A screenshot of the Saskatchewan History and Folklore staff in a video meeting.

Training helps staff become allies in change

March, 2023

After expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the confirmation of graves at the site of former Residential Schools, staff and board members of Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society (SHFS) realized it was time to address any potentially racist policies, procedures and practices in their work place.

“The Board felt it was important to commit to concrete action,” says Kristin Enns-Kavanagh, executive director, SHFS. The organization researched training options. “We wanted something that would help us start to acknowledge and address the ways systemic racism operates within our own organization and this training is helping us to define further actions we can take.”

Over the past year, board, staff members and volunteers started the Anti-Racism – Complete Curriculum program, offered through the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association (SIA), which allowed them all to complete a series of modules at their own pace. “We’ve been through the first two modules of our training,” says Enns-Kavanagh. “On a personal level, there has been a lot of sharing, and a lot of learning, about the times we’ve witnessed racism in Saskatchewan, and what it means for each of us to be an ally.”

While the training can help start organizations on the path to building anti-racism frameworks, EnnsKavanagh stresses that it is only the beginning of the work for an organization. “We don’t see anti-racism work as something you do once in a session or event. It’s helpful to see it as a practice that is ongoing in the life of the organization. Overall impacts, in the long term, are to have a changed organization, and to operate more authentically in the world.”

The Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society receives Annual Global Funding from Sask Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation.