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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.

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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 features Multicultural Superheroes

Honouring Significant Contributions to Multiculturalism in Saskatchewan

Event Highlights

On Saturday, November 19, 2016 over 100 members of Saskatchewan’s multicultural community gathered at Government House to kick off Saskatchewan Multicultural Week and honour some of Saskatchewan’s multicultural superheroes – people who have made significant contributions to the multicultural community in Saskatchewan.
Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan hosted the event and was joined by Mark Docherty, MLA for Regina Coronation Park and

MCoS Multicultural Honours, Awards, Recipients, Multicultural Superhero, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance

Over 100 members of the multicultural community gathered to celebrate significant contributions made to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan.

Legislative Secretary to the Premier of Saskatchewan for Immigration and Culture, Neeraj Saroj, Vice-President, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan and Bob Bymoen, President, Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU). Other special guests included Joanne McDonald, President, SaskCulture President, Muna DeCiman, Past Betty Szuchewycz Award recipient, and Joyce Vandall, former MCoS Board Member, Secretary and undisputed multicultural superhero.
Everyone gathered in the festive surroundings of Government House today to recognize significant contributions of Saskatchewan multicultural superheroes. All speakers touched on the fact that all of Saskatchewan is treaty land. We are all treaty people and each one of us can act on the TRC recommendations. Mr. Docherty was recognized for being a devoted supporter of all five streams of multicultural work in this province. It is through the support of Her Honour, Mr. Docherty and the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport that multicultural superheroes are nurtured in Saskatchewan.
This event officially launched Saskatchewan Multicultural Week 2016, while the related campaign, Who’s Your Multicultural Superhero?, has been running all November. During this week, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan celebrates both the benefits of and contributions to multiculturalism in our province. We do this by focusing on the multicultural values of Respect for Diversity, Recognition and Rejection of Racism, Intercultural Connections, and Integration, which are the cornerstones that inform our work and also engaging in the five streams of multicultural work: Cultural Continuity, Celebration of Diversity, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Connections and Integration.
These multicultural values and streams of work are rooted in the provincial motto From Many Peoples Strength and the treaty relationships that define our province. MCoS is proud to have been instrumental in developing the motto in our early days. This motto expresses Saskatchewan’s multicultural heritage, the contributions of First Nations and Métis cultures, and the key role of immigration in the province.
Each year at this time, we celebrate the anniversary of the Saskatchewan Multicultural Act. We can be proud that Saskatchewan was the first province to enact such legislation demonstrating that our political and community leaders chose to preserve, protect and promote all cultures in both the 1974 Saskatchewan Multiculturalism Act and the provincial motto: From Many Peoples Strength.
Time was taken to acknowledge and praise all volunteers – especially those voluteers of MCoS and its members. The many volunteers around the province make multiculturalism central to the cultural, economic, social and political life of Saskatchewan. In 2015-16, among MCoS members over 14,430 volunteers contributed over 299,203 hours of time – making them multicultural superheroes! 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.

Nominees and Recipients

Multicultural Youth Leadership Award 2016

The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) will present the third annual Multicultural Youth Leadership Award to an individual who is 29 years of age and under. The 2016 award nominees are:

The 2016 Multicultural Youth Leadership Award recipient is Jellyn Ayudan who also received a $500 reward from SGEU. While still in high school, Jellyn is already active in all five streams of

The 2016 Multicultural Youth Leadership Award recipient is Jellyn Ayudan who also received a $500 reward from SGEU. While still in high school, Jellyn is already active in all five streams of multicultural work. She is pictured here with her high school mentor and family.

The 2016 Multicultural Youth Leadership Award recipient is Jellyn Ayudan who also received a $500 reward from SGEU. While still in high school, Jellyn is already active in all five streams of multicultural work. She is pictured here with her high school mentor and family.

multicultural work. As an immigrant herself, arriving in Canada in October of 2009 from the Philippines, she dedicates her life to empowering other new immigrants and refugees to achieve their fullest potential. A strong contributor to the stream of cultural continuity, Jellyn has been the President of Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School’s Multicultural Club for four years. This has enabled her to showcase her Filipino culture at the school and in the community. Extremely active in fulfilling the stream of celebration of diversity, Jellyn has been organizing the school’s Multicultural Week for four years. She aims to include as many cultures as possible while celebrating their differences and similarities. Some initiatives Jellyn participates in to achieve the anti-racism stream of work include working with “CluedINclude”, attending a workshop to learn about discrimination and privilege and then taking what she had learned and organizing a week-long event dedicated to eliminating racial discrimination. Jellyn has become active as a Regina Open Door Society Peer Leader where she helps newcomers and immigrants to settle and integrate into Canadian life. Jellyn always seeks to improve herself and advance her positive influence in the community through the five streams of multicultural work. Overtime, Jellyn’s contributions to multiculturalism slowly transcended outwards to her community and will continue to grow as she gets older and wiser. Her Honour, MCoS Vice-President Neeraj Saroj and SGEU President Bob Bymoen presented this year’s award to Jellyn.
View full bio of Jellyn Ayudan (pdf)

Betty Szuchewycz Award 2016

Each year, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan presents the Betty Szuchewycz Award to an adult who has made significant contributions to the multicultural community. The 2016 award nominees are:

The recipient of the 2016 Betty Szuchewycz Award is Faeeza Moolla who will also select a charity for a donation of $500 from MCoS. Faeeza has contributed to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan

The recipient of the 2016 Betty Szuchewycz Award is Faeeza Moolla who will also select a charity for a donation of $500 from MCoS. Faeeza has contributed to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan through all five streams of multicultural work. She is pictured here with her family and friends.

The recipient of the 2016 Betty Szuchewycz Award is Faeeza Moolla who will also select a charity for a donation of $500 from MCoS. Faeeza has contributed to multiculturalism in Saskatchewan through all five streams of multicultural work. She is pictured here with her family and friends.

through all five streams of multicultural work.  Faeeza immigrated to Regina from South Africa 18 years ago to start her newcomer journey. She used her experience of growing up in a country rife with apartheid restrictions, to engage in multiculturalism and build bridges across cultures and faiths. To achieve the stream of Cultural Continuity, Faeeza arrived in Regina and immediately sought out people of common cultural and religious backgrounds to feel at home. She volunteered for activities within her community, ranging from potlucks to religious festivals to children’s and family activities, with the sole purpose of giving new people a home. To carry out the stream of Celebration of Diversity, Faeeza focused on building bridges with other community groups and organizations. She used her connections as a representative of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan to continuously reach out. Faeeza naturally gravitated to work on the stream of Anti-racism. Growing up in South Africa, Faeeza challenged racial inequality, fighting against the tyrannical apartheid regime until the free elections in 1994. Here in Saskatchewan, she joined Muslims for Peace and Justice, serving as a member, secretary and, vice-president, and president over the course of ten years. Her mission was to facilitate open discussions about systematic racism. In order to facilitate intercultural connections, Faeeza implemented a joint Eid Program for community and Government organizations, which was very successful, receiving several accolades. Faeeza is a long standing member of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan and serves as a volunteer bridging gaps and overcoming differences. She also serves as a member on the Islamic History Month Canada Board, allowing her to highlight the benefits of integration to strengthen the community as a whole. Due to her significant contributions to the five streams of multicultural work in Saskatchewan, Faeeza was invited to be one of 150 community builders in Regina to participate in a national conversation on the future of Canada. Her Honour, MCoS Vice-President Neeraj Saroj and Renata Cosic, Secretary, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan and Recognition Committee Chair, presented this year’s award to Faeeza.
View full bio of Faeeza Moolla (pdf)

Who’s Your Multicultural Superhero?

Both recipients are strong examples of a multicultural superhero as their contributions fulfill the five multicultural streams of work: Cultural Continuity, Celebration of Diversity, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Connections and Integration. The five streams underlie the 2016 theme of Saskatchewan Multicultural Week, taking place November 19-27 and this year’s campaign, Who’s Your Multicultural Superhero? running until November 30th. We invite everyone to think about people who inspire you through by using their super powers of respect and inclusion to fight the villains of racism and oppression, people who build bridges between cultures and celebrate diversity in all its forms, people who embrace and share traditions, and people who help others to integrate into society. These people you have thought of are your multicultural superheroes. Share about this on Instagram and Twitter using #multiculturalsuperhero in any way you want. Be creative; the sky is the limit!


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Related Links

Saskatchewan Multicultural Week
Building Welcoming Communities
MCoS Multicultural Honours
Who is Your Multicultural Superhero?
#MulticulturalSuperhero Social Feed

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.

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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