Guest editorial: The political awakening of the prairie

I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, formerly known as the Province of the Prairie. I am joined here in this valley by those who share my values and aspirations for the future. Together, we were chosen to form a new Prairie nation of just over 1.5 million people, all living in close harmony on our land.

We have met in cities and in smaller towns, gone to the farms, the sheep ranches, the nuclear research institutes, the universities, and the universities of the province. Everywhere we have seen common ground and shared sense of purpose.

We have received tangible, direct support for this exciting change of economic and social direction from our nation’s government of the day. They have listened carefully and chosen to give us a seat at the table in the life and death decisions of our nation, decisions that affect more than our lives.

Together, we will build a new future for our province, a future built on good jobs and good education, and where we will be stronger and more economically secure than our impoverished and vulnerable provincial neighbors, as we say as we shall leave behind the memories of our past and the climate of our present.

Together, we have shared the joys and challenges of weathering the generational rebirth our country is undergoing. We have endured floods, record drought, and record amount of precipitation — many more than in the past — and sometimes what seemed to be no end in sight. Our province has absorbed these challenges in an open spirit, as one would expect in the people who build our nation.

We in the Ontario communities of the Gens du Saskatchewan have shared the challenges to bringing in new Canadian citizens. On our first day together in April 2017, we found ourselves with a waiting list. Despite the hardships in the intervening years we have built new ways to welcome new Canadians to our home province. In August 2018 we welcomed 27 new Canadian citizens at an official ceremony on the riverbank of the Red River, where the river once flowed into Canada. These newcomers come from Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Ukraine, and the Philippines. Some are students. Some are students with careers planned. Some have families in Canada, some come from the far reaches of the world. The unifying thread is one that we in the Gens du Saskatchewan share with them — a love for a better life for everyone.

The 21st century, the first of the three millenniums, is no time for complacency. With the prosperity we enjoy and our future protected by shared North American values, our community has been prepared to look to the far horizon and welcome the challenges our country must tackle.

Saskatchewan has created, or added to, many social services. Some of these rights have helped people of all classes and communities. From medical care, to food assistance, to rental assistance to home repair, our province has always provided support for people and communities struggling to get by.

We in the Gens du Saskatchewan appreciate that these supports are only befitting to a global society. We look to places like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Britain, where we see successes. We wish to be proud of our common heritage, embracing the values of the people of nations, living in harmony with each other.

The Gens du Saskatchewan are Canadian citizens. We believe in a strong, prosperous, and confident Canada. We want Canadians to share in that future. We together choose to build Canada as a worthy model for those who come before us and those who will follow.

This is a project that belongs to us all.

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