It was a day of dancing and tasting cultural foods as the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo held its Multiculturalism Day at the Fort McMurray Heritage Village on Saturday.
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The event included First Nations and Métis representatives, as well as people showing culture from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Philippines , Scotland and Venezuela.
This is the organization’s first in-person event since February 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced cultural events online. But the event also comes as 2021 municipal census data shows the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo area is becoming increasingly diverse.
About 60% of the region’s inhabitants are white, up from 64% at the 2018 census. The second largest ethnic group in the region is Southeast Asian at 7.2% and South Asian is the third with 6.7%.
About 3.2% of people identified as African, followed by mixed ethnicity (2.44%) and Black or African-Canadian (2%).
First Nations reserves were not included in the census because they fall under federal jurisdiction. But the census revealed that seven percent of people living in the municipality are indigenous.
Languages and religious beliefs are surveyed by Statistics Canada and were not included in the municipal census. Languages spoken surveys will be released by Statistics Canada on August 17, while data on religious beliefs and migration will be released on October 26.