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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


 

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
 

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
 

A Rainbow of Culture in Rosthern

Aboriginal, Anti-Racism, Beardy’s Okemasis’ Cree Nation, culture, Diversity, EAL, f, Filipino, First Nations and Metis, From Many Peoples Strength, immigrant, Immigration, Indigenous Peoples, MCoS, multicultural, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, multiculturalism, Newcomer, Partnership, Refugee, refugee family, Rosthern, saskatchewan, volunteer

Mayor Dennis Helmuth of Rosthern and Chief Roy Petit of Beardys Okemasis First Nation signing a Friendship Agreement in Rosthern, Fall 2017. This action taken by these two forward thinking and wonderful community leaders was nationally recognized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.


With immigration at an all-time high in Saskatchewan, creating welcoming and inclusive communities for newcomers has never been more crucial. When people like where they live, feel needed and valued, and are able to sustain a comfortable way of life, they stay where they are and draw others into the community. It is a simple equation that the town of Rosthern has taken to the next level.

We moved here because two of my friends already lived here and they told us there were good job opportunities. So we felt very welcome here, especially our kids.

Several groups in Rosthern have sponsored refugee families, and word of mouth tends to travel far and wide when someone is settled and loving the community. Such was the case for Josephine and her family who moved from the Philippines in 2010. “We moved here because two of my friends already lived here and they told us there were good job opportunities. So we felt very welcome here, especially our kids. We really like Rosthern because it’s a very peaceful place; people are so nice, very friendly, helpful, caring, trusting and kind. I feel like we really belong here because we are treated equally.” Approximately 20 separate Filipino families call Rosthern home among dozens of other newcomers, and that surprises visitors to the town. But Josephine says it is also the many amenities in Rosthern like the hospital, banks, grocery store, and restaurants that keep people here. “We also like that the school is so close to our house. It makes life here very convenient.”
The two public schools in Rosthern are made up of approximately 25% English as an
Additional Language (EAL) students in their classrooms. It is a very high percentage that has the children teaching the adults a thing or two about embracing every colour of our cultural rainbow. Picking up bits and pieces of different languages has become the norm for the kids, giggling and encouraging each other to try out new words. Rosthern also has several adult EAL classes run by different volunteer groups that reach out into the community to expand the experiences of their students on a regular basis.
A diverse community displaying multiculturalism prospers in Rosthern: German, Métis, Filipino, Ukrainian, Syrian, Burmese, First Nations, Persian, East Indian, Karen, and the list just keeps growing! Mariam, a Syrian wife and mother says that the expanding multiculturalism is one of the reasons they liked Rosthern so much. “We do not feel that we are far from our families, we found a beautiful country and beautiful people here.” For Josephine, successful multiculturalism means “… living or being in a place where there is harmony, unity, respect and peace despite our differences in culture and beliefs.”

For Josephine, successful multiculturalism means “… living or being in a place where there is harmony, unity, respect and peace despite our differences in culture and beliefs.”

With that spirit of equal partnership, Rosthern and their friends to the North at Beardy’s Okemasis’ Cree Nation, recently signed a Friendship Agreement to solidify both communities’ commitment to working together. Chief of Beardy’s Okemasis’ Cree Nation, Roy Petit, and Mayor of Rosthern, Dennis Helmuth, are setting an example of creating welcoming and inclusive communities and embracing multiculturalism that shines like a bright beacon of hope. A beacon that welcomes all cultures, and because of this, will accomplish great things.

Photo Gallery

This blog was written and submitted by Kate Kading

International Women’s Day – Progress of Indigenous Women

Submitted by Guest Blogger, Jaspal Gill
International Women’s Day was started by the Suffragettes movement in the early 1900s, with the earliest celebration occurring in 1911. In particular there was outrage over a factory fire causing multiple deaths in New York in 1908. The cry for “Bread and Roses” is symbolic. The Roses represent women’s desire for better working conditions, and the bread represents the call for sustainable wages so as to be able to feed the families. Now, this day is celebrated every year in March worldwide to acknowledge the contribution of women. Each of us can play a purposeful role in the progress of women. With respect especially to the needs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, one way that we can work to advance this progress is by engaging immigrants into this dialogue.

With respect especially to the needs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, one way that we can work to advance this progress is by engaging immigrants into this dialogue.

As a South Asian immigrant woman, I have learned to appreciate the distinct strengths and values of Indigenous women in Canada, as well as the distinct needs and problems they face. The most challenging factor for immigrant women is finding the time to learn about other cultures.  Encouragement will help newcomers find the time. When I first moved to Canada, in 2002, options were limited for me and engaging with others was tough. I had little time to learn about the Canadian culture in general, let alone Indigenous cultures. But as I became more involved with the community for the last 14 years in Ontario, I realized I was not educated enough about their cultures in Canada. When looking to settle down in a new land, it is often easy to forget to learn about the Indigenous peoples in our new land.
In my case, the challenges of raising a family, finding a job, and learning to understand the system, deterred me from learning about Indigenous peoples, societies, and cultures. But I now realize that it is extremely important to encourage newcomers to understand and appreciate the role of Indigenous cultures in shaping Canada’s heritage, and connecting Canadian society to the land. Of course, this is not just important for newcomer Canadians, but for all Canadians as well.

But I now realize that it is extremely important to encourage newcomers to understand and appreciate the role of Indigenous cultures in shaping Canada’s heritage, and connecting Canadian society to the land.

Racism remains prevalent in Canada, even for a fastpaced developing society, despite past efforts from the people who broke barriers for change, activists such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Unfortunately, women often end up being the target of racist attacks. South Asian immigrants need to do more to learn about the oppression of Indigenous peoples, to understand Indigenous cultures and values, and to stand with Indigenous women in the fight against racism, violence, and discrimination.
In my experience, many of my South Asian peers were not familiar with the cultural values or norms associated with Indigenous societies. Thankfully, the children of South Asian families are educated about the history and culture of Indigenous peoples growing up in Canadian schools.  However, those of us who immigrated as adults have to go out of our way to educate ourselves. It is imperative for dialogue to open up, and for public education for newcomer adults to include learning about Indigenous societies, history, cultures, and present conditions.
After moving to Treaty 6 Territory two years ago, I was shocked to witness the challenges Indigenous people face, especially the women. Educating ourselves will help us newcomers to assist in the eradication of oppression of Indigenous peoples, especially within the judicial system, rooted in racism within Canadian society. As South Asians have our own history of strong advocates for change, like Gandhi, we are natural allies in the battle against oppression of Indigenous Canadians.

After moving to Treaty 6 Territory two years ago, I was shocked to witness the challenges Indigenous people face, especially the women.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called for providing better information for newcomers about the history of the diverse Indigenous peoples of Canada (Call to Action #93). More education is needed to give new Canadians a better understanding of Indigenous cultures and to engage them in Indigenous issues. This education is imperative so that new Canadians better serve Indigenous peoples and become involved in supporting the progress of Indigenous women. The immigrant’s participation during this process will make a significant difference in the community, and is absolutely necessary for reconciliation.
Oppressed Indigenous women can make progress this International Women’s Day, through raising awareness of their problems among the public, and by setting goals to work towards. The thematic discussion of this special day in March provides vast scope to discuss many issues affecting women. The physical limitations of poverty, violent acts against women, damage to self-esteem through the effects of negative media portrayals and stereotypical remarks, are all problems requiring attention in our shared struggle for equal rights. Awareness can be increased through social media: sharing and posting, on various platforms, about issues affecting women. Raising awareness online is one way to help spread the word and give these issues the attention they deserve.
Working as a legal professional in Prince Albert, I witness everyday the circumstances Indigenous people go through within the community. There are many ways that we all can become a part of the solution. Through the use of grassroots organizations, we have an opportunity to address the problem of oppression in Canada. By reaching out in the local communities to raise awareness of the issues affecting Indigenous peoples and vulnerable members of society, we can journey towards realizing real solutions. Such a journey will be well worth the effort.
We can engage the immigrant population on a grassroots level to become active participants in this journey. For example, a sizeable portion of immigrants have a preconceived notion that jury duty may be a risk to their lives. We need to educate newcomers that in Canada, this is simply not true.
At this time, we need everyone to participate in their local community and put their best foot forward, so that our nation, Canada, will feel like a home, rather than a house. As a step in the right direction, our generation must confront the shame and tragedy of racism, in order to end the marginalization of Indigenous women. Newcomers from South Asia and other parts of the world, especially those of us who are visible minorities, can play a role in raising awareness this International Women’s Day.

As a step in the right direction, our generation must confront the shame and tragedy of racism, in order to end the marginalization of Indigenous women.

Let’s make International Women’s Day this March 8, 2018 a successful one by engaging immigrants to take action and transform the lives of Indigenous women!


Aboriginal, Anti-Racism, culture, Diversity, EAL, Filipino, First Nations and Metis, From Many Peoples Strength, immigrant, Immigration, Indigenous Peoples, MCoS, multicultural, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, multiculturalism, Newcomer, Partnership, Refugee, refugee family, saskatchewan, volunteer, TRC, reconciliationJaspal Gill is a lawyer at Arnot Heffernan Slobodian Law Office in Prince Albert. She carries on a general practice in all areas of law, with a particular interest on Criminal Law and Family Law. Jaspal also often conducts hearings of landlords and tenants disputes in Saskatchewan as a Hearing officer with the Office of Residential Tenancies. She has a diverse background which includes volunteering and community involvement. She is on the Development Appeals Board of the City of Prince Albert, the Board of Directors of YWCA Prince Albert and Prince Albert Multicultural Council.
 

March 21 Campaign: Show Racism the Door and #MarchOutRacismMarch 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, MCoS, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Racsim, Discrimination

March 21st 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.
During the month of March, MCoS is running a provincial campaign featuring the theme “Show Racism the Door”. This year, we created a downloadable PDF activity kit. We have also launched a social media campaign to accompany this campaign using #MarchOutRacism.
We invite members, partners, schools, workplaces, faith groups, etc. to download a free activity kit and execute it leading up to March 21st and record it with photos and video and post to social media using #MarchOutRacism.


Learn more about March 21st: http://mcos.ca/march21st/
Join the campaign and download your free activity kit here: http://mcos.ca/marchoutracism
View and download: March 21st Events and Resources
Join the conversation on social media using #MarchOutRacism

MCoS Multicultural Honours Highlights Intercultural Connections

Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, MCoS Multicultural Honours, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Volunteer, Award, Lieutenant Governor, Government House, Multicultural, Racism, Intercultural, Diversity, Saskatchewan

Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan provides opening remarks

Over 100 people gathered at Government House in Regina on Saturday, November 14th to celebrate and recognize significant volunteer contributions to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan. This annual flag-ship event for MCoS, is hosted by Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan. It is always a joyous celebration drawing attention to the both the contributions and importance of volunteers to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan. This event is part of Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, proclaimed annually by the provincial government to celebrate the Saskatchewan Multiculturalism Act.
The formal part of the event took place in Sir Richard Lake Hall which provides an elegant setting for the program and awards. Her Honour and MCoS President, Bruno Kossman, recognized and appreciated the historical and current contributions of Saskatchewan’s indigenous people that are foundations for a respectful and harmonious shared future. In that vein, Her Honour acknowledged that we were meeting on land that is the traditional territory of the Cree, Saulteaux and Métis and part of Treaty 4. It is essential to remember that we are all treaty people – we benefit as a result of the relationship agreed to over 150 years ago.
This year, the recent Paris terrorist attacks and the Syrian refugee crisis and were addressed by everyone who spoke at the event. Anti-racism
education and the importance of fostering intercultural connections were echoed through the speeches. During his greetings, the Honourable Mark Docherty, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport, aptly summed up the current political and social climate by reciting a quote by Somali poet Warsan Shire from her poem “What They Did Yesterday Afternoon”:

Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, MCoS Multicultural Honours, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Volunteer, Award, Lieutenant Governor, Government House, Multicultural, Racism, Intercultural, Diversity, Saskatchewan

His Honour the Honourable Mark Docherty, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport brings greetings

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?
it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.

MCoS President, Bruno Kossmann, touched on 2015 being the organization’s 40th anniversary and reviewed MCoS programming and achievements. He thanked all volunteers around the province that make multiculturalism a central factor to the vibrancy of life in Saskatchewan. In 2014-15, among MCoS members over 18,200 volunteers contributed over 358,900 hours of time.  Volunteers and staff with different cultural backgrounds bring different ways of seeing the world which can contribute to more effective decision-making and problem-solving. He also introduced our 40th anniversary video to the audience who enjoyed the taking a journey in photos from MCoS’ inception to the current day to the music of Andrea Menard.
In the awards portion of the event, it was noted that all nominees were considered for the extent of their involvement in the five multicultural streams of work: cultural continuity, celebrating diversity, anti-racism, intercultural connections and integration. This year’s award recipients are both are incredibly deserving individuals. Particularly, their intercultural connections work facilitating different cultural groups coming together over time to build bridges should be noted. By coincidence and unknown to the committee, they share a friendship built through this very work and exemplary of it.

Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, MCoS Multicultural Honours, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Volunteer, Award, Lieutenant Governor, Government House, Multicultural, Racism, Intercultural, Diversity, Saskatchewan

Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Janelle Pewapsconias, 2015 Multicultural Youth Leadership Award Recipient and Bruno Kossman, MCoS President.

MCoS Director and member of the recognition committee, Renata Cosic, introduced Janelle Pewapsconias as the recipient of the 2015 Multicultural Youth Leadership Award. Janelle fulfills many roles focused on cultural continuity within her own community of Little Pine First Nation and in Saskatoon – both of which are in Treaty 6 Territory. She is a strong single mother, a well-rounded advocate for Indigenous, social and environmental justice, an up-and-coming spoken word artist, entrepreneur-in-training, volunteer, public speaker and learner of her language. Janelle is the creator of the Neechi Life Games which are anti-racism tools. She participated in the 2014 intensive summer program called “Next Up: First Nations & Métis Youth in Action” (MCoS strategic initiative investment supported this program) where she was a strong leader within the group. Janelle – who is a budding leader and cultural keeper – is an ambassador of multiculturalism who lives out the multicultural values and her volunteer efforts are rooted in all five streams of multiculturalism. (Read Janelle’s full bio)

As an Indigenous person of this land, I recognize that there are people in the distress around the world and I welcome them here with open arms.
~ Janelle Pewapsconias ~ (excerpt from her acceptance speech)

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Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Jebunnessa Chapola, 2015 Betty Szuchewycz Award Recipient and Bruno Kossman, MCoS President.

MCoS Director and member of the recognition committee, Muna DeCiman, introduced Jebunessa Chapola is the recipient of the 2015 Betty Szuchewycz Award. Jebunnessa’s life is dedicated to uplifting marginalized ethnic and indigenous cultures in the local and international arena and creating awareness about the barriers to achieving gender, social and environmental justice, and working within and across new media environments. She has participated in many diverse cultural program committees creating space for ethnic communities, and putting the committee organizers in touch with her community members. Jebunnessa’s involvement as a Cultural Connections Coordinator for the last five years with Ness Creek Music Festival is a prime example of cultural diversity and intercultural connections at work in the community. This program has received several investments through MCoS’ intercultural connections program. Her anti-racism and anti-oppression work is extensive and has had an impact on very broad social sectors. She has participated in MCoS’ Arrêt/Stop Anti-Racism youth leadership workshops for the past three years as a facilitator and was able to take the knowledge learned from these workshops and host additional workshops at Ness creek and in the community. (Read Jebunnessa’s full bio)

Volunteering and being able to share my culture with others has made me feel alive again; I have purpose once again in my life.
~ Jebunnessa Chapola ~ (excerpt from her acceptance speech)

The reception portion of the event took place in the Henry Newlands Ballroom, decorated for the Christmas season, providing both an elegant and festive atmosphere for the reception. Guests enjoyed cultural treats provided by Rushton’s Catering. “Cultural Treats in Context” cards adorned every table with explanations of the savoury, sweet and fresh fruit delicacies. The reception provided a chance for socializing and photos that facilitated intercultural connections.


Photo Gallery for 2015 MCoS Multicultural Honours