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.

A Celebration in Honour of Multicultural Contributions

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

 

MCoS Multicultural Honours Award Nominations

October 1, 2021

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. (The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) is partnering 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.)

Eligibility: Living Saskatchewan residents are eligible for nomination with the following exceptions:

  • Anyone who is currently serving as an MCoS Board member, committee member or staff or has served in the past 2 years is not eligible
  • Immediate family members of such board members or staff are not eligible
  • People holding or seeking political office are not eligible
  • Members of the judiciary who still hold office are not eligible
  • Any past recipients of any MCoS award cannot be nominated for the same award.

Criteria: All nominees will be evaluated on how their contributions align with the five streams of multicultural work:

  1. Cultural Continuity
  2. Celebration of Diversity
  3. Anti-Racism
  4. Intercultural Connections
  5. Integration.

Preference will be given to the person who demonstrates the most significant contributions to all five streams of work.

How to Write a Strong Nomination Application 

READ MORE AND NOMINATE NOW!

 

 

REGINA: The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS), responds to the recent discovery of 751 unmarked grave at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School on Cowessess First Nation with grief and anger. This is a horrific and sad reminder of the devasting impact of the prisons for Indigenous children we know as residential schools. We all care about children, yet many of us can only imagine the depth of injustice, pain and intergenerational trauma caused by colonialism, of having kids forcibly taken away and never returned home to the love and warmth of a family, culture, and community.

These discoveries reveal the truths known consistently in Indigenous communities for generations. They confirm the stories shared with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission among other sources. Many survivors, family, and community members are distressed and retraumatized. We are grateful for the courage and perseverance that First Nations and Métis leaders, residential school survivors and descendants demonstrate. Lorna Standingready, a residential school survivor has shared her experiences many times with the community. See link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHpqiD627Zg.

Collectively, we can no longer turn a blind eye to the destruction in the name of “civilization”. In order to create communities based on healthy, respectful, equitable relationships, we must stand strong together and demand substantive, systemic changes. The initiative on Cowessess First Nation to create culturally appropriate, family-centred ways to protect children is one example. Governments at all levels, faith communities, businesses, and community organizations can take responsibility to examine their structures, policies, processes, and programs through an anti-racism lens, and in conversation with those impacted, in order to affect lasting change.

As we grieve these lost young lives, may we find strength and motivation in learning, sharing, and connecting. We can each intentionally take action on our journey of decolonization and anti-racism. Individuals can offer support and solidarity with Indigenous organizations, friends, family, colleagues, schoolmates, and neighbours. We encourage Saskatchewan residents to attend, support, and promote Indigenous heritage learning opportunities; for those in Regina, Buffalo People Arts Institute is offering Buffalo Day on July 1, at Buffalo Meadows Park. #EveryChildMatters

Signed:

Rhonda Rosenberg
Executive Director

June marks National Indigenous History Month in Canada.
We stand in solidarity and extend our deepest sympathy with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and all Indigenous people impacted by residential schools. This month also marks the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day, held annually on June 21st.

According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, at least 150,000 Indigenous children attended residential schools in Canada from the late 1800s to 1997. This is not just a ‘dark chapter’ in our country’s past- the ideas of racism that justified colonization continue to be embedded in our society, institutions, interpersonal interactions and ideas about ourselves. Indigenous communities continue to face systemic oppression, trauma, inequity, and discrimination to this very day.

We recognize that our vision of building a welcoming community, a community that demonstrates equity and inclusion to benefit from the contributions of all members, can only be achieved by acknowledging the history and working towards decolonization and true reconciliation.

You can learn more about the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples by visiting Celebrating National Indigenous History Month, by reading a digital copy of one of the books from the Indigenous Reads-reading list or by exploring some of the resources listed below.

Events-

 

Click here for more EVENTS

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

 

2021 Community Events

Prince Albert Community Forum – March 2, 2021 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

 

Yorkton Community Forum – March 16, 2021 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

 

Swift Current Community Forum– March 25, 2021 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

 

Regina Community Forum – March 23, 2021 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

 

La Ronge Community Forum – March 30, 2021 from 6:30-9:00 p.m.

 

 Stay tuned for more info!

“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.