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This MLA-elect is the first Black woman to be elected to the Alberta Legislature

On Monday, Rhiannon Hoyle was elected to the riding of Edmonton-South, making her the first Black woman elected to the Alberta Legislature.

"This is such a surreal moment. It's an absolute dream," Hoyle said Monday night after her victory.

"I ran municipally and now a couple years later we're here as the MLA elect. I'm also proud to be representing the first Black and mixed-race and African woman from Trinidad and Tobago. And it's just really wonderful."

Hoyle has lived in Edmonton-South for 18 years.

While she's thrilled about the victory, she wonders why it's taken so long to see a Black woman in the legislative assembly.

"I'm the first and I'm the only one. Black folks have been here for 200 years so at the same time it shows we have a lot more to do and a lot more growth, we need more than just me."

It's a sentiment echoed by other Black Canadians.

Deborah Dobbins is the executive director of Shiloh Centre for Multicultural Roots.

The non-profit organization has a mandate of sharing the experiences of Black western Canadians through art, education, and social justice.

She says it's important to remember that Black people have been in Alberta since the province was founded.

"We helped develop Alberta and the Prairie Provinces when it was first developed in 1905, 6, 7, and we’ve been here ever since. It's important that we are respected, that we are accepted as being Albertans, not immigrants. We are Albertans who were here when Alberta first became a province," she told CTV News Edmonton on Tuesday.

"We should be part of the governing body to move forward, because our voice matters just as much as everyone else's."

She says it's important for other Black Albertans to see themselves represented in government.

"It's important that young people today see themselves in the leadership, see themselves in places of power and authority, and that they too can rise."

It's something Hoyle says is important to her in her new role.

"I'm one perspective but at the same time, for really for anyone of colour, boys, girls, anyone in between. This is huge and I will do my best to lead well and lead for others. I'm here to kick the door open and bring others like me into this role."

And while she's excited to represent the Black community in Alberta, Hoyle says she's for all Albertans.

"I'm excited to galvanize the community, make sure we hold this government accountable," she said.

"Better health care, better education, better jobs. I come here with business experience. I'm gonna help small business. Help families and seniors. Edmonton-South and Edmonton has a strong leader in me and I'm ready to do this."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jessica Robb and Miriam Valdes-Carletti 

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