I am the Bridge
The City of Saskatoon recognizes that Saskatoon has always been a society composed of people from many different backgrounds and that this diversity will continue. The participation and contribution of all citizens in the development of our community is vital to meeting the challenges of the future.
I am the Bridge
Racism is a Fact
The large majority of Aboriginal peoples in Saskatoon agree with the statement "I think others behave in an unfair/negative way towards Aboriginal people." Nine in 10 strongly (51%) or somewhat (39%) agree with this statement; only nine percent disagree.
In a sampling of over 3,000 Canadians, 47% of respondents admitted they were strongly, moderately or slightly racist.
Aboriginal people are three times more likely to be the victim of violent crimes than non-aboriginal people.
In a Canadian study, those with English sounding names received interview requests 40% more often than applicants with Chinese, Indian pr Pakistani names.
It’s okay to talk about racism!
Everyone can ‘be the bridge’ to ending racism in Saskatoon by generating ideas of inclusion among residents of the city.
The City of Saskatoon wants to encourage and invite you to talk about racism and ways to eliminate it by sharing videos of your experiences and messages of inclusion.
Racism is a global issue, not unique to Saskatoon. Racism is influenced by a range of historical, social, political and economic factors. It takes different forms in different contexts. An understanding of the nature of racism is essential in order to recognize and counter it successfully.
What is Racism?
Racism comes from a false set of beliefs that one’s own group is superior and has the right to dominate other groups. Dominations gives on group privilege, and the other group experiences discrimination. This false belief system is created and sustained by society at a great cost. Racism cannot exist if we don’t support it.
- Racism is a set of beliefs and ideas that asserts the superiority of one group over another.
- Stereotypes are generalizations of a group of people based on the actions or characteristics of a few members of that group.
- Prejudice is a “pre-judgment” of a person or group in a negative light formed on the basis of stereotypes and usually made without adequate evidence or information.
- Discrimination is the denial of equal treatment or opportunity. Discrimination results from people action on stereotypes and prejudices that they hold to be true.
How to Be a Bridge
Speak Up. Don’t encourage racist behaviour by laughing along or being complacent, this makes you just as responsible.
Be Inclusive. Being as inclusive as possible will open you up to new people and places. You will have a deeper understanding of different cultures and the opportunity to gain more friends.
Educate yourself and others. Racism must be openly discussed in order to debunk the myths and misconceptions people may have. A great way to get people talking about racism is to set up an anti-racism forum or information session at your school or workplace.
Reflect on an individual level. Everyone sees the world through their own “lens”. This lens is shaped with many things- existing ideas, family, place of worship or schooling, to name a few. You must ask yourself, “How has my understanding of ‘x’ been shaped by my own personal lens? How might other people interpret ‘x’?”
How to Get Involved?
To find out how you can get involved in anti-racism projects, contact any of the following through the Community Development Division at 306-975-3378.
- Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Consultant
- Aboriginal and Inclusion Consultant
- Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant
Unified Minds is a youth action network dedicated to involving young people in the promotion of positive intercultural relations in our community.
Cultural Diversity and Race Relations
An external audit of the City of Saskatoon's "Race Relations Program" took place in May 2001 stating in part that "the City's Race Relations Program which includes activities carried out by both the Race Relations Committee, and Office, is at a strategic point in its evolution." The result of the audit lead to extensive consultation with the community of Saskatoon throughout 2002 to engage the public in a long-term "race relations" plan that would promote racial harmony and minimize racial tension. The community consultation ultimately culminated in the development of a Cultural Diversity & Race Relations Policy, effective February 9, 2004.
The City of Saskatoon's Cultural Diversity & Race Relations Advisory Committee, and Office, develops their plans in relation to the guidance and direction of the Cultural Diversity & Race Relations Policy.
Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee Co-Sponsorship Program
The Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee provides co-sponsorships of up to $1,000 to groups in the community who are planning events or initiatives which fall under the Committee’s mandate and relate to the City of Saskatoon Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Policy.
The purpose of this program is to:
- help the Committee connect with groups that are undertaking cultural diversity and race relations education and awareness initiatives;
- promote a greater understanding of the diverse communities in Saskatoon; and
- help those groups promote their events to a wider audience.
Deadlines for co-sponsorship applications are:
- September 30 (for events to be held between January and June)
- March 15 (for events to be held between July and December)
Forward the completed form by mail, fax, or email to:
All applicants will be contacted once the Committee makes its decision.
Payment: After the event, a follow up report must be submitted to the Committee before a cheque will be issued.
For more information about Co-Sponsorships, please contact Ms. Fast at (306) 975-3240.
March is Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Month!
In 1966, the United Nations declared March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in commemoration of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre in South Africa when peaceful demonstrators against apartheid were wounded and killed.
In 1990, City Council proclaimed March as Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Month in the City of Saskatoon.
Living in Harmony Contests
This annual program encourages individuals to explore what intercultural harmony means to them, and share their ideas with the community through writings or pictures.
2017 Literary Contest
2017 Visual Art Contest
2017 Participant Entry Form
Living in Harmony Recognition Awards
The Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee presents “Living in Harmony” Recognition Awards to recognize local organizations or individuals for their efforts in promoting intercultural harmony. Each year, the Committee presents these awards to focus attention on the positive initiatives that are taking place within our community.
Tim Wise Videos
A fiery speaker and prolific author, Wise candidly deconstructs race and privilege. With passion and humour, he challenges his audiences to acknowledge privilege and dismantle racism in their organizations and everyday lives.
Video 1: Tim Wise on the Legacy of Institutionalized Racial and Ethnic Discrimation
Video 2: Tim Wise on Equitable Multiculturism
Video 3: Tim Wise on Dominant Cultural Norms vs. Universal Norms
Video 4: Tim Wise on Interrogation of the Lens with which We View Social Reality
Video 5: Tim Wise on Guilt vs. Ignorance
Video 6: Tim Wise on Being White, Not Knowing Any Better and Recognizing Privilege
Video 7: Tim Wise on Passive Formulation of Racism, Patriarchy and other Forms of Supremacy