Together we make Saskatchewan stronger 

Members of Saskatchewan’s multicultural community gathered at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon on November 20, 2021 for MCoS Multicultural Honours to recognize significant contributions to multiculturalism by community members. This annual hallmark event kicks-off Saskatchewan Multicultural Week and our host was His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan.  

Master of Ceremonies and Executive Director of MCoS, Rhonda Rosenberg, began the event by acknowledging that Wanuskewin Heritage Park is in Treaty 6 territory. This land is the traditional meeting ground and homeland of the Nehiyawak/Cree, Saulteaux/Anishnaabeg, Nakota, Dakota, Stoney Nations and Motherland of the Métis/Michif Nation. We recognize the deep and ongoing harms of colonialism and reaffirm our commitment respectful and equitable relationships with this land and its original Peoples. We are all Treaty People, and strive to be good treaty relatives.  

We were honoured to have Muna De Ciman provide the opening blessing, setting the tone for a respectful and meaningful gathering.  

 The Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, provided opening remarks, underscoring the realities of the Saskatchewan motto From Many Peoples Strength, and his commitment to reconciliation, inclusion and diversity.   

The Honourable Laura Ross, Minister for Parks, Culture and Sport offered remarks, reiterating the benefits of diversity and the pride that Saskatchewan was the first province to recognize the significance of multiculturalism through legislation in 1974.  

Finally, Meka Okochi, President of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, brought remarks celebrating volunteers and multiculturalism in Saskatchewan. He also encouraged discussion regarding multiculturalism and what makes Saskatchewan strong before introducing the presentation.  

This year’s presentation highlighted Peace Akintade who is an African Canadian interdisciplinary Poet, Public Speaker, and Thespian residing in Saskatoon. Her poems touch on the impact of slavery in her village, colourism, growing up in Kuwait, Nigeria, and Canada, and relearning her culture in the face of colonization.  

Awards Nominees and Recipients 

Meka Okochi, MCoS president; Her Honour Donna Mirasty; His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan; Rhonda Rosenberg, MCoS Executive Director; the Honourable Laura Ross, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport; Neelu Sachdev, Saskatchewan Multicultural Leadership Award recipient; B’yauling Toni, Multicultural Youth Leadership Award recipient; Tracey Sauer, SGEU president; Ayesha Baig, MCoS Secretary and Chair of the Recognition Committee; and Diane Ralph, SGEU First Vice President 

The MCoS recognition committee, comprised of board and community members, assesses all nominees on their contributions to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan through the five streams of multicultural work – Cultural Continuity, Celebration of Diversity, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Connections, and Integration – and selects 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, Tracey Sauer, brought remarks and introduced the award. Diane Ralph, First Vice President accompanied her. 

This year’s Multicultural Youth Leadership Award nominees are: 

  • Mia Bhatia, who encourages acceptance of South Asian culture and empowers the Indian community through events, fundraisers, and celebrations;  
  • David Camarador, who is an excellent example and mentor to youth, and especially other Filipino and 2SLGBTQ+ youth;   
  • Mwila Munganama has inspired others by advocating for gender and racial equality; 
  • B’yauling Toni, who embarked on a journey of reconciliation by visiting all federal residential school sites by bicycle.  

 The recipient of the 2021 Multicultural Youth Leadership Award is B’yauling Toni. He received an award of $500 from MCoS and SGEU. B’yauling Toni’s awareness of his family’s Austrian–German and Taiwanese cultural heritages, gives him perspective on the deep impact cultural genocide and the intergenerational impacts of residential schools have had on Indigenous Peoples to continue cultural practices and beliefs, not only in Canada but in many countries. He celebrated diversity by practicing meaningful traditions, such as offering tobacco ties and gifts of tiny moccasins to each community. The initiative B’yauling has taken to engage in acts of reconciliation through a 3,000 kilometer cycling tour has led to strong intercultural connections and relationships. With mutual trust and respect, he participated in a celebration of unique histories, cultures, and knowledge with 20 different First Nations communities. An excellent listener, he gained a deeper understanding of cultural similarities and differences, as well as position and power. B’yauling leveraged social media to raise awareness amongst his peers and older audiences. The Moccasins for Remembrance tour raised over $10,000 for the Orange Shirt Society to raise awareness across Canada about the ongoing legacy of Indian residential schools. 

 Ayesha Baig, MCoS Director and Chair of the Recognition Committee, introduced the Saskatchewan Multicultural Leadership Award. In partnership with Dairy Queen and Jim and Michelle Braun, Ayesha Baig presented the nominees and recipient of the 2021 Saskatchewan Multicultural Leadership Award.   

The committee received 3 Saskatchewan Multicultural Leadership Award nominees: 

  • Nelson Eng has a long history of working within the Chinese Canadian community and multicultural community by sponsoring, fundraising and attending events that support multiculturalism and act to end racism; 
  • Pallavi Mozumder is a singer and music teacher who uses her traditional arts to support cultural continuity in Bangladesh and Saskatchewan; 
  • Neelu Sachdev has been contributing to her community both as the executive director of the Regina Immigrant Women Centre (RIWC) since 2003, and through running the Arcola East Bhangra Dancers. 

The 2021 Saskatchewan Multicultural Leadership Award recipient is Neelu Sachdev. She selected Regina Immigrant Women’s Centre for a donation of $500 from MCoS.

Neelu Sachdev has been the executive director of the Regina Immigrant Women Centre (RIWC) since 2003, developing the organization, acting as a strong advocate, and serving newcomers from more than 30 countries. RIWC is now an essential community service organization, providing ongoing supports and training, and her leadership is exemplified in the pivot to online learning during the pandemic. Neelu Sachdev has often been involved in the March 21 anti-racism programs in Regina and other Saskatchewan communities. Neelu Sachdev was frequently called upon following 9-11 and in other times of fear and uncertainty to speak at gatherings. She brought The Gold Bracelet, a movie about the discrimination that followed 9-11, to tour Saskatchewan in 2006 and 2013. Each of the screenings was followed by a community discussion. Her leadership has been integral to the partnership that organizes annual International Women’s Day gatherings at the Mackenzie Art Gallery. 

We had the most amazing time at Wanuskewin last Saturday (20th Nov), seeing the members of our multicultural community at the Honours event.

Congratulations to all the nominees for the 2021 Multicultural Youth Leadership award! The recipient for the 2021 Multicultural Youth Leadership award is B’yauling Toni ??? The recipient for the 2021 Saskatchewan Multicultural Leadership award is Neelu Sachdev ???

We wish you all the best!

     

Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty presented the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to 19 individuals on behalf of Her Excellency the Governor General at a ceremony at Government House in Regina on Sunday, October 17, 2021. 4 multiculturalism leaders nominated by MCoS received this distinction Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers | The Governor General of Canada (gg.ca). The pictures of the event can be accessed by clicking here 2021 Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers — Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan (ltgov.sk.ca).

For more than two decades, Bill Kalmakoff has served as a community representative at province-wide culture meetings of the Saskatoon Doukhobor Society and the Doukhobor Cultural Society of Saskatchewan. He has promoted public awareness of and fostered a greater appreciation for the contributions of Canadian Doukhobors.

Retired physics teacher Krishan Kapila has devoted his life to community leadership with an emphasis on multiculturalism. He has committed his life to the ideal of bringing those of different faiths who reside in Saskatchewan together with the goal of creating mutual respect, awareness and appreciation for one another.

At 75 years old, Saskatchewan’s Carol LaFayette-Boyd was the first Canadian of African descent to win “Best Female Overall Athlete” in World Masters Athletics, which hosts competitions for people 35 and older.

Darlene Stakiw contributes countless hours to building a culturally vibrant and inclusive Saskatchewan. A resident of Yorkton, she volunteers for organizations such as Parkland Valley Sport, Culture and Recreation District, and the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, supporting community development, multiculturalism and anti-racism strategies as a board member and/or community coordinator.

 

Saskatchewan Multicultural Week is celebrated annually to acknowledge the benefits of multiculturalism as seen in the enrichment and contributions of many individuals, groups, and communities in Saskatchewan.

This year’s campaign allows the people of Saskatchewan to share successful examples of various communities and cultures that reside here and make – #SaskatchewanStrong – through their values, contributions, beliefs, and actions.

The theme

Saskatchewan Multicultural Week promotes the advantages of multiculturalism. This year’s theme- “Together We Make Saskatchewan Strong” expresses the contributions of many individuals and groups that enrich Saskatchewan communities. 

The series of events in the last 15 months has revealed a lot of inequalities, past injustices have come to the forefront of national discussion, some have questioned the rights of others to be here, calls for uncomfortable conversations have increased, and humanity has risen for one another. 

#TogetherWeMakeSaskatchewanStrong

We encourage you to engage in conversations that focus on our diversity, collective strength and contributions, as well as our challenges because respectful relationships and addressing social justice issues are essential for everyone to be valued for all ouridentities.

This year, we are asking you to talk about one (you can even answer all 3!) of these questions in form of a video, post, etc.

  • What do you do to make SK strong?
  • What is the vision of a strong SK for you?
  • What do you think we need to do to achieve that vision?

Read more about the campaign theme here.

Building Welcoming Communities

Every year we provide a resource called ‘Building Welcoming Communities’ that provides ideas, related to Saskatchewan Multicultural Week and the annual campaign theme – “#TogetherWeMakeSaskatchewanStrong– on how to make your community more welcoming and inclusive. Download it here.

Building Welcoming Communities- Schools

Please see the Building Equitable and Inclusive Schools – Toolkit here. These are some activities to replicate in your school. Download it here.

A Celebration in Honour of Multicultural Contributions

-Hosted by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan through the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan

Date

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Time

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location

Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Saskatoon

The Awards

Saskatchewan Multicultural Leadership Award for outstanding contributions to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan. Priority will be given to nominees who have demonstrated sustained periods of commitment in their contributions. (Jim & Michelle of Dairy Queen partners with MCoS to present this award, which includes a $500 donation to the recipient’s charity of choice.)

Multicultural Youth Leadership Award for promising contributions from people 29 years and under. (The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) is partnering with MCoS to present this award, which now includes a $500 reward.)

Stay tuned to know the Nominees!

Orange Shirt Day is observed each year on Sept. 30. Orange shirts were chosen as a sign of support based on the story of Phyllis Webstad, who was sent to the St. Joseph Mission Residential School outside of Williams Lake, BC in 1973 at the age of six. For her first day at school Phyllis proudly wore an orange shirt that her grandmother had managed to save enough money to buy for her, only to have the mission staff take it away and force her to wear a school uniform.

In recognizing September 30, 2021 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Diversity and Inclusion Network proudly present an online Virtual Honouring for residential school children who did not make it home, survivors, descendants and their communities.

Register here- https://bit.ly/3hfivPC

The virtual event will include inspiring speakers such as Elder Lorna Standingready and Chief Cadmus Delorme; video clips from Cyclist, B’yauling Toni’s tours of Saskatchewan residential schools; and, traditional First Nation and Métis performances!

The Diversity and Inclusion Network is a community of practice network whose purpose is to share best practices, learn about various topics together and collaborate on initiatives. The Diversity and Inclusion Network organizes events such as the National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrations on June 21st and Orange Shirt Day on September 30th in honour of residential school survivors.

Please note: This event is on September 29 and it will begin at 10:45AM, Saskatchewan time.

 

More Events:

 

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Event
Presented by the Regina Public Library

The Regina Public Library will host a lunch-hour event for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Elder Marjorie Lavallee will open the event with a song and blessing. There will be a drum group providing an honour song, a jingle dance performance along with the attendance of special guest and local author Bevann Fox. Bannock and tea will be served at the event.

Date: September 30, 2021
Time: 12 – 1 p.m.
Location: Central Library, Mezzanine

Event Agenda

  • Elder Marjorie Lavallee will open with a song and blessing
  • Drum group provide honor song
  • Bevann Fox, author of Genocidal Love

Bevann Fox is a member of Pasqua First Nation, originally from Piapot First Nation. In 2012 she received her Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Culture and in 2018, her Master in Business Administration, Leadership from the University of Regina. In 2014 she was honoured with the YWCA Women of Distinction Award—Arts, Culture and Heritage. She received an Indigenous Voices Award for Genocidal Love, which was also honoured with two Saskatchewan Book Awards.

  • Jingle dance performance
  • Bannock and tea provided


Orange Shirt Day Virtual Presentation

Presented by the Royal Saskatchewan Museum

In celebration of Orange Shirt Day, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum is hosting a virtual presentation with Life Speaker and Residential School Survivor, Tim Poitras from Muscowpetung First Nation. Tim Poitras will speak about his residential school experience. Musician and youth mentor Brad Bellegarde Brad, aka InfoRed, will share his song “I Remember”, honouring his parents as residential school survivors.

Date: September 30, 2021
Time: 2 – 2:45 p.m.
Location: live stream

Stay tuned for the live streaming link. For more information about the event, visit the Royal Saskatchewan Museum’s website.


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Events
Presented by Wanuskewin Heritage Park
If you would like to participate in any of the upcoming Wanuskewin events, please view the event’s poster.

 

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Understanding the Scope of Racism

There are different kinds of racism.
It is important to understand that one cannot effectively deal with racism until one looks at all the underlying causes and takes steps to correct them.

Structural racism is the established hierarchy of groups based on perceived “race”. The hierarchy was created to designate superiority to one group in order to benefit from the oppression and exploitation of other groups.

Systemic/Institutional racism is prejudice and privilege embedded in the policies, practices, and programs of systems and institutions, including in the public, private, and community sectors. Representatives may act with or without racist intention.

Interpersonal racism is the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of individuals based on bias, stereotypes and prejudice. Expressions may be conscious or unconscious and range from subtle to violent. 

Internalized racism lies within individuals. We absorb the cultural racism ideas of the racial hierarchy and accept inequity as normal. People targeted by racism come to believe that the stereotypes & prejudices of racism are valid. People privileged by racism believe their own superiority.

Job Opportunity: Communications Coordinator

Responsible to:          Executive Director

Starting Salary:         $55,000 – $60,000 per year

Hours:                         Full-time: 37.5 hours per week (M-F 9:00 am to 4:30 pm; with flexibility)

Start date:                As soon as possible

The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS), a non-profit provincial organization has a career opportunity for a strong communications generalist. The candidate for the position of Communications Coordinator will lead the development of communications plan, execute, strengthen relationships with media, increase profile and understanding of multiculturalism throughout the province, develop a wide array of communication materials, oversight of social media and website, deepen engagement with the multicultural community, and support the communication needs of other project coordinators.

Responsibilities:

The Communications Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the organization’s communication efforts, internally and externally, based on an overarching communications strategy that aligns with the organization’s mandate, strategic and operational plans. The Communications Coordinator plays a central role in establishing, strengthening and promoting MCoS’ public image and key messages in order to achieve the Ends as defined by the Board of Directors. The Communications Coordinator reports and is responsible to the Executive Director, and works in accordance with the policies of the organization.

The Communications Coordinator will work both independently and collaboratively to be responsible for:

  • Developing and implementing annual or multi-year communications strategies, in conjunction with Executive Director;
  • Internal and external communications and campaigns designed to reach target groups with key messages associated with the overarching plans of MCoS;
  • Providing communications and stakeholder relations advice for membership activities;
  • Developing, coordinating and maintaining a series of tools designed to effectively deliver various MCoS communication messages to target groups as required. Tools may include, but are not limited to: newsletters, brochures, publications (electronic/print), website, digital, advertising (print, web, television, radio and other), media advisories, news releases, stories, and surveys;
  • Supervising the Communication Specialist and Administrative Assistant in communications roles related to newsletter, website, social media, and production of tools;
  • Basic graphic design with knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and Adobe Premiere Elements;
  • Website and digital content management – WordPress, Hootsuite, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn;
  • Tracking and monitoring media coverage related to all MCoS activities;
  • Coordinating and ensuring communication consistency among membership and partnership across all channels;
  • Developing and implementing communication campaigns to promote MCoS’ fundraising activities, including but not limited to, the annual promotion of the Multifaith calendar;
  • Supporting MCoS’ advocacy role through research and development of advocacy tools designed to build awareness of the benefits of multiculturalism in the province;
  • Building and strengthening relationships with all MCoS stakeholder groups (such as businesses, multicultural community groups, educational institutions, and government representatives);
  • Branding: a strong custodian of maintaining the visual identity and branding of MCoS communication materials;
  • Sourcing outside agencies and suppliers, through Request for Proposals and contracts, to support communication requirements and effectively managing the resulting contracts;
  • Preparing and submitting campaign, project reports, and annual budgets to the Executive Director;
  • Evaluating communication outcomes on a regular basis to provide input into impact assessment and future planning;
  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Requirements:

  • A degree in communications, journalism, public relations, or marketing; or a combination of formal schooling, self-education, prior experience and on-the-job training;
  • Three or more years of demonstrated communications experience – particularly experience in non-profit or community-based organizations is an asset;
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills with the ability write, proofread, and edit website and digital content, speeches, stories, reports, presentations, annual reports, etc.;
  • Excellent computer skills (Microsoft Office: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Office 365);
  • Strong Media Relations skills – interviews, messaging, relationship building, and tracking;
  • Advertising and promotion – create or outsource creative, media buying, and measurement using print, video, television, radio, digital, billboard, location signs, and social media;
  • Advocacy – experience in non-profit or community-based organizations, social issues, community mobilization, campaigns, messaging, and measurement;
  • Strong organizational skills and a commitment to professionalism, including the ability to multi-task, managing timelines and multiple deadlines;
  • Excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills with demonstrated welcoming, respectful approach to interactions;
  • Independent, energetic, analytical, self-starting and responsible worker, driven by successful, punctual and quality outcomes;
  • Familiarity with the multicultural community, the issues it faces, anti-racism and the benefits of diversity is a significant asset;
  • Demonstrate a proven track record of working harmoniously within teams;
  • Have the ability to travel in Saskatchewan from time to time, and have a valid driver’s licence;
  • Be willing to work occasional evenings and weekends.

Application Process:

In order to have Communications Coordinator starting by the end of August (if possible), timelines are short. Please email your application (subject line: Communications Coordinator position) to Rhonda Rosenberg, Executive Director, at hr@mcos.ca by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, September 17, 2021.

We will only contact shortlisted applicants for interviews. The interview process will include an experiential assignment.

Include the following in your application:

  • Cover letter and resume clearly outlining how you meet the education, experience, knowledge, skills, abilities, and requirements for this position.
  • Portfolio with the following examples: campaign or project plan, news release, media advisory, speech, talking points, article, and creative that you have designed (poster, website graphic, etc.).
  • Three professional references (ensure they are ready and available to be contacted by email)

Only candidates currently living in and legally entitled to work in Canada will be considered.

Download Job Description

MCoS Communications Coordinator – Job Description 2021 (pdf)