November 22, 2017

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Winnipegger honored for sharing history with newcomers

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Lawyer Bashir Khan </p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Lawyer Bashir Khan

A Winnipeg immigration lawyer with a passion for sharing Canadian history has been nominated for a Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Community Programming.

Bashir Khan has organized free events for newcomers that bring to life Canadian historical figures like Sir Robert Borden, Manitoba suffragette Margret Benedictsson, Gov. Gen. Vincent Massey and the role they played in shaping Canada. Khan, a Manitoba Historical Society council member, has reached out to several cultural communities to educate newcomers about their new country and how it was formed, says historical society president Gary McEwen.

"Bashir believes that for him to love Canada means to have an understanding, admiration, appreciation and love for its history," McEwen said in a letter to Canada's History Society nominating Khan. Khan, himself, is a newcomer to Canada. He immigrated from Pakistan at age 11. The lawyer has personally initiated, partly funded and organized several commemorative events for refugees and immigrants so they could learn about and admire Canada and its history, McEwen said.

One of those nominating Khan is from an ethnic minority in Myanmar that's been persecuted and enslaved in the country formerly known as Burma.

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A Winnipeg immigration lawyer with a passion for sharing Canadian history has been nominated for a Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Community Programming.

Bashir Khan has organized free events for newcomers that bring to life Canadian historical figures like Sir Robert Borden, Manitoba suffragette Margret Benedictsson, Gov. Gen. Vincent Massey and the role they played in shaping Canada. Khan, a Manitoba Historical Society council member, has reached out to several cultural communities to educate newcomers about their new country and how it was formed, says historical society president Gary McEwen.

"Bashir believes that for him to love Canada means to have an understanding, admiration, appreciation and love for its history," McEwen said in a letter to Canada's History Society nominating Khan. Khan, himself, is a newcomer to Canada. He immigrated from Pakistan at age 11. The lawyer has personally initiated, partly funded and organized several commemorative events for refugees and immigrants so they could learn about and admire Canada and its history, McEwen said.

One of those nominating Khan is from an ethnic minority in Myanmar that's been persecuted and enslaved in the country formerly known as Burma.

"There is a thirst among many members of my community — who do not have the opportunity to get a formal education because of barriers connected to their refugee experience and past trauma — to want to learn more about Canadian," Slone Phan, chairman of the Karen Community of Canada said in letter to Canada's History Society supporting Khan's nomination.

The aim of the Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Community Programming is to "inspire small, volunteer-led community organizations in the creation of innovative programming that commemorates important aspects of our heritage," Canada's History Society says.

The award will be presented to a French and English recipient at Rideau Hall in Ottawa this fall.

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