Welcoming refugees and newcomers to Saskatchewan
Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan Position Statement
The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan supports efforts to welcome refugees and other newcomers to Saskatchewan. This will require extensive settlement work followed by ongoing integration work. Some points to note:
- This will require substantial efforts from governments, faith groups, community organizations and individuals. See below for links on how you can help.
- Canada has a strong record of successfully integrating refugees to become contributing members of communities.
- Many of us remember the successful large-scale experience in the resettlement of thousands of Vietnamese refugees in 1979, as well as the welcome to people from many countries fleeing war, famine and persecution.
- Canada also has a record of refusing entry to Jewish refugees in the late 1930s with the phrase “None is too many”.
- We understand that fears have arisen as a result of recent attacks in Paris and Beirut. As far as we are aware, no one accepted as a refugee to Canada has ever become involved with terrorism.
- It is important to examine our fears and cultivate compassion.
- Syrian and other refugees are fleeing a devastating war that has lasted years with the result that many refugees do not have homes to return to.
- We are confident in Ralph Goodale as Minister of Public Safety to consider the well-being of Canadian and Saskatchewan communities as well as Canadians’ compassionate desire to welcome refugees fleeing war.
- The current screening process includes three levels of security checks.
- Settlement agencies require adequate resources to increase their services.
- One improvement we plan to work towards is the involvement of indigenous people with new arrivals.
- We will need to fully engage once again to create welcoming and inclusive communities for Syrians and other newcomers as they arrive. There are roles for individuals, faith and community groups, businesses, institutions – everyone! Interesting, thorough and diverse while being as concise as possible.
- We celebrate Saskatchewan Multicultural Week every November, in which we recognize the Saskatchewan Multiculturalism Act.
- In 1974, Saskatchewan was the first province to enact multiculturalism legislation, recognizing the right of every community to retain its identity, language and traditional arts and sciences for the mutual benefit of citizens. In 1997, the Act was revised and a section of the Act states the policy should preserve, strengthen and promote Aboriginal cultures and acknowledge their historic and current contribution to development of Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan Cares Campaign
In response to the Syrian refugee crisis, Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies (SAISIA) launched the Saskatchewan Cares campaign.
The Saskatchewan Cares campaign aims to:
- Educate and mobilize the people of Saskatchewan;
- Provide a central coordinating point for the various efforts across Saskatchewan; and
- Direct Saskatchewan people to support local organizations through donations of cash, clothing, food and household items or by volunteering their time to support refugees.
- Download and Share: NEWS RELEASE – Saskatchewan Cares Campaign November 20
For all the above information, visit www.saskcares.com
Regional Newcomer Gateways
Regional Newcomer Gateways are welcome centres for newcomers arriving in Saskatchewan. Whether you are coming from outside Canada or from another Canadian province, Regional Newcomer Gateways are there to help you. Regional Newcomer Gateways help newcomers:
Regional Newcomer Gateway Locations:
Other Settlement and Immigration Organizations
These organizations will also provide some or all of the services provided by Regional Newcomer Gateways. They will also connect newcomers to other organizations that can help them with a wide range of settlement and immigration needs within Saskatchewan.