The poster for the peaceful walk, organized by Olivia and Herliné Taylor. Photo Submitted

Young Sylvan Lake residents plan peaceful anti-racism march

Olivia and Herliné Taylor have planned We Walk As One for 4 p.m. on June 26 at town hall

Sylvan Lake sisters Herliné and Olivia Taylor are hoping to effect change in their community by organizing a peaceful walk through downtown.

The young sisters say the march or peaceful protest is to bring awareness to members of the community, and to help start a conversation about racism.

Olivia, a grade 10 students at Ecole HJ Cody High School, says the hope is to have the community come together an stand against racism.

“Racism is more than black and white… I have a friend who is Muslim and has experienced racism,” Olivia said. “This march is a peaceful walk standing against racism in our community.”

Herliné, a nursing student, says it feels like people have forgotten what it means to be an inclusive and diverse community.

Her hope for the march, which goes from the Municipal Government Building down the lakeshore and back, is to have people in Sylvan Lake think about their actions and words towards other people.

“I want to challenge Sylvan Lake as a whole to stand against racism,” Herliné said.

The two say Sylvan Lake, while predominately a Caucasian community has many different ethnicities and cultures living and visiting here.

“I want to see Sylvan Lake become a community that openly accepts diversity,” said Herliné. “We’d like to see Sylvan Lake take a stand against racism as a whole.

The sisters say everyone can do better when it comes to racism, whether that is standing up against it or thinking about whether or not something you say could hurt another.

Olivia says she has encountered racism in her life in small ways. Her peers may say a joke or comment on something like another’s hair or the way they dress.

“I don’t think they always known or think it is racist what they are saying, and I’ve learned not to say anything so people don’t think I’m [easily upset]. That is something I can be better about, standing up and asking people to stop,” said Olivia.

Part of the planning for the peaceful march was to get the Town on board, which included emails and calls with Mayor Sean McIntyre.

The Town itself cannot hold an anti racism rally, but the Mayor was very supportive of Herliné and Olivia’s plan, they said.

Next they called the local RCMP depot for their support.

“I want everyone to know this is not an anti-police or a police brutality protest. The RCMP are there to help and protect us, and the officers here in Sylvan Lake have done a very good job of that,” said Herliné.

Sylvan Lake RCMP members will be present at the march to help keep the peace, in the unlikely event things get out of hand.

The event, held on June 26, will start at 4 p.m. with a few words from the sisters and a prayer. Following that there will be a short walk, estimated at 20 minutes, before dispersing.

“We hope everyone can come, but we understand if you wish to stay home because of COVID and everything… If you are planning to stay away for another reason, I just wish for you to ask yourself why, and to have an open mind,” Herliné said.

“God created us all equal, and we all bleed red, everything else is just superficial,” Olivia said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey. Photo Submitted
Rimbey hotel gets new lease on life

The Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey is now open and taking bookings

Leanne Evans, Rimbey Neighbourhood Place Program Coordinator, accepts a donation of $5,000 from Kevin Maxwell manager of Field Support for Telus. (Photo Submitted)
Rimbey Neighbourhood Place making big changes behind the scenes

Rimbey Neighbourhood Place recently recieved a $5,000 donation from Telus

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday February 4, 2020 in Ottawa. The Alberta government is welcoming news that Ottawa has approved an expansion of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gathering system in Alberta — while condemning federal delays that it says cost this summer’s construction season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta welcomes federal approval of gas pipeline expansion while criticizing delay

The project is expected to create up to 2,920 direct jobs during construction, the federal release said

Most Read