SHFS Statement on Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter.
The Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society (SHFS) stands in solidarity with the Black community in Saskatchewan, across the country, and the world. We are deeply troubled by the lethal levels of ongoing violence and anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism that remains deeply embedded in Canada’s institutions and organizations.
The Saskatchewan History & Folklore Society acknowledges that systemic racism and other forms of racism exist, and we condemn any negation of this well-documented fact. In Saskatchewan, racism and settler colonialism are deeply and disturbingly intertwined in the policies, laws, and historical narratives that have often excluded the contributions and sacrifices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). As an organization that strives to serve the entire province of Saskatchewan, we have an obligation to speak out and take action against these ongoing forms of systemic erasure.
As a predominantly settler based organization, we have often struggled with the discomfort of countering systemic racism in our own work. We have contributed to and benefitted from systemic racism and upheld settler colonialism by privileging white settler narratives over Black people’s history, as well as the histories of Indigenous people and People of Colour.
We understand that simply acknowledging that racism exists in our communities and organizations is not enough. We look to take meaningful actions towards addressing this issue within our organizational structure.
The SHFS commits to countering systemic racism through the following actions:
- Anti-racism training for our board and staff
- Establishment of a multi-year anti-racism plan that examines all SHFS programs, activities and governance with an anti-racist lens and provides direction for the future
- Promote histories that acknowledge & help people to understand colonialism and systemic racism in Saskatchewan
- Inclusion of stories and voices of BIPOC in all our activities, programs, and operations
- Letter of support for Black Lives Matter Saskatoon’s call to incorporate Black history in Saskatchewan’s education curriculum