In addition to a celebration of diversity at the University of Saskatchewan, the carnival is a networking opportunity for students and social justice groups as well as a fundraiser for Iskwewuk Ewichiwitochik (Women Walking Together), which is a local community organization that raises awareness and supports families of missing Aboriginal women.
According to the carnival’s main organizer, Global Connections Student Coordinator Sasha Hanson-Pastran, the multipurpose event was planned as part of International Research and Development Month. The U of S observed this month from Jan. 30 to Mar. 2.
The entertainment will consist of live performances from various multicultural groups, including Chinese, Aboriginal, Indian and Latin American representatives, while the dinner will feature an international buffet rather than traditional Louis’ fare. Attendees are encouraged to wear their “traditional cultural attire, in order to show and celebrate this diversity.”
Hanson-Pastran hopes the carnival will encourage connections between international students — a group that she feels lacks representation on campus.
“Considering that there hasn’t been an international student representative on student council for the entire year, I would say yes, there is a lack of international student representation, at least on the student governance level,” said Hanson-Pastran.
The issue of international and indigenous student representation has dogged University Students’ Council for most of the school year, and elections are currently planned to fix the imbalance.
Iskwewuk Ewichiwitochik focuses on community awareness and support for families of missing Aboriginal women. This group will be the recipient of donations from the carnival. According to one of the core members, Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte, donations from the Carnival of Solidarity will “go towards awareness and remembrance activities throughout Saskatoon.”
Activists and academics in Saskatchewan, who have since branched out nationally and internationally with the goal of dismantling systemic violence against aboriginal women and children founded the non-profit organization in 2005. The organization has recently been working with the U of S College of Law on multiple projects, which will be showcased at the event Friday evening.[box type=”info”]Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at Louis’/dinner tickets $15 for students, $25 for non-students/$5 for after party (8:30 p.m.)/Tickets can be bought at ISSAC (lower Place)[/box]