MCoS Multicultural Honours features Multicultural Superheroes
Honouring Significant Contributions to Multiculturalism in Saskatchewan
On Saturday, November 19, 2016 over 100 members of Saskatchewan’s multicultural community gathered at Government House to kick off Saskatchewan Multicultural Week and honour some of Saskatchewan’s multicultural superheroes – people who have made significant contributions to the multicultural community in Saskatchewan.
Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan hosted the event and was joined by Mark Docherty, MLA for Regina Coronation Park and
Legislative Secretary to the Premier of Saskatchewan for Immigration and Culture, Neeraj Saroj, Vice-President, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan and Bob Bymoen, President, Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU). Other special guests included Joanne McDonald, President, SaskCulture President, Muna DeCiman, Past Betty Szuchewycz Award recipient, and Joyce Vandall, former MCoS Board Member, Secretary and undisputed multicultural superhero.
Everyone gathered in the festive surroundings of Government House today to recognize significant contributions of Saskatchewan multicultural superheroes. All speakers touched on the fact that all of Saskatchewan is treaty land. We are all treaty people and each one of us can act on the TRC recommendations. Mr. Docherty was recognized for being a devoted supporter of all five streams of multicultural work in this province. It is through the support of Her Honour, Mr. Docherty and the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport that multicultural superheroes are nurtured in Saskatchewan.
This event officially launched Saskatchewan Multicultural Week 2016, while the related campaign, Who’s Your Multicultural Superhero?, has been running all November. During this week, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan celebrates both the benefits of and contributions to multiculturalism in our province. We do this by focusing on the multicultural values of Respect for Diversity, Recognition and Rejection of Racism, Intercultural Connections, and Integration, which are the cornerstones that inform our work and also engaging in the five streams of multicultural work: Cultural Continuity, Celebration of Diversity, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Connections and Integration.
These multicultural values and streams of work are rooted in the provincial motto From Many Peoples Strength and the treaty relationships that define our province. MCoS is proud to have been instrumental in developing the motto in our early days. This motto expresses Saskatchewan’s multicultural heritage, the contributions of First Nations and Métis cultures, and the key role of immigration in the province.
Each year at this time, we celebrate the anniversary of the Saskatchewan Multicultural Act. We can be proud that Saskatchewan was the first province to enact such legislation demonstrating that our political and community leaders chose to preserve, protect and promote all cultures in both the 1974 Saskatchewan Multiculturalism Act and the provincial motto: From Many Peoples Strength.
Time was taken to acknowledge and praise all volunteers – especially those voluteers of MCoS and its members. The many volunteers around the province make multiculturalism central to the cultural, economic, social and political life of Saskatchewan. In 2015-16, among MCoS members over 14,430 volunteers contributed over 299,203 hours of time – making them multicultural superheroes! Volunteers and staff with different cultural backgrounds bring different ways of seeing the world which can contribute to more effective decision-making and problem-solving.
Nominees and Recipients
Multicultural Youth Leadership Award 2016
The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) will present the third annual Multicultural Youth Leadership Award to an individual who is 29 years of age and under. The 2016 award nominees are:
- Jellyn Ayudan, Dr. Martin LeBoldus Catholic High School Multicultural Club, Regina
- Sneha Chakraborty, Mudra School of Performing Arts, Saskatoon
- Haris Khan, Regina Public Interest Research Group , Regina
- Fartun Mohamud, University of Regina African Students’ Association, Regina
The 2016 Multicultural Youth Leadership Award recipient is Jellyn Ayudan who also received a $500 reward from SGEU. While still in high school, Jellyn is already active in all five streams of
multicultural work. As an immigrant herself, arriving in Canada in October of 2009 from the Philippines, she dedicates her life to empowering other new immigrants and refugees to achieve their fullest potential. A strong contributor to the stream of cultural continuity, Jellyn has been the President of Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School’s Multicultural Club for four years. This has enabled her to showcase her Filipino culture at the school and in the community. Extremely active in fulfilling the stream of celebration of diversity, Jellyn has been organizing the school’s Multicultural Week for four years. She aims to include as many cultures as possible while celebrating their differences and similarities. Some initiatives Jellyn participates in to achieve the anti-racism stream of work include working with “CluedINclude”, attending a workshop to learn about discrimination and privilege and then taking what she had learned and organizing a week-long event dedicated to eliminating racial discrimination. Jellyn has become active as a Regina Open Door Society Peer Leader where she helps newcomers and immigrants to settle and integrate into Canadian life. Jellyn always seeks to improve herself and advance her positive influence in the community through the five streams of multicultural work. Overtime, Jellyn’s contributions to multiculturalism slowly transcended outwards to her community and will continue to grow as she gets older and wiser. Her Honour, MCoS Vice-President Neeraj Saroj and SGEU President Bob Bymoen presented this year’s award to Jellyn.
Betty Szuchewycz Award 2016
Each year, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan presents the Betty Szuchewycz Award to an adult who has made significant contributions to the multicultural community. The 2016 award nominees are:
- Erika DuMont, Karnevalgesellschaft Harmonie, Regina
- Faeeza Moolla, Islamic Association of Saskatchewan & Muslims for Peace & Justice, Regina
The recipient of the 2016 Betty Szuchewycz Award is Faeeza Moolla who will also select a charity for a donation of $500 from MCoS. Faeeza has contributed to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan
through all five streams of multicultural work. Faeeza immigrated to Regina from South Africa 18 years ago to start her newcomer journey. She used her experience of growing up in a country rife with apartheid restrictions, to engage in multiculturalism and build bridges across cultures and faiths. To achieve the stream of Cultural Continuity, Faeeza arrived in Regina and immediately sought out people of common cultural and religious backgrounds to feel at home. She volunteered for activities within her community, ranging from potlucks to religious festivals to children’s and family activities, with the sole purpose of giving new people a home. To carry out the stream of Celebration of Diversity, Faeeza focused on building bridges with other community groups and organizations. She used her connections as a representative of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan to continuously reach out. Faeeza naturally gravitated to work on the stream of Anti-racism. Growing up in South Africa, Faeeza challenged racial inequality, fighting against the tyrannical apartheid regime until the free elections in 1994. Here in Saskatchewan, she joined Muslims for Peace and Justice, serving as a member, secretary and, vice-president, and president over the course of ten years. Her mission was to facilitate open discussions about systematic racism. In order to facilitate intercultural connections, Faeeza implemented a joint Eid Program for community and Government organizations, which was very successful, receiving several accolades. Faeeza is a long standing member of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan and serves as a volunteer bridging gaps and overcoming differences. She also serves as a member on the Islamic History Month Canada Board, allowing her to highlight the benefits of integration to strengthen the community as a whole. Due to her significant contributions to the five streams of multicultural work in Saskatchewan, Faeeza was invited to be one of 150 community builders in Regina to participate in a national conversation on the future of Canada. Her Honour, MCoS Vice-President Neeraj Saroj and Renata Cosic, Secretary, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan and Recognition Committee Chair, presented this year’s award to Faeeza.
Who’s Your Multicultural Superhero?
Both recipients are strong examples of a multicultural superhero as their contributions fulfill the five multicultural streams of work: Cultural Continuity, Celebration of Diversity, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Connections and Integration. The five streams underlie the 2016 theme of Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, taking place November 19-27 and this year’s campaign, Who’s Your Multicultural Superhero? running until November 30th. We invite everyone to think about people who inspire you through by using their super powers of respect and inclusion to fight the villains of racism and oppression, people who build bridges between cultures and celebrate diversity in all its forms, people who embrace and share traditions, and people who help others to integrate into society. These people you have thought of are your multicultural superheroes. Share about this on Instagram and Twitter using #multiculturalsuperhero in any way you want. Be creative; the sky is the limit!