SUMA endorses Welcome Home 150 Toolkit
The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS) is excited to announce that Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) has partnered with MCoS on the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) initiative and endorsed the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) Toolkit as a “strong tool for Saskatchewan hometowns to move forward” (SUMA Statement).
SUMA’s President, Gordon Barnhart, states in his endorsement, “We encourage every single hometown in our wonderful province to reflect our multicultural history and commit to ongoing inclusion and diversity by signing the #WelcomeHome150 pledge and putting this toolkit to good use.” (See SUMA Statement)
The relationship began when WIC Project Coordinator Jamal-e-Fatima Rafat presented on a panel during the SUMA convention in February 2017.
On March 7th, a presentation was made to the economic development committee at SUMA that proposed a relationship between SUMA and WIC, similar to our neighbours in Alberta where SUMA’s counterpart AUMA and Alberta’s WIC have partnered since 2012 in bringing a similar toolkit to Alberta. Alberta’s toolkit has been hailed across Canada for its work and its approach. SUMA’s Board moved a motion to support the partnership pending approval of the final draft of the toolkit; the final draft of the toolkit was approved on June 23, 2017.
The WIC toolkit boasts a Saskatchewan perspective and multiple success stories taken from bigger centres to smaller municipalities in the province. While preparing this toolkit, we were clear we wanted a tool that was user-friendly, had a concrete action plan embedded in it and is going to be workable for all organizations big and small.
A soft launch of the toolkit is scheduled for July 12th in Regina. The Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) Toolkit is available online for download. You may request a physical toolkit be mailed out to you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Message from the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA)
Canada is a country that prides itself on being multicultural, and Saskatchewan’s motto reflects that diversity. “Multis e gentibus vires” translates to “from many peoples strength.”
Saskatchewan in 2017 is both strong and beautiful thanks to the contributions of its people. As a mosaic is made up of many different pieces to create a beautiful piece of art, Saskatchewan is made up of many different people — Indigenous, settler, immigrant — to create beautiful communities. Together, we are mighty; we are creative; we are one.
But there is much work still to be done.
Multiculturalism is not an end state; it is a way of living, and every Saskatchewan hometown needs to embrace it if we are to succeed and build on our common strength. Diversity is the past and the future of the province. It must be celebrated, welcomed, and encouraged, and as leaders in our communities, it is our responsibility to lead by example.
The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) is proud to partner with the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan on their Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Initiative.
In Saskatchewan, our hometowns have a long history of resilient people coming together to build strong communities, places where you don’t have to be from here to be at home here. We encourage every single hometown in our wonderful province to reflect our multicultural history and commit to ongoing inclusion and diversity by signing the #WelcomeHome150 pledge and putting this toolkit to good use.
The anniversary of Canada’s confederation is the perfect time to celebrate our successes and reflect on how we can make redress for our failures, so that we may all move forward, grow, and succeed as diverse — but united — peoples.
Gordon Barnhart, C.M., S.O.M, Ph.D
>> Download SUMA Statement (pdf)