MCoS Honours 2017 demonstrates what makes a multicultural superhero
On Saturday, November 18, 2017 in the beautiful and sacred surroundings of Wanuskewin Heritage Park, over 60 people gathered to honour volunteers who have made significant contributions to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan. This annual event is the highlight of Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, which takes place November 18-26, 2017. This week recognizes that Saskatchewan was the first province in Canada to enact multicultural legislation. We celebrate our strength in diversity and recognize that our cultures enrich all aspects of life in our province.
Jebunnessa Chapola, past recipient of the Betty Szuchewycz Award, was the Master of Ceremonies. Harvey Knight, MCoS Board member and member of Muskoday First Nation, commenced the event with a blessing. We were pleased Mr. David Buckingham, MLA for Saskatoon Westview, joined us and brought remarks on behalf of the Minister for Parks, Culture and Sport, who is responsible for the Saskatchewan Multiculturalism Act. MCoS President Asit Sarkar provided opening remarks and introduced the video and spoken word presentation.
The presentation highlighted this year’s public campaign. For the video, we created a 30-second ad that featured Janelle Pewapsconias, 2015 recipient of the Multicultural Youth Leadership Award, sharing her multicultural superhero Zoey Pricelys Roy. Then, Zoey replied live by sharing her multicultural superhero, Kadane Headley, through spoken word. Zoey is a powerful speaker and her impactful sharing left an impression on the audience.
Guests were invited to attend a reception following the program that featured delicious cultural cuisine created by Wanuskewin Heritage Park Authority Catering, including Three Sisters Chili, bannock and Saskatoon Berry Tarts. Guests were also welcome to view an educational public dance performance and participate in a walking tour of Wanuskwein.
Nominees for both awards are assessed on their contributions to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan through the five streams of multicultural work: cultural continuity, cultural diversity, anti-racism, intercultural connections and integration. A recognition committee decides the recipients.
The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan was pleased to present the 2017 Multicultural Youth Leadership Award in partnership with the Saskatchewan Government Employees’ Union (SGEU). Roseann Strelezki, SGEU Secretary-Treasurer, brought remarks and introduced the award. SGEU also generously donated a $500 reward.
Bwe Doh Soe received the 2017 Multicultural Youth Leadership Award. Bwe arrived in Saskatoon as a Karen refugee in 2007. Not only has Bwe survived ethnic cleansing and life as a refugee, but he has become a crusader for the Karen people. He has been impressively active in continuing and preserving his own cultural practices and supporting others in the Karen community. He has more recently begun to connect his experiences to both Syrian refugees and Indigenous people in Canada and acted as a leader for creative reconciliation. (Read full bio)
Once again, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan presented the 2017 Betty Szuchewycz Award. Renata Cosic, MCoS Secretary and Chair of the Recognition Committee, introduced the award and the recipient. The recipient will select a charity for a donation of $500 from MCoS.
Bula Ghosh received the 2017 Betty Szuchewycz Award. There is no question that Bula’s contributions to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan have been outstanding. As an English as a Subsequent Language instructor in Yorkton and Swift Current, Bula has ensured that integration efforts go far beyond the classroom. She has contributed to local organizations, including revitalizing the Southwest Multicultural Association, to provincial boards and committees, including SaskCulture, and has been recognized at the national level. Bula never hesitates to share rural perspectives and she has demonstrated commitment to relationship building and anti-racism. Bula has made it known that truth and reconciliation is very much part of a dream that she has for her community. Bula embodies the five streams of multicultural work. (Read full bio)
The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan wishes to thank everyone for participating in the MCoS Multicultural Honours Awards. This event highlighted some of Saskatchewan’s very own multicultural superheroes. We encourage everyone to participate in the provincial campaign, Who’s Your Multicultural Superhero | #MulticulturalSuperhero running until November 30, 2017.
Learn more and participate
Event photos (resized for the web)