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Punjabi-language TV anchor Gurpreet Singh Sahota honoured for making land acknowledgments in his daily bulletin

Sahota
Painter Jarnail Singh (left) and Radical Desi director Gurpreet Singh (right) presented the Reconciliation Award to Gurpreet Singh Sahota.

On Thursday (June 27), Radical Desi presented its first Reconciliation Award to Punjabi-language broadcaster Gurpreet Singh Sahota. It came in a brief ceremony held at Channel Punjabi studios in Surrey.

Sahota has been making land acknowledgments on his evening news show on Channel Punjabi over the past two years. He never forgets to start his daily bulletin by recognizing that he is broadcasting from a studio located on the traditional territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, and Samiahmoo peoples.

To mark Indigenous History Month, Radical Desi established the Reconciliation Award. Painter Jarnail Singh and Radical Desi director Gurpreet Singh presented the plaque to Sahota.

Jarnail Singh is a well-known Surrey artist. He recently painted a portrait dedicated to former Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara President Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was assassinated last year.

Prior to his death, Nijjar organized special prayers for Indigenous children after ground-penetrating radar detected what could be human remains on the grounds of a former Indian residential school in Kamloops. Jarnail Singh jointly created the multimedia artwork in partnership with Indigenous educator and beadwork artist Jennifer Sherif, who wanted to express her gratitude to Nijjar.

The two artists unveiled their artwork piece on National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.

Others urged to emulate Sahota

Meanwhile, Gurpreet Singh has called upon other Punjabi-speaking media personalities to follow in Sahota’s footsteps by issuing land acknowledgments. Moreover, Gurpreet Singh has also urged them to cover the issues of First Nations in Canada to help bring about true reconciliation.

He also thanked Channel Punjabi CEO Parvkar Singh Dulai for creating space for territorial recognition.

Jarnail Singh also lauded Sahota for starting this important custom on a Punjabi-language media platform.

For his part, Sahota said that he was greatly influenced by stories of Punjabi pioneers, who often treated First Nations with respect and considered them as cousins from an elderly uncle’s family.

Gurpreet Singh is a Pancouver contributor. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @gurpreetonair. Follow Pancouver on X (formerly Twitter) @PancouverMedia and on Instagram @PancouverMedia.

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The Society of We Are Canadians Too created Pancouver to foster greater appreciation for underrepresented artistic communities. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.

We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.

The Society of We Are Canadians Too created Pancouver to foster greater appreciation for underrepresented artistic communities. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.