Title and statement of responsibility area
Ontario Council of Sikhs fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
[ca. 1979] - 1995 (Creation)
- Ontario Council of Sikhs
Physical description area
ca. 23 cm of textual records
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Archival description area
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The Ontario Council of Sikhs was founded in March 1987 and was incorporated in April 1990. It was a community based organization committed to community development. The main objectives of the organization were:
• To promote, preserve, and maintain Sikh religion, culture, identity, and heritage
• To facilitate the integration of Sikhs in Canadian society
• To educate mainstream Canadians about the value system of first generation Canadians
• To provide and facilitate access to direct social and community services
• To promote, encourage, and undertake activities and projects that are consistent with and will further the objectives of the Council
The main interests of the Council included: the recognition of Sikh articles of faith (the 5-Ks); race relations; media relations; public education; policing; human rights; employment equity; immigration and refugee issues; and social and community services.
In pursuit of the above aims the Council: coordinated and/or attended a variety of conferences, workshops, and seminars; produced a variety of publications; submitted comments and material to various committees and agencies; conducted research; and participated in advocacy campaigns.
The Council was composed of a Provincial Assembly, an Executive Committee, and a Standing or Special Committee. The Provincial Assembly could consist of up to 31 members. The Executive Committee contained a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and four Directors.
The Council was administered out of 238 Davenport Road, Suite 10, in the City of Toronto and was active until at least 1997. The Ontario Council of Sikhs may have become the Ontario Sikh Gurdwara Council.
The records were under the care and custody of Manohar Singh Bal in his role of Secretary of the Ontario Council of Sikhs.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of records created and or collected by the Ontario Council of Sikhs and includes of reports, legal exhibits, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other material. The majority of the files relate to a 1990 Ontario Human Rights Commission case wherein Harbhajan Singh Pandori claimed infringement of his religious rights as a Sikh under the Ontario Human Rights Code. A supply teacher with the Peel Board of Education, Pandori claimed that the Peel Board of Education’s disciplinary policy prohibiting the wearing of weapons, including the kirpan (a dagger-like article of religious faith worn by baptized Sikhs), was discriminatory. The dispute went before the Ontario Human Rights Commission tribunal, with a final ruling that the kirpan could be worn to school subject to restrictions. The Ontario Council of Sikhs served as a coordinator during this time, gathering research, arranging & giving presentations, and corresponding with various organizations and government officials.
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