Racism is a reality in Saskatoon. Anti-racism education is essential in order to identify racism and effectively work towards the elimination of racial discrimination and inequality.
What is Racism?
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.
Racism comes from a false set of beliefs that one’s own group is superior and has the right to dominate other groups. Domination gives one 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.
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. (Source: Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study: Saskatoon Report. Toronto: Environics Institute, 2011. p. 40)
In a sampling of over 3,000 Canadians, 47% of respondents admitted they were strongly, moderately or slightly racist. (Source: Fieras, Augie. Unequal Relations: An Introduction to Race, Ethnic, and Aboriginal Dynamics in Canada. 7th ed. Toronto: Pearson Canada, 2012. p. 94)
Aboriginal people are three times more likely to be the victim of violent crimes than non-aboriginal people. (Source: "Viloence Against Aboriginal Women." Government fo Newfoundland and Labrador, 2008. Accessed October 1, 2014.)
In a Canadian study, those with English sounding names received interview requests 40% more often than applicants with Chinese, Indian pr Pakistani names. (Source: Cao, Liqun. "Visible Minorities and Confidence in the Police." Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice 53, no.1 (2011): p.4)
I am the Bridge Anti-Racism Campaign
Racism takes many forms. Talking about it is essential to understanding and confronting the misconceptions people may have.
In 2016, the City of Saskatoon invited residents to submit videos sharing their experiences with racism and ways to eliminate it.
The goal of the campaign was to spark a dialogue within the community and inspire residents to be the bridge to changing the racism landscape in Saskatoon.
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
- Saskatoon Anti-Racism Network
I am the Bridge Videos
In 2016 and 2017, the City of Saskatoon invited residents to submit videos sharing their experiences with racism and ways to eliminate it.
Jim - I am the Bridge
Beth - I am the Bridge
Candace - I am the Bridge
Carol - I am the Bridge
Carrie - I am the Bridge
Curtis - I am the Bridge
Dave - I am the Bridge
Janine - I am the Bridge
Jill - I am the Bridge
Lathan - I am the Bridge
Katrina - I am the Bridge
Karen - I am the Bridge
Nicolaus - I am the Bridge
Michael - I am the Bridge
Melody - I am the Bridge
Nicole - I am the Bridge
Mel - I am the Bridge
Lauren - I am the Bridge
Zondra - I am the Bridge
Salwinder - I am the Bridge
Sheelah - I am the Bridge
Stephanie - I am the Bridge
Steve - I am the Bridge
Taylor - I am the Bridge
Thabo - I am the Bridge
Richard - I am the Bridge
Raven - I am the Bridge
Amanda - I am the Bridge
Belinda - I am the Bridge
Amanda - I am the Bridge
Andriy - I am the Bridge
Arsalan - I am the Bridge
Warren - I am the Bridge
Tim Wise Videos
A fiery speaker and prolific author, Tim 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