Lakhani, pictured here with her husband, His Honour Dr. Zakeer Lakhani, was installed as Lieutenant Governor of Alberta on August 26, 2020. Drummer Rocky Morin, left, of the Enoch Cree Nation performed the Honour Song as part of the ceremony.
(Photo courtesy Legislative Assembly of Alberta)
On how Canada can become more inclusive of all peoples
I think the main thing is to have dialogue and conversations. For example, after the discovery of the mass graves at Kamloops Indian Residential School, I had a meeting with a First Nations Elder, Roy Lewis. And he said to me that while this is extremely sad for all Indigenous people, and it’s sad for all Canadians, it is an amazing opportunity to learn and to understand. This is where I hope to be able to play a role. You know, showing people that while we might look and dress differently, talk differently, we actually have so much in common and we can work together to build a more inclusive, welcoming, and tolerant society.
On the importance of education
When we were expelled from Uganda, both my husband and I were students in the U.K. Prior to that we had excellent high school education. We lost everything when we were thrown out of Uganda. They stripped us of everything of material value; we could only leave with what we could fit in a small suitcase. But the one thing they couldn’t strip us of was what was in our head. So I always say to never give up on your education. It is something that will stay with you forever.
On her plans to spotlight volunteerism in Alberta
My own journey has drawn me to grassroots movements. I believe that this is where the work happens, and I believe that most volunteers do what they do because they care. They care to make the province and country a better place. Yet, most of them don’t get recognition. So I wish to shine a spotlight on these volunteers who are making things happen, who are building a vibrant, successful, inclusive society and community.
On her hopes for her term as LG
As someone with African roots, I always think of the word ubuntu. Simply translated, it means “I am, because we are.” It talks of the interconnectedness of each one of us around the globe, not just in little communities. When any one of us succeeds, we all succeed. What I would like to see when I leave office is people all feeling invested in our country, and that they can develop their potential to the fullest.