Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism

AGM 2021

The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS) held its annual general meeting on Saturday, June 19th virtually.
At the2021 annual general meeting, the membership elected three Director-at-large  2-year terms and two Director-at-large  1-year term with acclamations for Treasurer and Secretary.
We are delighted to present the 2021-22 MCoS Board of Directors:

Position Name
President Meka Okochi
Past-President Neeraj Saroj
Vice-President Cosanna Preston-Idedia
Treasurer Margot Hurlbert
Secretary Ayesha Baig
Director-at-large Susan Cambridge
Director-at-large Joel Fitzpatrick
Director-at-large Tatenda Mhaka
Director-at-large Hyunjung Shin
Director-at-large Julio Torres-Recinos
Director-at-large Jessica Walcott
Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism

AGM 2021

We would like to thank all the nominees that let their names stand for the MCoS Board of Directors – your interest in our organization and multiculturalism is greatly appreciated and respected. If you were not elected, we hope that you will find other ways to be involved in MCoS.
MCoS would also like to recognize the contributions of our outgoing Board members Colleen Charles and Muna De Ciman. Thank you for your time, wisdom and guidance. You will be missed!
We look forward to working with the 2021-22 Board of Directors in the year to come as MCoS continues to move forward with its strategic plan.

MCoS 2021 Annual General Meeting

Time and Location

Saturday, June 19, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Virtual meeting: Log in information will be sent to registered members prior to the day.

Agenda

10:00 a.m. – MCoS Annual General Meeting

MCoS 2019-23 Strategic Plan

View and download: MCoS 2019-23 Strategic Plan (pdf)

MCoS 2020-21 Audited Financial Statements

View and download: MCoS 2020-21 Audited Financial Statements (pdf)

MCoS 2021 Board Nominees’ bios and videos

View and download: MCoS 2021 Board Candidates – As of May 27,2021 (pdf)

CLICK HERE FOR FULL INFORMATION on Registration, Board nomination, Audited Financial Statements, and more.

MCoS, along with partners the Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC), the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC), and SM Solutions, has been involved in the creation of a training video called Reconcili-Action: The Power to Change. This partnership holds a mutual interest in addressing systemic racism throughout the province with an initial focus on the business community.

 

We now plan to host workshops for business leaders and support change through action plans.  We are offering a contract for curriculum development and facilitation. For details on deliverables, timelines and qualifications, please see HERE.

 

Please make any inquiries and submit a proposal electronically by 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, May, 25, 2021 to: Rhonda Rosenberg, Executive Director at exec@mcos.ca

 

During the month of May, we acknowledge the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada. Many Saskatchewan residents are of Asian heritage including, but not limited to Afghani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Indian, Iranian, Iraqi, Japanese, Karen, Korean, Laotian, Nepalese, Pakistani, Filipino, and Vietnamese. Canada’s cultural diversity strengthens the country socially, politically and economically in innumerable ways. Asian Heritage Month is an ideal occasion for all to celebrate the rich values, beliefs and cultural expressions of various Asian cultures.

MCoS is presenting a virtual forum to discuss Our Stories of Anti-Asian Racism on Wednesday, 27th May.

To watch the recording, click here

 

Other events

Resources

READ MORE ABOUT ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH

 

We see evidence of racism at many levels everyday. March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, is a time to learn, share, and act. Racism continues to affect people’s lives worldwide. There is ongoing work to be done. We need to understand what racism is, and its impact (recognize it), so we can act (reject it!).

We invite you to participate by sharing on your story or feed (any social media) “I stand up against racism because”. You can even post a comment below or share it with someone who you think might be interested in sharing. 

Oh! And don’t forget to tag us or use the hashtag #MarchOutRacism so that we can reshape it. Listen. Learn. Change the World.

The first 10 shares will receive the 2021 Multifaith Calendar for FREE.

March 21 is designated by the United Nations (UN) as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

It’s a day observed all around the world to focus attention on the problems of racism and the need to promote racial harmony. The UN made this designation in 1966 to mark a tragic event that took place on March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa when 69 peaceful demonstrators were killed during a protest against apartheid.

Canada was one of the first countries to support the UN initiative and launched its first annual campaign against racial discrimination in 1989.

The March 21 Campaign was initiated to heighten awareness of the harmful effects of racism on a national scale and to clearly demonstrate the commitment and leadership of the Government of Canada to foster respect, equality and diversity.

MCoS coordinates and supports campaigns and activities in Saskatchewan communities and schools with contributions from many partners to recognize March 21 and use it as a springboard for the year-long work to recognize and reject racism.

To recognize March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, MCoS is running a provincial educational campaign featuring the theme Racism: Recognize it. Reject it!.

Join our campaign to raise awareness of racism, how it works, the damage it causes, and how we can recognize and reject it.

We created a downloadable PDF activity kit. We have also launched a social media campaign to accompany this campaign using #MarchOutRacism.

Download Activity kit

 

Events

 

Video Recources

 

Join for province-wide Virtual Anti-racism Leadership Workshop

Anti-Racism Youth Leadership Workshop is being offered as a two-part module.

Part 1- Colonization Simulation

March 9, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. & March 10, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Part 2- Levels of Racism and Planning for Action

March 16, 9:30-11:30 a.m. & March 17,1:00-3:00 p.m.

You can choose of the below choices!

Choice 1= March 9 @ 9:30–11:30 a.m. Colonization Simulation AND March 16 @ 9:30–11:30 a.m. Levels of Racism and Planning for Action

Choice 2= March 10 @1:00–3:00 p.m. Colonization Simulation AND March 17 @ 1:00–3:00 p.m. Levels of Racism and Planning for Action

REGISTER HERE

Storytelling events at libraries across Saskatchewan

For families or individuals wanting to participate in Indigenous Storytellers Month, there are events happening all across Saskatchewan. Find a full list here.

The Regina Public Library is hosting the following storytelling events:

  • Indigenous Storyteller’s Gathering on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.
  • Indigenous Storytelling Through Children’s Books on Feb. 3
  • Indigenous Storytelling Through Graphic Novels on Feb. 10
  • Indigenous Storytelling Through Films on Feb. 17
  • Indigenous Storytelling through Puppets on Feb. 23

The Saskatoon Public Library is holding the following events:

  • Storytelling Spotlight: All About Storytelling on Feb. 1
  • Storytelling Spotlight: Saulteaux Stories on Feb. 3
  • Indigenous Spotlight: Music from Dallas & Phil Boyer on Feb. 6
  • Storytelling Spotlight:Stories with Maureen Belange on Feb. 10
  • Indigenous Spotlight: Music from Marentin Fehr on Feb. 13
  • Storytelling Spotlight: Sculpture & Story with Lyndon Tootoosis on Feb. 17
  • Indigenous Spotlight: Make Bannock & Soup with Glenna Henderson on Feb. 20
  • Storytelling Spotlight: Eagle Feather News on Feb. 24

“Racism is a public health crisis,” according to a May 2020 statement from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This means that racism — whether unintentional, unconsciously, or concealed — has affected Black Americans’ access to equal and “culturally competent” health care.

For example, it has been widely reported that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Black Americans. According to the COVID Racial Data Tracker, the death rate for Black Americans nationwide is 2.5 times higher than the rate for white Americans: 67 per 100,000 vs. 26 per 100,000.

Employees of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent a letter to their director alleging “widespread acts of racism and discrimination within CDC that are, in fact, undermining the agency’s core mission” that may have indirectly contributed to that disparity.

Just as some medical facilities have been overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, increased anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — in people who are worried they might catch the virus or have been impacted by the lockdown and social isolation needed to control the pandemic — may, in turn, overwhelm the mental health system.

Racism is also a stressor for mental health problems.

CLICK here to read the full article.

How Racism Causes Mental Health Problems

In the U.S. surgeon general’s groundbreaking 2016 report Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, it states that Black Americans “are over-represented in populations that are particularly at risk for mental illness.”

Why? NAMI, “the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization,” says it’s because Black people in the United States have been affected by racism and racial trauma “repeatedly throughout history.”

That is, racism and racial trauma did not end with the abolition of slavery in 1865, the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or the election of the first Black U.S. president in 2008. The protests in 2020 are a sharp reminder of that.

Mental illnesses such as depression and substance abuse can have a biological component, but they also can be caused or made more likely by external factors. Some are more likely to be experienced by Black individuals, including:

  • Violence
  • Incarceration
  • Involvement in the foster care system

Some other factors are peculiar to the Black Americans’ history, such as:

  • Enslavement
  • Oppression
  • Colonialism
  • Racism
  • Segregation

Common Serious Mental Illnesses Among Black People

Among Black Americans with any mental illness, 22.4% or 1.1 million had a serious mental illness (SMI), according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH): African Americans.

According to the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (HHSOMH), Black Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental illness (SMI) than the general population.

But other sources claim the rate of SMI is the same or even less for Black people. This seems odd, since poverty influences some SMIs, and Black Americans are more likely to experience poverty.

These results might be skewed, however, due to “culturally oblivious measurements.” There may be a communication barrier even among fellow English speakers from different cultures.

CLICK here to read the full article.

 

The Series: Multiculturalism Impacts Business

Shannon Coleman: Recreating Memories with Meals

Shannon is no stranger to challenges and trying out new things. From the age of 15, she gleefully took up experimenting with meal preparation for her siblings. It did not matter that she had to climb on a stool and lean over the stove to get a good job done. She introduced her own twists on recipes to get specific flavours and tastes. She was excited to impress her Mum and Grand mum having observed them cook delicious meals for years. Her experiments

Twelve years ago, when Shannon was ready to go back to work after raising her kids, her passion and heritage propelled her to a choice. This is the story of how Indulgence Fine Foods and Catering started.

Shannon Coleman is enthusiastic about making an impact in the area of food. Her eyes light up as she shares her vision of using food to create memories. “I observe the thrill in people’s eyes when they see their traditional ethnic foods on the menu. I use many vintage dishes and I have had guests walk up to me excitedly say ‘Oh your dishes remind me of my Mum’, or I have not eaten this dessert for years and you just made me remember home’. There is nothing more flattering than seeing the pleasure and excitement in those eyes”.

Her involvement with food as a means to stir many cultural memories started when the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS) team approached Shannon to cater at its Multicultural Honours event. Part of the requirement was ability and willingness to prepare ethnocultural foods as authentically as possible. Prior to this time, Shannon’s menu list for events consisted of meals she had seen and prepared from generation to generation. When asked if this threw her off balance, she said, “I was not scared; I knew I would take the business and did not doubt my ability. Like every new adventure, however, I worried about access to authentic ingredients, and wondered if I had the right utensils in my kitchen. Modern technology has given me access to online recipes and preparation steps. The MCoS team also makes the experience pleasurable by supplying me pictures of food items, so I know what the final product should look like”.

According to Rhonda Rosenberg, Executive Director, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan “our events bring people together and create opportunities to learn. We know that sharing food is an excellent way to open doors to communication. We try to reflect the diversity of our community in the foods we serve at formal and informal gatherings. This creates a sense of belonging and comfort, as well as the adventure of trying something new. We have been working with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office to host Multicultural Honours, often at Government House in Regina. Since 2013, we have had the pleasure of working with Shannon Coleman and Indulgence Fine Foods. She has demonstrated curiousity, respect, and willingness to adapt to reflect the many cultures in our community in her business. This is an illustration of the stream of integration, and supports cultural continuity and celebration of diversity. Shannon values creating delicious delicacies to share in moments that bring us together, make us stronger, and creates understanding”.

The knowledge and skills Shannon has acquired have allowed her to grow in meaningful ways. Her confidence to cater for other business and private multicultural audiences has buoyed. “I now use these recipes in my home all the time. I confidently cater for business meetings with diverse ethnic groups,” she explained.

The decision to take up this business challenge has brought great joy to Shannon. In her search for authentic ingredients, she has become a known face at local ethnic stores. It is common to see someone wave at her or call her name as she meets people who have been guests at events Indulgence Fine Foods catered. Building relationships is always rewarding.

Shannon’s creativity extends from the kitchen to crafts. She loves painting, though she is quick to say, “Oh no, I am not a great painter” with a chuckle. She also loves making jewellery. The next time you are at an event beautifully catered by Shannon and Indulgence Fine Foods, check out her necklace to see one of her amazing creations.

Shannon’s days begin early – starting with “catering” for her two dogs. Then, she takes time for herself and to plan her day. In addition to cooking for people, she loves taking long walks, art, watching television, skiing, spending time with family and friends, and travelling. Mexico, especially Playa del Carmen and Mazatlán, is Shannon’s favourite holiday destination. All of these contribute to a full life guided by Shannon Coleman’s core values of love, respect, and understanding.