I am just checking in to ensure that all SAHs are aware of the Saskatoon Refugee Coalition future planning meeting on Saturday, February 11th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Frances Morrison Library.
I am hoping that each SAH will be represented and that each of us will be able to bring two newcomers who have the refugee experience.
If your SAH is not planning to bring two newcomers, could you let me know. That might enable another SAH to bring an extra person.
The Anglican Diocese of Saskatoon has been an active member of the Saskatoon Refugee Coalition for about 25 years. The coalition has waxed and waned in importance and activities during that time. For instance, during the Kosovo crisis, the coalition was contracted by CIC to organize the settlement of the Kosovars in Saskatoon. Despite the fact that the coalition had not done programming before, we did a creditable job.
The coalition is neither an incorporated and is not a registered charity. The coalition invites anyone who is interested in the cause of refugees to attend meetings and take part in activities. We follow Roberts rules but try to be reasonably casual and not too formal.
Over the years, the coalition meetings have been attended by SAHs, sponsoring group members, refugee lawyers, Settlement agency representatives and staff, refugees who are looking for sponsorships for family members, refugees who want to support the cause of refugees, advocates such as Amnesty International and WUSC and educators including reps from the library. also police and other city staff etc:
The coalition during this time has (In addition to the Kosovar project):
- Regularly updated its members on refugee issues, locally, regionally, nationally and globally
- Prepared briefs for parliamentary committees dealing with refugee issuesP
- Planned events for World refugee days (June 20)P
- Planned events for refugee rights days (April 4)
- Held marches and vigils and press conferences in response to changes in legislation or incidents affecting refugees
- Supported refugee claimants (with financial help and with help preparing H & C appeals etc)
- Initiated many events that seek to bring people together from many cultures (e.g. Prairie Prism - which began as a one time celebratory event for refugee sponsored refugees and their sponsors and has become a regular event held every two years to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism in our community.
- Maintained a membership in the Canadian Council for Refugees and led the planning for the first CCR consultation in Saskatoon
- Hosted press conferences in response to legislative changes harmful to refugees
- Hosted meetings on refugee concerns (e.g. bringing together health provider, policy makers and bureaucrats to discuss the impact of the ending of IFH)
- Been represented on panels and done presentations to many conferences and other events in the city
There are many more things the SRC has been involved in but you get the picture.