Index to Interviews for System Racism in Alberta’s History

Click on a name below to go to the Interview Page for a videoclip and transcript

Tarik Accord
Somalia-born Tarik Accord worked in several cleaning firms. Injured on the job at one of them, she helped form a union at Bee Clean and served as a union steward, emphasizing education of members regarding their legal rights with regards to occupational health and safety.

Edeline Agoncillo
Edeline Agoncillo is a Filipino immigrant who worked for K-Bro for two years as a temporary foreign worker, before completing a college program that she was misinformed would lead to her receiving a Canadian work permit.

Brian Alleyne
Arrived in Canada in 1969 with medical training from London, England and had to redo his postsecondary studies; Alberta’s first epidemiologist; conducted Health & Safety research in Alberta’s meatpacking plants. President of Cariwest for a number of years.

Aisha Amin
Journeyperson welder; she contributed her welding skills to the festival community for many years by producing large frames for the annual Cariwest street parade.

Ramon Antipan
After coming to Canada as a refugee of the 1973 Chilean coup, Ramon Antipan worked for Canada Post and became President of CUPW Local 730, after which he continued to work on social justice issues in his retirement.

Lou Broten
Lou Broten was a long-time president of the Edmonton local of the International Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen.

Tyler Bruce
A young Indigenous Ironworker, unionist and health and safety advocate, Bruce Tyler is studying to provide counselling to traumatized and marginalized Indigenous communities.

Yessy Byl
Lawyer Yessy Byl, who served as TFW advocate for the Alberta Federation of Labour, describes how the Temporary Foreign Worker Program exploits working people.

Kathleen Cariaga-Estapa
Kathleen Cariaga-Estapa has been active in AUPE’s local at Chartwell in Edmonton where she first began work as a housekeeper who was a temporary foreign worker.

Cecil (Cec) Cardinal
Cecil Cardinal is an Indigenous corrections officer and a dedicated trade unionist who advocates against governments’ austerity measures.

James (Jim) Cardinal
Jim Cardinal was raised in a Cree-speaking Indigenous family in Owl River. After several years working in construction in Fort McMurray, he became a welder at Suncor and a union activist. As vice-president and then president of his local of his union local (part of today’s UNIFOR), Cardinal fought discrimination against Indigenous workers.

Lewis Cardinal
Lewis Cardinal is a lifelong Indigenous educator and communicator whose recent project has been creation of a unifying cultural site for Indigenous peoples in Alberta and beyond.

Pauline Cardinal
Pauline Cardinal fought wage exploitation through CUPE union advocacy and training.

Evangeline Cayanan
Evangeline Cayanan is an undocumented worker whose harrowing tales are an indictment of the Temporary Foreign Worker program and treatment of undocumented workers in Canada.

Danilo De Leon
Danilo De Leon is a Filipino immigrant who has been both a temporary foreign worker and an undocumented worker in Alberta.

Felix de los Santos

Angela Fiddler
Angela Fiddler, a member of the Waterhen Cree Nation, faced racism in oilsands’ work camps and was able, as a shop steward for UFCW Local 401, to bargain for Indigenous rights to worship in the camps. 

Vicki Gillingham
Vicki Gillingham is an Indigenous woman and union activist who works as a process operator at Suncor.

Angela Grandbois
Dene Albertan and journeyperson with over 10 years of experience as a pipefitter-steamfitter; member of UA Local 488; recently completed her certification in Power Engineering.

Gwen Hooks
Black settler community in Breton, Alberta; became a teacher, and then principal of a special education school; president of a local Alberta Teachers’ Association chapter; opened a museum in Breton.

Selwyn Jacob
Born in Trinidad, he came to Edmonton in 1969 to study drama and film production at the U of A; president of Cariwest; award-winning producer and director at the National Film Board of Canada, creating over 50 films and documentaries.

Deb Jamerson
From Winnipeg with roots in the Black settler communities of Amber Valley and Maidstone. Union activist helping to lead the struggle against discrimination in wages towards Black health care aides; opposed privatization of homecare in Manitoba.

Peter Jany
Peter Jany is a South Sudanese origin refugee in Canada who played a key role in the UFCW union organization campaign at Lakeside Packers in Brooks in 2004-05.

Mohamed Kanu
Refugee from Sierra Leone who studied in Cuba before taking up residence in Red Deer.  Union appointed Safety Representative at a meat processing plant who upholds union advocacy and training.

Tets Kitaguchi
Tets Kitaguchi, an Alberta trade union activist in a lime kiln and a pulp mill, had been forced to return to Alberta, his home province, from BC when the federal government evacuated Japanese-descended people from the Pacific Coast during World War II.

Stanley Knowlton
Stanley Knowlton is a member of the Blackfoot First Nation who has served as an interpreter at Head Smashed-in Buffalo Jump since 2006.

Emmanuel (Manny) Lacson
Manny Lacson is an immigrant worker from the Philippines who became active in a UFCW Local 401 union organizing drive at Lakeside Packers and then in two strikes in 2005.

Lyla Luciano & Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson and Lyla Luciano are friends and both work part-time while attending university classes. They struggle to balance precarious employment, workplace safety issues, and rising tuition costs with immersion in community and family.

Yvette Lynch
Born in Barbados, arrived in Calgary via Montreal. Worked as a laundry worker at the Calgary General Hospital and participated in the 1995 Laundry Workers Strike.

Cyriline Lynch-Parker
Worked  as a laundry worker at the Calgary General Hospital; union activist who participated in  the 1995 Laundry Workers Strike.

Wesley Mapp
Born in the Black settler community of Amber Valley. One of Alberta’s first insulators, active as a union steward and focused on health and safety.

Sam Nuako
Sam Nuako is a Ghanian-born labour relations officer for UFCW who focuses strongly on diversity issues and on encouraging members to always speak up about their concerns.

Amal Nypiuk

Bena Pattni

Hazel Proctor
Of African-American heritage and strong community roots in AAACP and other organizations.  Highlights her father’s Sleeping Car Porter’s job as the best available for black men with women confined to cleaning and household employment in the 1950s and 1960s

Linda Robinson
Linda Robinson is an Indigenous polio survivor, determined to fight for improvements for Indigenous people.

Susana Runge
As an immigrant from Mexico with a career in worker education, Susana Runge has worked in health worker education and training in Grey Nuns Hospital in Edmonton and as a cultural broker with the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op.

Cecile Sangster-Locker
Cecile Sangster-Locker is an RN and midwife who played important roles in all the nursing strikes in Alberta to date.  

Beryl L. Scott
Beryl Scott, RN, has been a lifelong advocate for equal treatment for marginalized groups within the healthcare system and society in general.

Rashpal Sehmby
Rashpal Sehmby, a long-time CUPW activist, also served for several years as an interim organizer for Service Employees International Union, focusing on elderly Punjabi-origin janitors at Bee Clean in Edmonton.

Lena Shellian
Lena Shellian, born and raised in Canmore, was the daughter, grand-daughter and wife of coal mine workers, and watched her dad and her husband die of silicosis.

Colette Singh

Beryl Stelmach
Jamaican-born English trained nurse who specialized in different areas of her field.  In Canada, employment was mainly federal – in hospitals and penitentiaries.

Mary Strong
Mary Strong is the pseudonym for an Indigenous woman, a Sixties scoop survivor, who has become a leader in her AUPE local of homecare workers.

Aman Takhar
Aman Takhar, RN, credits the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) union leadership and solidarity for ensuring that nurses’ voices are heard at level where policy change can be made.

Constance Thomas
Constance Thomas is a veteran nurse, midwife, and UNA activist who has experienced many instances of racism in both her work and community lives, including denials of promotions at work.

Desmond Thomas
Desmond Thomas is an Indigenous member of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, Local 488, who benefited from an Indigenous-run program that works with the trades unions to provide an entry into the trades for Indigenous people.

Karen Three Persons
Karen Three Persons is a veteran Indigenous nurse and UNA local president, who has managed training programmes for Elders’ care and home care.

Muriel Stanley Venne
Muriel Stanley-Venne is a lifelong fighter for human rights and justice for Indigenous people.

Vincent A. (Vince) Venne

Doreen Wabasca
First woman hired by the City of Edmonton in a road construction job; foreperson for the City; truck driver.

Mojo Williams
Calgary-born gemologist and musician, was long-time grievance officer for the Alberta Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, beginning in the late 1960s. He dealt with cases that
included discrimination in housing, workplaces, schools, and nightclubs.