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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
 

Member Development Workshop: Governance and Board Succession Planning

The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan strives to strengthen the capacity of its members by offering educational and training opportunities. In partnership with the City of Saskatoon, we are offering a Member Development Workshop. Dawn Martin, from Daybreak Consulting, will share her expertise and experience on Governance and Board Succession Planning.
As a consultant, Dawn Marin has spent 30 years assisting numerous agencies and non-profit organizations. Dawn’s approach to governance issues in the voluntary sector is thoughtful and pragmatic. She understands the issues and challenges that board volunteers face and is eager to provide organizations with guidance and support that will make a difference.


Workshop Details

Facilitator: Dawn Martin (Daybreak Consulting)
Date: Saturday, January 12, 2019
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Station 20 West, 1120-20th Street West, Saskatoon, SK
Fees: Members: $25 per person; Non-members: $50 per person
Notes: Registration includes workshop materials & lunch. Saskatoon Ethnocultural Network members will be covered by the City of Saskatoon.


Registration:

Register by Noon on Friday, January 11, 2019
Please register online. Payment can be made by cheque or online. If you register online, please note that you will need to go to our Online Store for payment after you submit your online registration form.
Member Development Workshop Registration Form (Online form)


Download and Share Poster

MCoS Member Development Workshop Poster (pdf)
MCoS Member Development Workshop Poster (jpg)

Funding, Grants, Programs, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance

 

Engage in the Five streams of Multicultural Work

Apply for Strategic Initiatives Funding

Deadline is September 15, 2018

MCoS invests in approximately 15 projects and events per year for projects that fulfill our mission and contribute to at least one of the five streams of multicultural work. You can apply for up to $3,000 per project.
Learn more and apply: http://mcos.ca/strategic-initiatives/ 


Add Multicultural Education to the Classroom

Apply for the Multicultural Education Initiatives (MEI) Grant

Deadline is October 31, 2018

MCoS offers $200 – $400 Multicultural Education Initiative (MEI) grants to schools and school boards in Saskatchewan to benefit students through classroom and professional development projects that support anti-racism, reconciliation, diversity and cultural education outcomes and promote the understanding, respect, appreciation, acceptance and celebration of all people as equally valuable in our society. We support 25 to 50 educational projects each year.
Learn more and apply: http://mcos.ca/multicultural-education-initiatives/

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/

Cultural collaborations through mindful creative writing course

“We live in a world that is divided. We build judgements and create stereotypes about people we do not know. Even though we often live, work and learn beside each other – we do not really know each other. When we know each other and really listen to each other’s stories or experience, we can then come to learn from each other,” explains educator Kyla McIntyre, laying down the reasoning for the Sheldon-Williams Collegiate Mindful Creative Writing course, designed to shift this narrative.
There are 14 students in this class. They come from many different cultures and languages. Some are newcomers and some are born in Canada. Some speak fluent English and others are just

sheldon-williams collegiate, multicultural council of Saskatchewan, multicultural, grant, funding, school. education, racism, diversity, refugee, newcomer, poetry, creative writing, mindful, multicultural education

Sheldon-Williams Collegiate Mindful Creative Writing Course. Student and Poet Mays Al Jamous shares her work with the class.


beginning. This course actively encourages students of different backgrounds to come together to share their stories of experience with each other. One of the main goals of this course is to support belonging and inclusion, facilitating intercultural connections. Throughout this course, students learned about their own stories and were given tools to share them with others. Instead of learning about culture and diversity from books and the internet, students learn from each other and create relationships. The process of creative writing and practicing mindfulness each day forms a community of learners.
A Multicultural Education Initiatives grant from MCoS partially supports spoken word artist Cat Abenstein to work with this class. She is a weekly presence and supports students through all phases of their writing from drafting, editing, sharing and even performing in front of the school. Cat uses her professional artist experience to support students to truly find and share their voices.
Grade 11 student, Amie LeGrand, reflects upon the impact of the mindful creative writing course: “In creative writing, we talk about the culture of everyone in the class and get to know each other and what they have experienced. We talk about the uncomfortable topics and write about them in poems, songs and speeches – this opens our minds. The work that I have seen from my classmates is astounding. To have such students at Sheldon just shows how multicultural we are as a school and that we are more unified than we realize… I’ve learned that fear or uncertainty creates prejudice and this leads to the act of discrimination, by learning about each other this is where we can end discrimination.”
During the school’s March 21 celebration, students share the work they have created in class and this ripples through the school community to create true inclusion and belonging. Students have an opportunity to hear stories of experience from cultures they likely would not otherwise hear. These students also share their work at a school celebration attended by over 500 students. The media is invited to this event as well and then their stories are shared worldwide. Some of the poems were recorded for CBC and then played over the radio. In addition, many students have shared work created in this class at other events such as reconciliation events, a Settlement Support Workers in Schools (SSWIS) conference and an English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher’s conference. In addition, in 2017, the students published a book with Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC) – so the work that is developed in the course becomes part of the community.


Student Poetry

sheldon-williams collegiate, multicultural council of Saskatchewan, multicultural, grant, funding, school. education, racism, diversity, refugee, newcomer, poetry, creative writing, mindful, multicultural education

Sheldon-Williams Collegiate – Mindful Creative Writing Course Poets featured below. L-R: Amie LeGrand, Mays Al Jamous and Sunny Sun.

Do you want to know Mays Al Jamous?
By Amie LeGrand

What should I tell you about her?
The girl who has beautiful almond skin?
How would I describe her?
Would you like to get to know her?
Her kindness is known and shared to all
With her smile that makes everyone’s heart bounce with joy and delight.
She has bravery in her.
She may be soft spoken but what lays within her is a dangerous fire.
She has seen death by gunfire when people tried to hide and take cover.
She heard bombs and high-pitched screams when air fleets targeted her home streets.
Her experience and story of her life there has wise words with a ray of light for guidance and hope.
She now lives in Canada, eh!
With Saskatchewan’s flat grounds and minus fifty below weather.
Does she truly love the snowy weather?
Who the hell knows.
She will always miss Syria
Memories filled with love
She dreams of her bright future with a medical degree
And her children playing by her family tree Now that her country is now free
Now that I’ve told you about her
Would you like to know more
From the one, the only, Mays Al Jamous?

Being a Refugee
By Mays Al Jamous

Every person has a different experience
I can only share my experience
I am from Syria
I am a refugee
Refugees are
People who leave their countries
People who don’t have homes
People who face difficult choices
Refugees feel
Frightened
Confused
Lonely
Refugees hope
People will understand their feelings
People will not judge them at first sight
People will treat them like human beings
This refugee has
Dreams and hopes like you do
Feelings and heart like you do
Family and friends like you do
This refugee wishes
There would be no racism
There would be no discrimination
There would be no hate
This refugee is asking you to
Be Understanding
Be Unafraid
Be Loving
Every person has a different experience
I shared my experience
I am Mays from Syria
I am a strong refugee

Newcomer Issues
By: Sunny Sun

Many people have asked me the same question
What is it like to be a newcomer?
This is an ordinary question, however, it’s complicated to answer
Canada is a wonderful place
Multiple cultures make Canada more attractive
However, there will always be some issues and challenges in our lives
I believe newcomers to Canada will be perplexed by plentiful issues
In the first few days, weeks, months, even years
Everyone gets shocked by things that are new to them
Our worldview collapses and shatters into pieces
We learn new social contracts
Things that we were familiar with are gone
New paradigms are formed
Ideologies that we were taught get inverted
Things that were right, now become wrong
The origin of these problems
Leads us to the main point
ENGLISH
I have heard people say that English
Is the reason why newcomers get isolated
I am in total agreement with this
I believe 99.99 percent of conflicts or issues are related to English
The process of learning a new language is a long journey for everyone
Without English, you can’t communicate and you won’t receive any information
Sometimes not having enough English
Makes me feel like I am in a cage
It locks me inside and separates the world from me
Another problem that I think lots of newcomers will face
Is wanting to stay with people who speak their first language
This is something really common and there’s nothing wrong with it
Meeting new people is difficult
No one wants to be pushed out of their comfort zone
But one day you will have to make a friend who is a Canadian
The quicker you meet new people
The quicker your English will improve
The quicker you will feel belonging
Your friends might correct your mistakes
But don’t be shy, take advantage
Isn’t that what friends are for?
Making friends stops the suffering, the endless loneliness
Everyone will be proud of you
You will be proud of yourself


Sheldon-Williams Collegiate Mindful Creative Writing Course Video

Sheldon-Williams Collegiate in Regina, SK offers a Mindful Creative Writing Course. The program focuses on bringing youth from different backgrounds together to share their stories. Students use mindfulness to better understand themselves and the world around them. One of the main goals of the Mindful Creative Writing course is to help students gain a better understanding and make connections across different cultures.

 

Member Development Workshop: Governance and Board Succession Planning

The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan strives to strengthen the capacity of its members by offering educational and training opportunities. To that end, we are offering a Member Development Workshop. Dawn Martin, from Daybreak Consulting, will share her expertise and experience on Governance and Board Succession Planning.
Dawn Martin has served in a range of capacities both in government and as a private consultant.  As a consultant, Dawn has spent 30 years assisting numerous agencies and non-profit organizations with strategic planning, performance measurement, governance and organizational development. Most recently, she has been working with SaskCulture as part of a pilot of its new Lifecycles Capacity Program for Cultural Organizations.
Dawn’s approach to governance issues in the voluntary sector is thoughtful and pragmatic.  She understands the issues and challenges that board volunteers face and is eager to provide organizations with guidance and support that will make a difference.
When Dawn is not working as a consultant supporting non-profit organizations, she works for the City of Regina as a specialist in strategic planning and performance measurement.


Workshop Details

Facilitator: Dawn Martin (Daybreak Consulting)
Date: August 31, 2018 (Friday)
Time: 10:00am -3:00pm
Location: George Bothwell Public Library, Program Room, 2965 Gordon Road , Regina (Fully accessible, Free Parking)
Fees: Members: $25 per person; Non-members: $50 per person (Registration fee includes workshop materials and lunch on location)
Registration closing date: August 24, 2018
Please note that the workshop is open to everybody; whether you are a board member, staff member or wish to attend in a private capacity.


Registration:

Please choose the Word form or the online form to register.
Payment can be made by cheque or online. If you register online, please note that you will need to go to our Online Store for payment after you submit your online registration form.
Member Development Workshop registration form (Word form)
Member Development Workshop registration form (Online form)