On March 21, 2016, the City of Saskatoon recognized students, individuals, and organizations that help make the city a welcoming and inclusive community for all people. Timed to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the City of Saskatoon’s Cultural Diversity and Race Relations gave awards for art and literary works that promote multiculturalism and harmony.
Award recipients included the St. Edward School EcoJustice program, Ms. Alex Mulenga, Ms. Alice Deng, Ms. Chelsea Lund, Mr. Bob Zhao, and Ms. Gaylene Klatt and St. Marguerite School for community service recognition.
This year’s “Living in Harmony” awards ceremony highlighted the importance of reconciliation. Mr. Eugene Arcand, a residential school survivor and an advisor to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada spoke about the importance of education and understanding. He reminded the students that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission “did not make recommendations” but rather “calls to action” that are intended to foster healing and create harmony.
Speaking on behalf of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, Commissioner Heather Kuttai acknowledged that Saskatoon continues to be strengthened by the contributions of Indigenous people. Citing the need to take action, she commended the award recipients for being, “citizens who know their rights, respect others, and demonstrate a sense of responsibility to our community and a willingness to work together.”