the largest Tibetan-Canadian community in North America and is also unofficially known as Little Tibet.
"July is an important month for Tibetans around the world. On July 6, we as a community celebrate the birthday of His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, an honorary Canadian citizen,” said Bhutila. “This day signifies the resilience of the Tibetan people.”
Bhutila’s bill aims to recognize the important contributions made by Tibetan-Canadians in Ontario, as well as bring awareness to Tibetan issues.
Bhutila’s bill has received support from several Tibetan organizations including the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario (CTAO), the Tibetan Women’s Association of Ontario (TWAO), Chushi Gangdruk, Students for a Free Tibet Canada and the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Toronto, which advocate to preserve and share Tibet’s rich culture in today’s increasingly diverse and multicultural Canadian society.
Karpoche is the first person of Tibetan heritage to be elected to public office in North America.
Tibetan Canadians are proud to be part of the diverse communities of Ontario and Canada. Tibetans were some of the earliest government-sponsored non-European refugees to settle in Canada.
By proclaiming the month of July as Tibetan Heritage Month, the province of Ontario recognizes the contributions of Tibetans in all aspects of Ontario society. Tibetan Heritage Month is also an opportunity to educate future generations about the significant roles that Tibetan-Canadians have played and continue to play across Ontario.