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Multicultural Awards Honour Multicultural Superheroes

Multicultural Honours Awards Event and Recipients
On November 16, 2019, the multicultural community gathered at Government House for MCoS Multicultural Honours to recognize significant contributions made by the Saskatchewan community. Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Honourable Russ Mirasty hosted the event. The Multicultural Week is launched annually with the Multicultural Honours Awards. Community engagement campaigns are active throughout November.
The event started with the Master of Ceremony, Executive Director, Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Heather Salloum, acknowledging that we are on Treaty 4 territory and Motherland of the Métis Nation. Elder Archie Weenie shared an opening blessing, and his wisdom on the importance of healing from wounds of the past, respectful, and meaningful shared experiences to define our collective future.
In his opening remarks, Lieutenant Governor, Russ Mirasty, emphasized the importance of cultural continuity. He stressed the damage done by policies and practices that repress culture, language, and tradition – people lose their sense of identity and self-worth. In contrast, he recognized the contributions of all nominees as leading the way to understanding and appreciating each other’s cultures and traditions. He concluded by acknowledging MCoS’ strong, inspiring multicultural leadership in the province and presented greetings on behalf of her majesty Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II in Cree, his first language.
The Honourable Gene Makowsky, Minister for Parks, Culture and Sport recognized that the award presentation is a reflection of our collective desire to build Saskatchewan by increasing avenues for inclusion and diversity. In particular, he mentioned the Ministry was impressed with the Multicultural Youth Leadership Award nominees already involved in multicultural work. He said they are certainly the future of the province. Neeraj Saroj, President, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan concluded the speeches by celebrating volunteers who have devoted skill and time to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan. It was a moment of sober reflection as Neeraj Saroj stated that MCoS Multicultural Honours was especially significant on the anniversary of the execution of Louis Riel, someone we now recognize as a Multicultural Superhero.
Zane Buchanan, the 2019 Saskatchewanderer, shared his insights from his journey to self-discovery and his experience as a Saskatchewanderer. Some of the culturally immersive events he attended this year include a Tipi Building Competition at the U of R, Kâniyâsihk Cree Culture Camps with the Fort Qu’Appelle Learning from the Land Class, and the Two-Spirit powwow at Beardy’s Okemasis Cree Nation. He reiterates that as we welcome new cultures into our province with open arms, we contribute to its growth as many newcomers make major contributions to agriculture, trade and export economies.
While introducing the Multicultural Youth Leadership Award category, Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union (SGEU), President, Bob Bymoen explained how organizations could take positive steps to implement multicultural policies, using SGEU as an example. He highlighted Fostering Acceptance of Indigenous Rights (FAIR) committee that reviews policies to ensure that at all times SGEU is adhering to the inclusion and diversity policy. Through this committee, SGEU also reaches out to organizations like MCoS who are involved in multicultural work within the province. The awards nominees were Nicholas Bage, student, Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP), Jinhong Chen, student, Sheldon-Williams Collegiate, Jiazhi Ding, student, University of Saskatchewan Friends of Falun Gong Association, and Golden Njoku, Canahari Multidisciplinary Summer Program (CMSP).
Nicholas Bage humbly accepted the award. Nicholas utilizes the power of storytelling to share his Métis heritage, culture and perspective as seen in his collaboration with Heritage Saskatchewan to create Saskatchewan Métis Road Allowance Memories. Since becoming a member of ACT in grade nine, his high school anti-racism group, he has lead workshops teaching methods of identifying and combating racism in all form. He helped to organize and facilitate retreats for both elementary and high school aged students. As a university student, he has always made himself available to facilitate workshops and has been very instrumental in helping youth understand colonization through the “gentle” facilitation of the Blanket Exercise. Students are attracted to his non-judgmental approach. Nick’s outstanding leadership is clear in these activities as well Pink Shirt Day, and Orange Shirt Day. He will receive $500.

Awards Nominees and Recipients

Aboriginal, Anti-Racism, Award, Betty Szuchewycz Award, Contribution, Discrimination, Education, From Many Peoples Strength, Government House, Immigration, Indigenous Peoples, Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield, MCoS, multicultural, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Multicultural Youth Leadership Award, multiculturalism, Newcomer, Nominate, Nomination, oppression, Racism, Rights, saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, volunteer
Muna De Ciman, MCoS Director and Recognition Committee Chair introduced the Betty Szuchewycz award. The four nominees were Nelson Eng, Chinese Freemasons and more, Haris Khan, Award-winning Comedian, and Humanitarian, Sandy Wankel, Founder, North Central Family Centre (NCFC), and Westminster United Church, Westminster Outreach Committee (Sheila Dowling, Barbara Wickstrom, Tannis Mark, Darrell Reine and Carol Olson).
A visibly shocked Sandy Wankel won the Betty Szuchewycz Award. Sandy began the North Central Family Centre (NCFC) eighteen years ago with a vision to empower youth, families and the North Central community. Her goal was to open a safe, respectful and welcoming centre for children after school and for community members. The Centre creates opportunities for First Nations and Métis cultural practices, including a ribbon skirt-sewing club and Indigenous Elders. Under her leadership, diverse staff, volunteers, students, and community members work together with respect and collaboration. Sandy values partnerships and fosters those that contribute to community wellness.  She has directed the $500 donation to North Central Family Centre as her charity of choice. Both recipients also receive Jacqueline Berting framed glass prairie lilies.
In addition to the celebrations, the event is a reminder that each individual owes it to themselves, the community and future generations to contribute to multiculturalism and diversity. While the week runs November 16-24 in 2019, MCoS runs the Who is Your Multicultural Superhero? campaign throughout November to encourage sharing. Everyone in Saskatchewan is encouraged to identify and celebrate whoever has made an impact.
In conclusion, MCoS appreciates the over 11,079 volunteers who contributed over 218,343 hours of time in 2018-19 – making them multicultural superheroes! These volunteers view the world from different and refreshing perspectives that ultimately benefit all.
Saskatchewan Multicultural Week is an annual celebration in recognition that Saskatchewan was the first province to enact multiculturalism legislation in 1974.

Celebrate Saskatchewan Multicultural Week 

Act, Aboriginal, Anti-Racism, Award, Discrimination, Education, From Many Peoples Strength, Immigration, Indigenous Peoples, MCoS, multicultural, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Superhero, Multicultural Superhero, multiculturalism, Newcomer, oppression, Racism, Rights, saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, volunteer
We celebrate Saskatchewan Multicultural Week to recognize that in 1974, Saskatchewan was the first province to enact multiculturalism legislation. Responsibility for the Act resides with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.  Learn more & view the Act: http://mcos.ca/saskatchewan-multicultural-week/  
We also celebrate through the campaign: Who’s Your Multicultural Superhero? Tell us and Celebrate Saskatchewan Multicultural Week all November. Use #MulticulturalSuperhero on social media. This campaign outlines successful examples of leaders being able to inspire others through their values, beliefs and actions. Learn more about the campaign: http://mcos.ca/multiculturalsuperhero

MCoS Multicultural Honours Awards Photo Gallery

Aboriginal, Anti-Racism, Award, Betty Szuchewycz Award, Contribution, Discrimination, Education, From Many Peoples Strength, Government House, Immigration, Indigenous Peoples, Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield, MCoS, multicultural, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Multicultural Youth Leadership Award, multiculturalism, Newcomer, Nominate, Nomination, oppression, Racism, Rights, saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, volunteer

Multicultural Awards Honour Multicultural Superheroes

Awards Program Highlights benefits of Diversity

Members of Saskatchewan’s multicultural community gathered at Government House in Regina on November 17, 2018 for MCoS Multicultural Honours to recognize significant contributions to multiculturalism by our very own multicultural superheroes. This annual hallmark event kicks-off Saskatchewan Multicultural Week and our host was His Honour the Honourable W. Thomas Molloy, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan. 
Master of Ceremonies and Executive Director of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Heather Salloum, began the event by acknowledging that Government House is in Treaty 4 territory. We pay our respects to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another through mutual respect and partnerships that began over 150 years ago. We are all Treaty People. This land is the traditional meeting ground and homeland of the First Nations, including Nehiyaw/Cree, Saulteaux, Dene, Nakota, Lakota, Dakota, and the Métis. 
We were honoured to have Elder Archie Weenie provide the opening blessing, setting the tone for a respectful and meaningful gathering. The Honourable Tom Molloy was sworn-in as Saskatchewan’s 22nd Lieutenant Governor provided opening remarks, underscoring the realities of the Saskatchewan motto From Many Peoples Strength, and his commitment to reduce racism. The Honourable Gene Makowsky, Minister for Parks, Culture and Sport offered remarks, reiterating the benefits of diversity. Finally, Neeraj Saroj, President of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, brought remarks celebrating volunteers and multiculturalism in Saskatchewan. He also introduced the presentation. 
This year’s presentation highlighted the Sheldon-Williams Collegiate Mindful Creative Writing Course featuring a reading by Mays Al Jamous, student, of her poem titled “Being a Refugee.” The video about the school program and the poetry reading provide excellent examples of multicultural superheroes who inspire us to build welcoming and inclusive communities in our province.

Awards Nominees and Recipients

Aboriginal, Anti-Racism, Award, Betty Szuchewycz Award, Contribution, Discrimination, Education, From Many Peoples Strength, Government House, Immigration, Indigenous Peoples, Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield, MCoS, multicultural, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Multicultural Youth Leadership Award, multiculturalism, Newcomer, Nominate, Nomination, oppression, Racism, Rights, saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, volunteer
The MCoS recognition committee, comprised of board and community members, assesses all nominees on their contributions to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan through all five streams of multicultural work – Cultural Continuity, Celebration of Diversity, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Connections, and Integration – and decides the recipients.  
The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) once again partnered with the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan to sponsor the Multicultural Youth Leadership Award. SGEU President, Bob Bymoen, brought remarks and introduced the award.  
This year’s Multicultural Youth Leadership Award nominees are Nour Albaradan who stands out for her strong and effective involvement in school in the short time she has been in Canada, and Jiazhi Ding who is an International student at the University of Saskatchewan. He has stood up for the rights of Falun Gong and Black Lives Matter, as well as supported newcomers.  
The recipient of the 2018 Multicultural Youth Leadership Award is Nour Albaradan. She received an award of $500 from MCoS and SGEU. 
Nour has used her experience, voice, and passion to contribute meaningfully to the recognition and celebration of multiculturalism in Saskatchewan. Nour is proud of her Syrian heritage, so she is happy to share her culture, language, delicious food, and refugee experiences with others. Nour is always willing to let her voice be heard for equity and against discrimination, which requires extra practice in her new language. Her willingness to share her story and experiences in order to foster deeper learning and true understanding makes her an intercultural role model. Nour was part of Sheldon’s first Mindful Creative Writing class, where her openness and dedication to understanding, created an environment of inclusion that allowed other students to learn from her story and become confident in sharing their own stories. Nour’s contributions to her new Canadian home have been truly astounding! She uses her powerful voice to create awareness and connection. She is a multicultural superhero who does not allow anything to stop her. (Read: Nour Albaradan Full Bio)
Muna De Ciman, MCoS Director and Chair of the Recognition Committee, introduced the Betty Szuchewycz Award. In partnership with the Saskatchewan Government Employees’ Union, Muna presented the nominees and recipient of the 2018 Betty Szuchewycz Award.   
The committee received four Betty Szuchewycz Award nominees. Barb Dedi stands out for her extensive local work with individuals and groups to bridge gaps between communities. Hasanthi Galhenage is the director of the Cathedral Area Co-operative Daycare. She uses her leadership role to cultivate a learning environment that celebrates commonalities and differences. Paul Kardynal has been a champion for new immigrants to Canada and Ukrainian Canadians in the Battlefords and northwest Saskatchewan for over 30 years. Yaseen Khan is very committed to taking initiatives to create awareness of cultural diversity in the workplace. He has shown leadership in accommodating multifaith practices at SaskTel.  
The 2018 Betty Szuchewycz Award recipient is Barb Dedi. She selected Spring Free From Racism for a donation of $500 from MCoS and SGEU.
Barb demonstrates her life-long commitment to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan through extensive local work with individuals, groups and organizations in Regina, as well as involvement with provincial, national and international organizations focusing on human rights, employment equity, labour, racism, and psychiatry issues. Barb is a cultural continuity role model as she promotes ethnocultural organizations to strengthen the diversity in Regina and Canada. Barb’s dedication to recognizing and rejecting racism are readily evident. She is the President of Spring Free From Racism Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights Inc. and has been active in this provincial organization for close to 40 years of its 50-year history. Barb’s life is a story of intercultural connections; she welcomes and creates opportunities for people to share their story, their journey and their intercultural experiences. She supports organizations to develop a deeper understanding of what cultural diversity means and to create a respectful and fair community where everyone is welcome. As a force for integration, ensuring all people are seen as contributors, Barb has been an activist in the labour movement and political realm for human rights, equity and women’s committees. Barb’s impressive work has been noted with awards and nominations, including the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal, SGEU and YWCA. Through her forty years of leadership, she has fostered new leaders who take significant roles in their own ethnocultural communities, lead workshops, coordinate pavilions to celebrate their culture and our diversity, and address racism and discrimination. (Read: Barb Dedi Full Bio) 

Celebrate Saskatchewan Multicultural Week 

Act, Aboriginal, Anti-Racism, Award, Discrimination, Education, From Many Peoples Strength, Immigration, Indigenous Peoples, MCoS, multicultural, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Superhero, Multicultural Superhero, multiculturalism, Newcomer, oppression, Racism, Rights, saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, volunteer
We celebrate Saskatchewan Multicultural Week to recognize that in 1974, Saskatchewan was the first province to enact multiculturalism legislation. Responsibility for the Act resides with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.  Learn more & view the Act: http://mcos.ca/saskatchewan-multicultural-week/  
We also celebrate through the campaign: Who’s Your Multicultural Superhero? Tell us and Celebrate Saskatchewan Multicultural Week all November. Use #MulticulturalSuperhero on social media. This campaign outlines successful examples of leaders being able to inspire others through their values, beliefs and actions. Learn more about the campaign: http://mcos.ca/multiculturalsuperhero

MCoS Multicultural Honours Awards Photo Gallery