Saskatchewan Regional Plan Development


 


The Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan undertook extensive engagement activities between April 2015 and April 2016. Funded through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, this 2016 Urban Aboriginal Strategy was created through the voices heard during those engagement activities. The strategy is based on the insights and personal experiences of over 1000 Saskatchewan Aboriginal people through one-on-one interviews, surveys, and focus groups.

In addition, over 300 organizations contributed at community meetings to solution based discussions related to better understanding the needs of urban Aboriginal people. Conversations explored community based actions to reduce barriers to full meaningful participation of Aboriginal people in
community social and economic structures.

Some common province wide priorities became clear. Following the holistic approach taught in the medicine wheel, as emphasized by the Elders, was always at the forefront of engagements. Research activities were guided by Aboriginal principles, beliefs, and wisdom, at all times. Through the voices of the Aboriginal people interviewed, our research revealed that many Aboriginal people have lost their sense of self, their sense of community, and their connection to their culture. These three losses were seen by participants to be at the root of all challenges faced by Aboriginal people. Their restoration was also seen to be at the root of all long term sustainable solutions.

Over 75% of those interviewed responded that they had been personally touched by addiction and/or depression. In comparison to non Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan, Aboriginal people experience a reduced quality of life, rates approximately 20% lower for employment and educational attainment, and extremely disproportionate rates of incarceration.

These measurements indicate systemic disadvantage for Aboriginal people. Engagement participants strongly expressed a need for inclusiveness, fairness, and equality of opportunity. Respondents proposed that a meaningful strategy would reach the individual, the family, the workplace, service providing organizations, and leadership levels within communities.

Our research team heard, repeatedly, that all strategies for change must be determined and driven by Aboriginal people themselves, as well as through the work of Aboriginal organizations. Interviewees stressed that the Aboriginal voice must be amplified. Opportunities are needed for increased understanding of Aboriginal history and culture, both within the Aboriginal population and within the broader community.

Communities asked for opportunities to increase collaboration with Aboriginal citizens and Aboriginal organizations. Communities also expressed a desire to increase levels of Community Cultural Competency, whereby their economic and social structures would increase in responsiveness to Aboriginal people and culture. A culturally competent community would foster mutual respect between all cultures.

The sequencing of this strategy begins with the individual, then moves into family relationships, then moves into community involvement. Building on this foundation, increased contributions to the local economy and social networks would be a natural consequence. Healthy people living in healthy environments create a high quality of life for all people. Such societal transformation will result in a reduction, and eventual elimination of labor force, educational, and justice system statistical gaps that currently persist.
 
 

Saskatchewan Regional Plan Documents


The Saskatchewan Regional Plan is a living document designed to evolve through community input and changing social and economic conditions. We are now welcoming any input or feedback community members of Saskatchewan may have. We are also available to present the plan to your organization, community or to facilitate roundtable discussions on the Regional Plan. If this is something you may be interested in please contact our Regional AFCS Engagement Coordinator, Cathi Wilson-Loescher at the contact information listed below, or send us a message through our contact us page.

  • To view the 2016 Saskatchewan Regional Plan Click here>
  • To view the 2016 Saskatchewan Regional Plan Appendices Click Here>
  • To view the 2016 Saskatchewan Regional Plan Report Resource Click Here>
 


Saskatchewan Regional Plan Contact


If you have questions or comments regarding the Saskatchewan Regional plan, you can contact:

Cathi Wilson-Loescher
AFCS Engagement Coordinator
115 Wall Street
Saskatoon, SK S7K6C2
Phone: 306-955-0762