REGINA, March 8, 2022 – Annually, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS) joins the
world in recognizing March 21 as International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
This is a time to remind ourselves of the harmful effects of racism and to demonstrate the
commitment and leadership of governments, institutions, and individuals to foster respect,
equality and diversity. MCoS is running a provincial educational campaign featuring the theme
Racism: Recognize it. Reject it!
Racism remains an everyday problem in Saskatchewan. It is woven into the fabric of our society, just
as compassion and cooperation are part of the culture. We can all be part of the process to recognize
and reject it.
While we know that “race” is not genetic, it is a social, economic, cultural, political construct used
to differentiate, privilege, and oppress groups of people. It creates a hierarchy of superiority and
inferiority that has become part of our social structure and systems in the public, private, and
community spheres. The stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination that result infect our ideas about
ourselves and others. The impacts on how we treat each other, and on our self-esteem result in
negative outcomes for individuals and communities. Research has shown a significant link between
experiences of racism and discrimination and reduced productivity and quality of life.
That is why one of the streams of MCoS intervention is Anti-Racism. This work looks at issues of
power and privilege, its effect on individual and systematic discrimination. It also suggests active
dialogue, education and respect as key components for a shift in thinking and behaviour.
During the pandemic and global movements for justice, we have become increasingly aware of our
common humanity, the collective efforts of those from many cultures, and the costs of ongoing
inequities. Colonialism continues to impact our lives, privileging European heritage and
disadvantaging Indigenous Peoples at every level. The war in Ukraine is likely to lead to an increase
in immigration to Saskatchewan. We saw symbols of racism and white supremacy, including
Confederate flags and swastikas, at protests against pandemic precautions. Conflicts here and around
the world give us reasons to discuss racism and oppression.
Individuals and organizations have a role to play in recognizing and dismantling the four levels of
racism – internalized, interpersonal, systemic and structural. We need to confront racism, the
barriers and hardships it creates. Education, capacity building, courageous conversations, and
introspection can bring change to policies and interaction. Shared responsibility, shared benefits.
MCoS, together with its partners, is offering Community Forums for engagement across the province.
These forums are an opportunity to hear experiences from individuals. This is a chance to listen, and
to share your thoughts and concerns. Become a part of the solution in taking steps towards
addressing and eradicating racism. Join us to build a solid foundation for equitable and inclusive