Community walks to stamp out racism

By Angela Brown
March 21, 2017 - 5:00pm

About 15 area residents came together to walk the walk on Tuesday, March 21 to raise awareness about the issue of racism.

People joined forces to take part in the event, called March Out Racism, held in downtown North Battleford. Battlefords Immigration Resource Centre partnered with Multiculturalism Society of Saskatchewan on the initiative.

The group convened outside city hall in North Battleford, as Coun. Len Taylor read the City’s proclamation declaring March 21 the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

"Racial discrimination is something everyone in our society should be aware of," Taylor said prior to the event. "This is not a federal, provincial or municipal issue. This is a people's issue. The mayor, council and the City of North Battleford are pleased to support those in this community who want to keep this important issue in front of the citizens of our community.”

Undaunted by chilly temperatures, the walk participants carried banners and posters when they took to the streets of North Battleford.

The group walked from City Hall, along 101st St., to the Battlefords Immigration Resource Centre. A shuttle bus donated by the Casino provided complimentary rides back downtown.

Police escorted the marchers and closed a section of road for the event.

Lori Nicotine, with First Nations’ Poundmaker and Little Pine, carried the International Indigenous Unity Flag during the walk. 

"It's to bring awareness of people, geography, water, racism and the struggles people are going through," she said. 

"We all walk together, we all need water and we all have the same basic need - to belong, to love and to be respected," she said. 

The organizer of the event, Annette McGovern, executive director of Battlefords Immigration Resource Centre, hoped to get people talking about the issue of racism by having the march through the centre of town.

"This is actually a province-wide initiative," she said. "People realize that if everyone would work together we would be a lot stronger, have a stronger voice, and opportunities for everyone. That's what we are trying to promote." 

She said North Battleford is no different from anywhere else.

"There are issues with racism all over the world, but if we don’t start trying to work on them they are just going to get worse," McGovern said. 

In the city's proclamation for the day, Taylor related Mayor Ryan Bater’s message: "In a diverse city like North Battleford, equality and equity are fundamental values that we uphold."


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