Council declares day to end racism

March 21 has been proclaimed as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in the city.

Council unanimously made the proclamation at the request of Darlene Stakiw who appeared before the regular meeting of Yorkton Council as a member of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan.

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Stakiw explained March 21 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.

“The UN made this designation in 1966 to mark a tragic event that took place on March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa when 69 peaceful demonstrators were killed during a protest against apartheid,” she said.

Canada was one of the first countries to support the UN initiative and launched its inaugural campaign against racial discrimination in 1989.

“During the month of March, MCoS is running a provincial campaign featuring the theme “Racism: Recognize it. Reject it! - #MarchOutRacism”. This year, we created a downloadable PDF activity kit,” said Stakiw.

They also have launched a social media campaign to accompany this campaign by using #MarchOurRacism.

“We invite members, partners, schools, workplaces, faith groups, etc. to download the activity kit and execute it leading up to March 21, and record it with photos and video and post to social media using #MarchOutRacism,” said Stakiw.

Locally, the community is hosting some events.

A film screening with Yorkton Film Festival on March 20, 7 – 9 p.m. at the Yorkton Public Library. “Yee Clun and the Exchange Café” – This film tells the story of Yee Clun, a restaurant owner who came to the prominence in 1924, fighting a Saskatchewan law that required him to secure a municipal license to hire “white women” as employees.

Plans are underway to have conversations between Newcomers and Indigenous peoples, as part of the BRIDGES (Building Relationships through Intercultural Dialogue and Growing Engagement in Saskatchewan) program with the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan. Date, location and time to be announced within the next week.

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