"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Kat Norris will always be missed even outside the Indigenous communities Featured


Gurpreet Singh  

It was heartbreaking to hear about the passing away of a tireless activist from Greater Vancouver on July 7.  

Kat Norris, a residential school survivor and a strong indigenous voice, died at the age of 67, leaving behind a rich legacy of social justice advocacy.  

She was one of the allies of the South Asian community and other racialized groups in BC. Apart from standing up against systemic racism against indigenous peoples in Canada, she consistently stood up for immigrants and refugees.   

Back in July 2016, she was invited by Radical Desi to launch a petition asking for the restoration of the BC Human Rights Commission that was dismantled by the previous Liberal government in 2002, making BC the only Canadian province without such an institution.  The absence of a human rights commission made it extremely challenging to investigate instances of racism and human rights abuse endured by visible minorities.  

Norris came for the formal opening of the event held at Surrey's Strawberry Hill Library.  She was first to sign the petition that was finally submitted to the BC NDP government that came to power in 2017. Subsequently, the new government under John Horgan brought the commission back.   

On other occasions too, Norris came to participate in the annual anti-racism campaign started by a Burnaby-based South Asian radio station in 2015. Hands Against Racism was launched by Spice Radio on the birth anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.  

Norris will always be remembered, not only by her indigenous community, but also the South Asians, like me, who are deeply indebted to her.   


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Gurpreet Singh

Cofounder and Director of Radical Desi


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