Member Feature #12: Saskatchewan Intercultural Association (SIA)

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Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance

 

A Closer Look

What are your mission and vision?

Mandate: To eliminate discrimination and racism by working towards the promotion of intercultural relations, understanding and acceptance, and fostering changes in policies, programs and legislation that will result in a fair and equitable

Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance

Stage 1 clients on a field trip by the river in Saskatoon.

society where all individuals can participate fully.

Mission: To recognize and support the right of every cultural group and individual to retain and develop their distinctive cultural identity, language and arts without political or social impediment – for the mutual benefit of all citizens.

Objectives:

  • To promote co-operation and intercultural understanding among all ethnocultural groups within the community.
  • To promote and retain language and cultural traditions as essential components of multiculturalism.
  • To promote equality amongst all ethnocultural groups and individuals within the community.
  • To provide information and advisory services to ethnocultural groups and other interested organizations.
  • To enrich the common Canadian heritage through preservation, development and promotion of the cultures and folk arts of all ethnocultural groups.
  • To develop and promote the traditional arts of member groups through the organization of cultural events and festivities.
  • To encourage individuals and groups to increase the opportunities available to explore their culture and to learn about that of other ethnocultural groups in the community.

What are the programs and services offered by your organization?

Employment Programs: Mentorship (internationally trained professionals), LITE (Aboriginal and Newcomer Employment Program)

English as a Second Language: Stage 1 & 2 programs – CLB 1-6, LINC (Literacy – CLB 9)

Youth Programs: Global Movement (High-school performing arts program), ConnectED (Youth summer program), STRONG (Parent-Youth program),

Heritage Languages: Saskatoon Multilingual School (offers over 30 different heritage language learning options)

Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance

Literacy Class – Literacy students at the library.

Whom do you serve/target with your programs and services?

Our programs focus on serving newcomers to Saskatoon and providing intercultural services to the community. We attempt to bridge gaps and understanding by bringing together the community, newcomer and aboriginal populations.

What are you working on right now?

Multicultural Choral Concert 2015 – currently planning this celebration of heritage languages. Details to be released soon!

Annual Film Festival – currently planning a special film showing followed by a facilitated discussion on racism.

Do you have a call for volunteers?

We have ongoing opportunities for volunteers to get involved with SIA, to volunteer visit our webpage at www.saskintercultural.org

What is one thing people may not know about your organization?

We are constantly evolving and provide new career opportunities on an ongoing basis. In addition, we can provide referrals for individuals interested in learning heritage languages to one of our 30+ schools.

Please share a story that illustrates your organization’s impact in the community. 

Success through Mentorship: Tetiana’s story:

I was born and spent most part of my life in Ukraine. In my home country, I had a profession as a graphic designer and worked at a newspaper for many years. When our family decided to move to Canada I hoped that my profession would be in demand and I would easily find a position in my field.

Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance

Success through Mentorship: Tetiana’s story

However, when we arrived in Canada a year ago and I started to look for a job, I was faced with problems. I sent a lot of resumes and even went to some interviews but there was no result. All companies in the design field required Canadian work experience which I didn’t have. Then I went to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and got advice from a counsellor to apply to the Mentorship Program at the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association (SIA). The counsellor ensured me that the program would be very beneficial in my case.

I was happy when I was accepted into the nearest session in September 2013. That program included eight weeks of classes that focused on resume writing and interview skills, job search techniques, Canadian workplace culture and some other topics. Also all the students had the possibility to take English classes in the afternoon to improve their speaking ability.

After completing the mentorship program, I got a work placement at PGI Printers. That was a great chance to utilize my professional skills and gain Canadian work experience. I think it helped me to get a job, when I applied to a position of graphic designer at Saskatoon Express Newspaper.

As it can be seen from my story, the Mentorship program is a very successful project that helps people who receive their professional skills in other country to get a job in their field in Canada.

Tetiana Morozova, Graphic Designer

What types of challenges does your organization face?

The biggest challenge our organization faces is community visibility and funding acquisition.

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