On June 6, 2022 Northwestern Polytechnic raised the Pride flag for the first time in institutional history. NWPSA worked diligently with the Executive Council of NWP to ensure that students would know that they are welcome at our institution.
"The pride flag represents diversity and inclusivity for all members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and their allies. Historically, this institution has never flown the pride flag and we are asking that we start to make this change today. As Northwestern Polytechnic moves forwards in its values of responsiveness and innovation, we ask that the institution also recognize where it has not yet paved a path forward. To take a stand against discrimination, exclusionary practices and the abuse that much of this community has faced."
This event was well attended by the community and members of Northwestern Polytechnic. Members from GALAP, GP Pride Society, Northreach Society and CBYF were all in attendance. We extend gratitude to the Executive Council of Northwestern Polytechnic, Loretta Parenteau-English for blessing our ceremony and the community and faces who attended to show our students how supportive our community is.
"While today, we raise the Pride Flag to show the rest of the community that we stand with our 2SLGBTQIA+ community, we recognize that there is still work to do. Pride was born out of protest and we carry a moral obligation to not stop with the raising of this flag. There is work to be done within our communities to ensure that every person feels safe to be who they are. This means continuing to educate ourselves every day to ensure that we are employing the best and most inclusive practices. This means prioritizing understanding the importance of intersectionality. This means educating ourselves to effectively stand alongside every person who faces systemic exclusions"
- Tahnia Getson (they/her), NWPSA Executive Director
The Pride flag went up on both the Grande Prairie campus, as well as the Fairview campus. We are excited to ensure that this flag goes up each and every June at both Campuses. We also recognize that this is just the tip of the iceberg in order to make change in our institution.
"Raising this flag means a number of things. One of them being diversity [...] Being yourself shouldn't be scary. It should be normal, hiding away gets you no where." - Joshua Winland (he/him), NWPSA Vice President External
NWPSA wants every person to see it to know that they are welcome and encouraged to be their authentic self in any of our spaces, regardless of race, gender identity, sexuality, ability or religion. If you are not currently in a safe place to come out as your authentic self, please know that this flag is for you as well and that our office is always open as a safe place for you. If you need additional supports, please know that there are community organizations waiting to welcome you with open arms. GALAP, who is in attendance with us here is ready and waiting to welcome you. If you are, or know, a youth between the ages of 13-17 who need support, please reach out to Youth Mentor at the Northreach Society, who is also in attendance with us here today. And if you are looking for community events during the month of June, GP Pride is welcoming all.
If you require additional supports please consider using online safe spaces such as The Trevor Project, LGBTQ Student Resources & Support, the Matthew Shepard Foundation or the Lifeline Canada Foundation. You can also turn to glaad.org for a list of online resources.
"Remember to be loud, take up space and to always be unapologetically you. We cannot wait to welcome you with open arms at NWPSA." - Tahnia Getson