Saskatchewan celebrates 40 years of multiculturalism

Saskatchewan Multicultural week kicked off in Regina with a public forum where people shared their stories.

Saskatchewan was the first province to pass a law on multiculturalism in Canada

Rebecca Otitoju was one of the presenters at the Multicultural Forum in Regina on Saturday. She immigrated to Canada from Nigeria in 1992. (Arielle Zerr/CBC News)

It's Multicultural Week in Saskatchewan, and it's also 40 years since the province enacted the Multicultural Act. 

The week's events started in Regina Saturday with a public forum on culture in Saskatchewan at the First Nations University. People gathered to listen as presenters spoke about their experiences immigrating and living in Saskatchewan. 

You can see that the people who thought about this had a picture of a community where everybody ... will feel comfortable.- Rebecca Otitoju

Rebecca Otitoju moved to Canada from Nigeria in 1992 with her husband.

She said she was impressed with how friendly and accepting the people of Saskatchewan were when she first arrived. 

"Even though Saskatchewan has grown to when we came 20-something years ago, I still find it a place where you still have a strong community base, where you can raise your children," Otitoju said. 

Now, Otitoju lives in White City and serves on town council.

She said it's important to give back to the community that gave her so much when she first arrived. 

"You can see that the people who thought about [the Saskatchewan Multicultural Act] had a picture of a community where everybody, regardless of your race, your gender, your sexual orientation, or whatever you claim to be will feel comfortable."

'We are Saskatchewan' PSAs launch

Saturday also marked the launch of six public service announcements about diversity in Saskatchewan. 

The messages were a collaboration between seven multicultural organizations in the province. 

Participants shared their stories about what it's like to share their culture in Saskatchewan, and make Canada their home. 

"For me it has been very important, and I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work for the Saskatchewan German Council, and to be able to kind of live my culture here in Saskatchewan and within the cultural mosaic that we have," said Sabine Doebel-Atchison, the executive director of the Saskatchewan German Council.

The project does not just focus on newcomers. It also includes the stories of immigrants from over 50 years ago and the experiences of First Nations and Métis communities making connections with those who settled in the province.

Saskatchewan Multicultural Week runs until Nov. 23.