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Multicultural Council anti-racism workshop gives lessons in tolerance PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 12:53

The workshop in Regina on Feb. 15, 2017. Photo by Manfred Joehnck.

The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan’s anti-racism youth leadership workshop in Regina is aiming to give lessons in tolerance and diversity.

About 100 students and educators are attending the conference to share experiences and learn about the damage racism can do.

The diverse group including black, Muslim and First Nations students are exploring intercultural relationships, discrimination, and their own identities.

The Council’s executive director Rhonda Rosenberg says the goal is to recognize and reject racism.

Part of the exercise is learning about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s reports.

“Doing this kind of activity is an opportunity for people to start to pay attention to the TRC’s call to action,” she said.

“They are an invitation to everybody to say, ‘oh, what is it I can do, how can I learn more, how can I make a difference?’”

One of the students taking part is Abdul Ikweir, a Muslim boy from Libya. Ekweiri was born in Canada, but lived in Libya for about 10 years.

He came to Regina couple of years ago and says it has been a great experience. He says he is attending the conference so others can have the same kind of great experience.

“It’s been great, it’s a hell of a ride,” he said.

“I fit in really well with my peers, I was introduced to my buddies and peers in my homeroom classes, I started out really slow but gradually moved my way up.”

The workshop is in preparation for the International Day for the Elimination of Racism March  21.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 13:02
 
New video campaign addresses shame, blame, and pain of diabetes diagnosis PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 12:19

The Canadian Diabetes Association says erasing the stigma associated with the disease will help in the battle to find a cure, and they have created a new campaign called “End Diabetes” to do just that.

The campaign's new website features a video of real victims of the disease using their own words to describe what it is like to have diabetes.

Saskatchewan-based Diabetes Association spokeswoman Brie Hnetka says there is a lot of shame, blame and pain, adding that the video gives people a real insight into what life is like for the victims.

“It is a pretty emotional video I think and it kind of outlines exactly how diabetes is different,” she said.

“It’s 24/7 that people have to deal with it and you never get a break or any kind of relief.”

The video can be found at www.enddiabetes.ca.

An estimated 100,000 people have diabetes in Saskatchewan, with the rates disproportionately higher in the Aboriginal community.

A recent study by the Canadian Diabetes Association found that 80 per cent of Aboriginal children living on reserve will develop diabetes in their lifetime compared to five out of 10 for the general population.

The study also found the onset of the disease was about 25 years earlier in the First Nations community.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 12:50
 
UPDATE: Key First Nation suspends councillor ‘effective immediately’ after drug arrest PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 09:44

File photo.

A band councillor on Key First Nation who is facing a series of drug charges has been suspended "effective immediately."

The suspension announcement from Key Chief Rodney Brass comes just one day after Mounties pulled up to a house Key First Nation reserve at around 4:45 a.m. on Tuesday.

One of their first moves was to arrest band councillor Clarence Papequash. Officers spent at least four and a half hours executing their search warrant, which was granted under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act, said Kamsack detachment Staff Sergeant Greg Todd.

He wasn't prepared to comment specifically on what officers found, but did say they seized "several pills, drugs that were controlled substances, and weapons."

Todd said his detachment consulted with the RCMP's drug unit and have now laid a total of 10 charges: five for drug possession for the purpose of trafficking, four for firearms-related offences, and one for possession of stolen property.

This isn't the first time Papequash has faced drug possession and trafficking charges.

He is a former chief, who was forced to resign in 2014 when he entered a guilty plea in connection with a prescription drug ring on the reserve. He served a six-month conditional sentence after selling half a morphine pill to a man working for the RCMP.

Papequash was reelected in October, this time as a band councillor.

MBC contacted current Chief Rodney Brass, who wasn't willing to speak on the record but did provide a statement.

He says Papequash is being suspended effectively immediately, and in the meantime chief and council will be reviewing all their options.

Todd said he views the events of Tuesday as a success.

"I think it's a good day for the community. There is a very severe drug problem in Kamsack and surrounding area, and it has mainly to do with pills," he said.

He said their investigation is only focused on Papequash at this time.

Papequash appeared before a judge in Yorkton Wednesday morning. He’s been remanded into custody until a bail hearing that's set for Feb. 22.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 17:59
 
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