The Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) condemns racism in all its forms, and we stand with Black, Indigenous and People of Colour currently facing racism, discrimination and unconscious bias. The events of the last few weeks have revealed the need for greater dialogue and action to address the systemic racism and inequalities faced by people oppressed by racialization and all those considered minorities within our communities. If we fail to identify and confront inequality and oppression, in our homes and our organizations, nothing will change, and people will continue to be treated unfairly because of how they look, what they believe, or who they love.
At SPRA, we cannot ignore that many of the recent incidents that have occurred in parks and recreation spaces. These spaces are community commons, and should be safe, welcoming environments for all people. They should never be places where people are discriminated against, intimidated, or worse. Parks and recreation activities, programs, and spaces are for everyone to enjoy, no matter the colour of their skin, expression of their gender or sexuality, body type, age, religion, physical or mental ability.
This conversation is timely. The month of June provides us an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful ways we are different. June is National Indigenous History Month, Filipino Heritage Month, Sexuality and Gender Diversity Pride Month, June 21 is National Indigenous People’s Day and May 31 to June 6 was National AccessAbility Week. These are all opportunities for diverse groups of people in our communities to connect and engage with each other, have fun, increase understanding, and feel a sense of belonging in their communities, province and country.
We recognize that diversity and equality are a strength. We may not have all the answers, but we are actively listening and learning so we can understand how to play a positive role in addressing forms of discrimination. We understand that in order to bring change to a systemic problem, we need continued involvement and commitment through action.
We commit to continue adjusting our services in ways that foster the elimination of racism and contribute resources in support of activities that positively impact cultural diversity and inclusion. We will continue working with communities, our members and partners to address inequities and discrimination. We recognize our privilege, and commit to sharing other voices, identifying and reducing barriers, and courageously doing the internal and organizational work needed to move toward a more equitable and inclusive future.
SaskCulture – Working Together to End Racism