Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Opening Remarks @ Courageous Conversations Conference

Written by Aleena, Lorena
Edited by Vaidehee

Pictured: David Arnot

David Arnot, the Chief Commissioner of SHRC, came into the Courageous Conversations to talk about issues that limit Canada faces from from becoming a more welcoming country for everyone. He praised Canada as it has had the most success in developing multiculturalism but recognized, despite this lead, there are prevalent points that if aren’t immediately addressed, can drag our province, and overall, our country backwards. “Western states are worried. Make sure that multiculturalism stays alive,” stated David Arnot, emphasizing the importance of diverse ideology and how although, multiculturalism is embedded into our very own constitution, there is still danger in losing grip on our situation if action isn’t taken. He proposed the course of action was through education, “We must invest in our education to keep multiculturalism alive,“ He highlighted that in our education we must unite and acknowledge the 5 main issues: racism, gender discrimination, mental and health addiction, and disability issues before they get out of hand. Racism is currently the no.1 issue in Saskatchewan. And most of the stereotypes we hold are based on fear and ignorance, this is one of the strongest barriers that prevents us from from reaching harmony and unity for all peoples.

Pictured: Cathy Mills and Patricia Prowse

For so long, the sense of inclusion and exclusion have divided us as a nation. It is now time for a different kind of change. The recent election in “The Land of the Free” has proven their freedom is false, and that their country, like ours, needs to create a conversation. In conclusion, Justice David Arnot acknowledged in order to solve this crisis of the issues above, education is the key. Our education system has to be able to create citizens after graduating that are enlightened, ethical, empowered, empathic, and engaged. This can be the student citizenship we need and then students will lead the revolution that brings our nation to a better place. “The status quote for this province is not acceptable nor sustainable.” We as Saskatchewan citizens have the power to counter racism against indigenous people and newcomers, only then can prosperity and equality in both Saskatchewan and Canada is possible.

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