Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated across Canada since the 1990s, and has been officially recognized since 2002.

We acknowledge and honour the activism of people of Asian descent in their fight for human rights and social justice. Their ongoing struggles against multiple forms of oppression have been instrumental in strengthening our labour movement and our communities.

Some of those struggles included resistance against the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Head Tax; the denial of the right to vote or to run for public office; the exploitation of Chinese railway workers; the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War; and the Komagata Maru incident which led to challenges to the federal government’s racist “continuous journey regulation” policy. These struggles are historical, but anti-Asian racism is still present today.

For Asian Heritage Month, CUPE reminds members that we are here to support you through any experience of racism in your workplace, union, and community.

CUPE’s Anti-Racism Strategy, adopted at our 2021 National Convention, specifically calls out anti-Asian racism, and includes 10 goals to fight racism in our workplaces and our union. CUPE encourages members to act against racism all forms of discrimination and oppression today, tomorrow, and always.


  • Help put CUPE’s Anti-Racism Strategy into action, using these tips to reach the strategy’s 10 goals.
  • Ensure that labour legislation in Canada recognizes and protects all migrant workers through stronger labour standards such as living wages, safe and healthy working conditions, and human rights protections.
  •  Call on the federal government to ensure their updated federal Anti-Racism Strategy specifically addresses anti-Asian racism, a glaring omission in the 2019-2022 strategy.


  • Celebrate Asian Heritage Month in your local – share on social media, organize lunch-and-learns and screen videos.
  • Speak out against racism and misinformation. Learn about the 5 Ds for Bystander Intervention (distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct).
  • Follow and join the Migrant Rights Network in taking action to ensure justice for all migrant workers, including workers of Asian descent.
  • Contact us at to get involved in implementing the Anti-Racism Strategy at work and in your local.