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NEWS RELEASE: The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan Calls for
Country Thunder to Recognize and Reject Racism in Performances

July 17, 2019 
REGINA -The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS) joins the Federated Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) in calling for Country Thunder Music Festivals to discontinue contracts with Williams and Ree due to their ongoing use of harmful stereotypes. Additionally, we call on Country Thunder and other festivals in Saskatchewan to refrain from featuring any performances with racist content in the future. Racism: Recognize it. Reject it!
While race has minute basis in biology, it is a social construct created for groups that place themselves as superior to exploit and oppress those they designate as inferior. Racism works through cultural, systemic, individual and internalized forms.
This Williams and Ree comedy act, which exploits stereotypes about Indigenous Peoples as jokes, is cultural racism. Cultural racism is how we come to learn values, beliefs, and norms, and the hierarchy that we assign cultures. We usually are not aware of learning these concepts or how we reinforce them. Cultural racism shows up in advertising, movies, history books, definitions of patriotism, and in policies and laws. It influences collective beliefs about what constitutes valuable performances. It contributes to systemic racism by providing justification for laws and policies, such as racial profiling. Cultural racism is also a powerful force in influencing individuals to believe in the superiority or inferiority of their ethnic, religious or linguistic heritage. These beliefs translate into individual racism and internalized racism.
The cultural racism evident in the Williams and Ree act relies on and normalizes stereotypes about Indigenous Peoples. This contributes to the climate of permission to express racism and hate. There is no question that some people carry negative perceptions of First Nations and Métis people based on common stereotypes. The results of providing a platform to overtly reinforce stereotypes translates into individual actions. These range from choosing tenants for rental housing, hiring practices, and treatment of individuals. We are aware of reports of racism in comments hurled at Country Thunder staff based on stereotypes reinforced in the performance. This discrimination is degrading with impacts on mental health and safety. Racism, as seen in this comedy act, actually gives permission to people to act on prejudice.
We note that Terry Ree is Indigenous. In this context, we also see internalized racism at play. This occurs when people targeted by racism come to believe that the stereotypes and prejudices of racism are valid. Conversely, MCoS understands that Indigenous Peoples are important contributors to Saskatchewan in the past, present and future. We encourage all residents of this land to learn about tradition and the ongoing impacts of colonization: TRC Principles and Calls to Action, MMIW Calls for Justice, and OTC Treaty Education. We are all treaty people.
“The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan is grateful to the leadership of Chief Bobby Cameron and the FSIN for calling out racism in this performance. We support their efforts in our work to create awareness about racism, how it works, and its impact. Racism is never funny; racism damages individuals and communities. Humour can be a tool to normalize stereotypes, or to make us question the ideas underneath them. It can contribute to a culture of permission for racial discrimination, or it can open thoughts and conversations. We call on festival organizers to consider the impact of the words and actions of performers. We ask the residents of Saskatchewan to recognize and reject racism. The provincial motto, From Many Peoples Strength, shows us that Saskatchewan can do better to create a welcoming and inclusive province for all residents,” states Rhonda Rosenberg, Executive Director.
For resources on how to recognize and reject racism, visit http://mcos.ca/marchoutracism and http://mcos.ca/anti-racism-101.
Download and Share News Release
The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan Calls for Country Thunder to Recognize and Reject Racism in Performances (pdf)
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Media Contact
Justin K. Waldrop
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan
Regina
Phone: 306-721-6267
Cell: 306-537-0593
Email: communications@mcos.ca
About the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS)
The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan is a charitable, non-profit organization committed to promoting, fostering, improving and developing multiculturalism in the cultural, economic, social and political life of Saskatchewan while working to achieve equality of all residents. All our work is rooted in the five streams of multicultural work: cultural continuity, celebration of diversity, anti-racism, intercultural connections, and integration. We support member organizations in a variety of ways, including workshops, investments in their activities that implement our mission, aims and objectives, networking and information, and being the lead voice on multiculturalism in the province. We also support anti-racism and multicultural education activities in schools.
We celebrate significant dates, such as Saskatchewan Multicultural Week in November, African-Canadian Black History Month in February, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, Hispanic Heritage Month in April, Asian Heritage Month in May, National Aboriginal History Month in June, Celebrate Canada from June 21 to July 1 and Islamic History Month in October.
For more information, please visit mcos.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
MCoS is Supported By:

 

June is National Indigenous History Month

In June, Canadians celebrate National Indigenous History Month, an opportunity to honour the heritage, contributions and cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
On June 21, Canadians from all walks of life are invited to participate in the many National Indigenous Peoples Day events that will be taking place from coast to coast to coast. This is a special day toNational Aboriginal History Month, National Aboriginal Day, Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, MCoS celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. Learn about Governor General’s Proclamation.
In 2009, June was declared National Indigenous History Month, following the passing of a unanimous motion in the House of Commons.
National Indigenous History Month provides an opportunity to recognize not only the historic contributions of Indigenous peoples to the development of Canada, but also the strength of present-day Indigenous communities and their promise for the future.
Celebrating National Indigenous History Month in June is an important tribute to the heritage and diversity of First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada.
For more information and events visit: http://mcos.ca/indigenous-aboriginal-history-month/

Welcome Home 150 Pledge

Annually we recognize Canada’s anniversary. It is a perfect time to commit to the TRC Calls to Action and affirm our values of being welcoming and inclusive to all by taking the Welcome Home 150 Pledge – #WelcomeHome150
For more information: http://mcos.ca/welcome-150-pledge


Related Links

National Indigenous History Month
Celebrate Canada
Welcoming and Inclusive Communities
Welcome Home 150 Pledge
 

March 21 Campaign – Racism: Recognize it. Reject it!
#MarchOutRacism

March 21 Background

March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

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.
Learn more about March 21


March 21 Campaign

Racism: Recognize it. Reject it!
#MarchOutRacism

Download the free Activity Kit

MCoS is running a provincial educational anti-racism campaign linked to the activity kit we created that features content about how to recognize and reject racism. We have also launched a social media campaign to accompany this campaign using #MarchOutRacism.
During March we invite members, partners, schools, workplaces, faith groups and the public to use the activity kit in creative ways and record the event with photos and video and post to social media using #MarchOutRacism.
Learn about March 21 Campaign and Activity Kit


March 21 Events

Join events taking place around Saskatchewan focused on the recognition and elimination of racial discrimination.
March 21 Events


 

Join us for the February Break Theatre Camp hosted by Kris Alvarez & Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway.

Explore your creativity through performing arts and gain a deeper understanding of other cultures while having fun and making friends.

  • Ensemble skills – Learn to build trust, connection, respect and communication skills. Play theatre games that support respect and sharing perspectives.
  • Acting tools – Use improvisation to create and physicalizing characters.Learn how to use your voice clearly and confidently.
  • Storytelling – Create your own story by learning:  What makes a story interesting for audience? How to tell a story in exciting ways by incorporating symbols, sounds and movement.

Dates:  February 19 – 23, 2019
Location: Regina Open Door Society, 2220 12th Avenue (4th Floor)
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Lunch and Refreshments will be provided

Join us for Celebration, Sharing & Food on February 23rd, 2019

Family, Friends & Community are all invited!
Location: Artesian 2627 13th Avenue, Regina, SK
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Download Poster:
Youth BRIDGES Theatre Camp (png)

March 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, MCoS, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Racsim, Discrimination

Register for 2019 FREE Arrêt/Stop Racism Facilitator Training and Workshops 

2019 Arrêt/Stop Racism Facilitator Training

In order to have facilitators for the anti-racism youth leadership workshops, MCoS is offering anti-racism facilitator training.
All workshops are FREE and from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Yorkton

Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbors (SIGN), SIIT Classroom, 345 Broadway Street W. Yorkton, SK

February 6, 2019 and Registration by January 31, 2019

Swift Current

Lyric Theater 227 Central Avenue North Swift Current, SK 
March 6, 2019 and Registration by February 27, 2019

North Battleford

Don Ross Community Centre, 891- 99th St, North Battleford SK (Building entrance door #4) 
March 20, 2019 and Registration by March 13, 2019

Register

>>Information and Registration


2019 Arrêt/Stop Racism Youth Leadership Workshops

The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS) is offering an opportunity for high school students to participate in an anti-racism leadership workshop.
All workshops are FREE and from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.March 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, MCoS, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Racsim, Discrimination

Fort Qu’Appelle

Treaty Four Governance Centre, Teepee –  740 Sioux Avenue South, Fort Qu’Appelle, SK

February 7 and Registration by January 31, 2019

Swift Current

Swift Current Comprehensive High School, 1100-11th Ave NE, Swift Current, SK
March 7, 2019 and Registration by February 27, 2019

North Battleford

Don Ross Community Centre, 891- 99th St, North Battleford SK (Building entrance door #4) 
March 21. 2019 and Registration by March 13, 2019

Register

>>Information and Registration


Related Links

Anti-Racism Facilitator Training
Anti-Racism Youth Leadership Workshops
Anti-Racism 101
 

Join the conversation: Anti-racism engagement

Current status: Open (closes December 9, 2018)
Department of Canadian Heritage

This engagement on anti-racism is open to all Canadians and we want to hear from you! We invite you to lend your voice, views and experiences. Your input is essential to ensure our work to address racism reflects your experiences and your suggestions.

A new national anti-racism strategy
Racism divides communities, breeds fear and fuels animosity. Addressing racism and discrimination is a longstanding commitment of Canadians who see our country’s diversity as a source of strength. Canada is strong, not in spite of our differences, but because of them. Unfortunately, Canada is not immune to racism and discrimination — challenges remain when it comes to fully embracing diversity, openness and cooperation.
It is vital that Canada stands up to discrimination perpetrated against any individual or group of people on the basis of their religion and/or ethnicity and this is why the Government of Canada has committed to engage the public on a new federal anti-racism strategy. We are exploring racism as it relates to employment and income supports, social participation (for example, access to arts, sport and leisure) and justice. We are asking people across the country to inform this new strategy in meaningful, relevant, and solutions-focused discussions based on these topics.

Notice

These pages contain references to racism and discrimination, including online survey questions designed to collect personal experiences and beliefs on a voluntary basis. Materials may bring up past experiences of discomfort, anxiety, and/or trauma. Please engage with this content only when you feel prepared.
If you feel you have experienced discrimination or harassment based on one or more of the grounds protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act – including race, national or ethnic origin, colour and religion – you may be able to file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Join in: How to participate

In-person sessions are also being held with community members, leaders, experts (particularly those with lived experience), academics, and stakeholders across Canada. These meetings will not be open to the public in order to ensure that participants are able to have focused, meaningful and safe conversations on subjects that, for many, include reflecting on harmful experiences.
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to your contribution.

Who can participate

We’re interested in hearing from all Canadians, especially those who have direct experience with racism and discrimination and those who offer intersectional perspectives.

Key themes for discussion

To focus on those issues where racism and discrimination most directly touch people’s lives, as well as those policy areas that most closely overlap with the Government of Canada’s jurisdiction, the following themes will guide the engagement:

  • Employment and income supports
  • Social participation (for example, sport, art, leisure)
  • Justice

Related links

Contact us

Department of Canadian Heritage
Anti-Racism Engagement
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau QC K1A 0M5
Email
pch.antiracism-antiracisme.pch@canada.ca
Telephone
1-866-811-0055
1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
TTY
1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)

Main link

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/anti-racism-engagement.html 

Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance, investment, multifaith, multifaith calendar, faith, religion

2019 Multifaith Calendar now available for purchase!

The theme for the 2019 edition is ‘Coming Together: Exploring New Connections’. The 28 images in the 2019 calendar explore this theme and are original works of art from a wide variety of artistsMulticultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance, investment, multifaith, multifaith calendar, faith, religion across North America and internationally.
Here are just some of the benefits and uses of Multifaith Calendars:

  • A source of accurate dates and descriptions of approx 430 events, including observances from 14 world religions.
  • An excellent fundraising vehicle for all organizations, including non-profit/charitable groups.
  • Bulk order discounts and wholesale opportunities available.
  • Valuable tool for human resource professionals in diverse workplaces to keep themselves aware of holiday observances of staff from different faith communities.
  • Makes an attractive gift for clients and for staff—a gift that reinforces your company’s commitment to diversity.

Order the 2019 Multifaith Calendar today!

Visit: http://mcos.ca/multifaith-calendar/

June is National Indigenous History Month

In June, Canadians celebrate National Indigenous History Month, an opportunity to honour the heritage, contributions and cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
On June 21, Canadians from all walks of life are invited to participate in the many National Indigenous Peoples Day events that will be taking place from coast to coast to coast. This is a special day toNational Aboriginal History Month, National Aboriginal Day, Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, MCoS celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. Learn about Governor General’s Proclamation.
In 2009, June was declared National Indigenous History Month, following the passing of a unanimous motion in the House of Commons.
National Indigenous History Month provides an opportunity to recognize not only the historic contributions of Indigenous peoples to the development of Canada, but also the strength of present-day Indigenous communities and their promise for the future.
Celebrating National Indigenous History Month in June is an important tribute to the heritage and diversity of First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada.
For more information and events visit: http://mcos.ca/indigenous-aboriginal-history-month/

Welcome Home 150 Pledge

Annually we recognize Canada’s anniversary. It is a perfect time to commit to the TRC Calls to Action and affirm our values of being welcoming and inclusive to all by taking the Welcome Home 150 Pledge – #WelcomeHome150
For more information: http://mcos.ca/welcome-150-pledge


Related Links

National Indigenous History Month
Celebrate Canada
Welcoming and Inclusive Communities
Welcome Home 150 Pledge
 

National Highway to Harmonious Canada Video

Multi-Faith Saskatchewan and Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan collaborated in the production of this 45-minute video to mark the 150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation. The project was supported by the Community Fund of Southern Saskatchewan as well as numerous cultural organizations, faith communities and volunteers. Access Communications donated its services in producing the video.
The main features of the video are the hopes and wishes by children of different faiths and cultural groups for a peaceful and harmonious Canada, silent prayers, cultural performances and the national anthem by all participants.
For more information about Multi-Faith Saskatchewan visit http://www.multifaithsask.org/. You can view the video embedded below and share it with your networks.



 

RMC and MCoS Offering Anti-Racism Workshop in ReginaMarch 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, MCoS, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Racsim, Discrimination

This FREE anti-racism workshop is for high school students from Regina and surrounding area. Registration is limited, so be sure to register soon!
Date: Friday, April 20, 2018
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Location: Eastview Community Centre: 615 – 6th Avenue, Regina, SK
Register: Please download, fill out and return this form: Regina Anti-Racism Workshop Registration (doc)