Monday, August 2nd is Saskatchewan Day. Saskatchewan is celebrating its 116th birthday!

If you’re off work this Saskatchewan Day, we truly hope you have a well-deserved, relaxing break. If you are working, we thank you for your service and celebrate the fact that, thanks to the organized efforts of past generations of workers, you’re being paid 1.5 times your usual hourly wage.

Saskatchewan is truly a province worth celebrating, for the beautiful diversity of its landscape (prairies, badlands, boreal forests, sand dunes and tens of thousands of lakes) and, especially, the beautiful diversity of its people. Saskatchewan’s official motto is “From many peoples, strength”.

Indigenous peoples have lived on this beautiful landscape for more than 10,000 years. This year, we received a stark reminder of the ongoing need for truth and reconciliation in our relationship with first peoples: 751 unmarked graves were found on the site of the former Marieval Residential School in the Qu’Appelle Valley.

Residential schools are a major part of the past and present of this province. Thousands of students were forced by law to attend. Many lost their lives to disease and mistreatment. Those who survived experienced trauma that continues to have major impacts on individuals, families, and communities throughout the province.

As part of its mandate, SEIU-West stands for economic and social justice, for the pursuit of dignity and respect for all. So as we celebrate Saskatchewan this year, let’s embrace the call to build a better Saskatchewan together. Let’s commit to the work that still needs to be done to right past wrongs, heal past wounds, and create an inclusive, diverse, welcoming province for all.

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