A rectangle banner highlighting Indigenous books alongside text that reads, "Indigneizing as North Battleford School's Class Library," read the story on MCoS' blog now!

“We only read one story called On the Trapline [by David Alexander Robertson] in the class now,” Kassidy Neilsen, a teacher at Sakewew High School in North Battleford told the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS) when she applied for a small grant to Indigenize her classroom.

Neilsen, who teaches Grade 9 with a focus on Treaty Education in the Battlefords, hoped to broaden the options available to her students. She also hoped to create more conversations about Indigenous authors and stories her classroom didn’t usually get to hear. At the same time, she wanted to update her classroom library with “anti-oppressive and multiculturally diverse” books.

Her vision for the project, spearheaded at the end of the 2023-24 school year, included diversity in the selection of books offered to the largely-Indigenous classroom who reside in First Nation communities around the Battlefords. She hoped that students could see themselves, their languages, and their cultures in the books they read.

“It allows the students to see themselves in the books they read. They see familiar language that is used at home and names that are used in their homes for their family relations,” she said in her application.

After successfully applying for funding through MCoS’s Multicultural Education Initiative (MEI), which offers grants from $200 to $400 for projects in classrooms and school boards across the province, her project became a reality.

The newly-acquired class library now includes books set to be used to teach lessons in English Language Arts and Geography while showing the class stories about themselves and other Indigenous cultures.

Books purchased with the grant include:

  • The Case of the Burgled Bundle by Micheal Hutchinson
  • Nattiq and the Land of the Statues by Barbara Landry and illustrated by Martha Kyak
  • Treaty Words by Aimee Craft and illustrated by Luke Swinson
  • The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson
  • We All Play by Julie Flett
  • Swift Fox All Along by Rebecca Thomas and illustrated by Maya McKibbin
  • We Belong to the Drum by Sandra Lamouche and illustrated by Azby Whitecalf
  • The Indigenous Peoples’ Atlas of Canada by The Royal Canadian Geographic Society/Canadian Geographic

Neilsen noted the project’s success is evident. Now, students see themselves represented in the books they read, a significant move towards equal representation in the classroom.

“How did you get all these books that are all about natives?” asked one student. Another noted that their cousin, Azby Whitecalf from Sweetgrass First Nation, had illustrated one of the books the class now has access to, further highlighting the project’s success.

The newly-Indigenized classroom library has not only brought stories about themselves and other Indigenous cultures to the students but has also empowered them. Inspired by the new stories, the students initiated a project where they read the new stories and used them as inspiration for tipi creations.

This initiative not only taught the students more about themselves and their own culture but also promoted Indigenous wellbeing and brought anti-oppressive stories to students in North Battleford, fostering a sense of pride and cultural awareness for the 25 Indigenous youth in Neilsen’s classroom.

To read more MCoS success stories every single month, keep an eye on our blog or join our newsletter to get monthly updates! Did you know funding from the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan is used throughout the year to support programs, events, and other initiatives in Saskatchewan? If not, visit our website here to see if you can apply or learn more.

The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan has been raising awareness of the benefits of cultural diversity and the dangers of racism since November 22, 1975. MCoS became a provincial not-for-profit, non-governmental agency that works to ensure ethnocultural survival, strength and prominence and foster opportunities for cross-cultural interaction.

Are you an MCoS member and interested in applying for Strategic Initiatives funding but unsure about the application process? We’re hosting two information sessions to help guide you through the application process and answer all of your questions! Join us on August 31, 2023 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Register HERE) and September 6, 2023 6:30 PM-7:30 PM (Register HERE).

Did you know that MCoS invests in approximately 15 projects, events, and festivals per year that fulfill our mission and contribute to at least one of the five streams of multicultural work? It’s true, and you can apply for up to $3,000 per project! Application guidelines and further details about the Strategic Initiative funding opportunities can be found on our website HERE.

 

On Saturday June 24th we joined together at the mâmawêyatitân centre in Regina. We had a wonderful day filled with education, deep conversations, good food, and celebration!
Thank you to all of our panelists Dr. Manuela Valle-Castro, Bula Ghosh, and Kelsey Aitcheson for sharing your experiences with us and to everyone who attended.
A warm congratulations to all of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal recipients Darlene Stakiw, Bruno Kossmann, Neeraj Saroj, Meka Okochi, Julio Torres-Recinos, Colleen Charles, Getachew Woldeysus, Terri Sleeva, Michelle Hassler, Claudia Munoz, Keleah Ostrander.
Congratulations to MCoS’ new board members: Jessica Amadi – Vice President, Acclamations 2-year Terms: Margot Hurlbert – Treasurer, Saqib Khan – Secretary, Directors at Large 2-Year Term: Nicholas Bage, Tenisha Inengi, Harmonie King, Director at Large 1-Year Term: Anthony Olusola.

Download our 2022/23 Annual Report HERE. 

Our next book club meeting is coming up in just over a week!

Date: Thursday March 30th, 2023

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Location: Zoom – Sign up via Eventbrite HERE

This Month’s Read: Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

If you haven’t already, be sure to join us in our Facebook Group. You can find us HERE. If you have any questions please reach out to our ICARE Coordinator and Book Club host, Risa: ic***@mc**.ca

Please enjoy this panel discussion hosted by the Regina Public Library. This is an important conversation with four community leaders, hosted by Rhonda Rosenberg from the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan.

This panel discusses the barriers women face in our community and what we can do about it. Panelists include Jamiy Moran from the North Central Family Centre, Joana Valamootoo from Creative Options Regina, Rania Al Harthi from Regina Immigrant Women’s Centre, and Christine Boyczuk from Age Friendly Moose Jaw.

Reminder: Our upcoming book club meeting is in one week!

Date: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Location: Zoom

This month’s read is
Conversations In Black: On Power, Politics, and Leadership by Ed Gordon.

Important: The meeting Zoom link will be made available in the Between the Pages, Speak Up! Facebook group prior to our meeting start time. If you don’t have Facebook, please email Risa at ic***@mc**.ca to receive the Zoom meeting link directly.

Join our Facebook Book Club group Here

Our office entrances are now accessible! Thanks to generous funding from the Government of Canada through the Enabling Accessibility Fund – Grants, both of the main doors leading into our office and board room are now equipped with accessibility buttons.

MCoS is excited to announce the nominees for the 2022 Multicultural Honours Awards.

These awards are given every year to celebrate and honour the multicultural contributions

made by our nominees.

#SKStrong #FromManyPeoplesStrengths #TogetherWeMakeSaskatchewanStrong

 

Multicultural Youth Leadership Award

for promising contributions from people 29 years and under.

Congratulations to our nominees:

Darian Agecoutay

 

Amir Said

 

 

 

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.

Congratulations to our nominees:

Dr. Shela Hirani

 

Lyndon J. Linklater

 

 

 Click here to view and download the Honours Program

 

In celebration of Saskatchewan Multicultural Week many cities, towns, and villages have shown their support and proclaimed November 19 – 27, 2022 as ‘Multicultural Week’ in their areas. Below you’ll find a list of participating communities.

Town of Assiniboia

Town of Battleford

Town of Birch Hills

Resort Village of Candle Lake

Village of Christopher Lake

City of Estevan

Resort Village of Island View

Town of Lumsden

Town of Nipawin

City of Prince Albert

City of Regina

Province of Saskatchewan

City of Swift Current

“Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice and belonging is having that voice be heard”. This beautifully sums up Rhonda Rosenberg’s WHY in life.

 

Rhonda Rosenberg is the executive director of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan. Her ideology of creating a community where people are heard, understood and included regardless of their colour, race or beliefs is something that people will remember Rhonda and her story for years to come.

 

Tune into our latest episode to get a glimpse of the journey, story and perspectives of Rhonda Rosenberg. We hope you all have something to takeaway from this episode and we leave you with…A Little Perspective.