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Youth recognized as global citizens


SASKATOON — The Saskatchewan Council for International Co-operation (SCIC) is continuing a long-standing tradition with the presentation of the 27th Annual Global Citizen Awards Feb. 10 at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon.

“This year the Global Citizen Award is highlighting the theme of Youth and Innovation,” said Robbi Humble, communications officer with SCIC. “We want to recognize inspiring young people and youth-based initiatives that demonstrate how youth are working toward global citizenship, global co-operation, justice and peace.”

Among the honourees are Tracey Mitchell, Jamal Tekleweld and World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

Mitchell is a settler from Treaty 4 Territory (Moose Jaw), now living in Treaty 6 Territory (Saskatoon). She sits on the national board of the Council of Canadians and is active in Climate Justice Saskatoon and several other initiatives in the community.

“To me, global citizenship means being aware of and responsible to our interconnectedness,” said Mitchell. “None of us can do everything, but global citizenship means finding the best use for your skills, resources, networks, and passion to bring greater justice, joy and care to other beings and to the planet.”

Since 2010, Mitchell has also been the Saskatchewan co-ordinator for Next Up, a program that trains young leaders. “I’m inspired by the Next Up participants and alumni network,” she said. “They are creative, caring, dedicated young people who are making deep changes in our communities.”

Tekleweld is an active member of Saskatoon’s co-operative development, education and environmental justice communities. He is passionate about co-operatives and co-operative education, working to make the community better.

“To be a global citizen, individuals need to believe in, and work toward the betterment of a global community, one that encompasses all forms of life,” said Tekleweld.

Tekleweld currently works for the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association, where he manages youth education initiatives. In addition to international experience working with the United Nations Capital Development Fund, he is involved on the boards of Saskatoon-based co-ops, and was recently appointed to the City of Saskatoon Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee.

“All stakeholder groups need to work collaboratively to ensure people the world over have access to clean water, nutritious food, shelter and essential services. We know how to do it. So let’s simply work toward it.”

Also recognized at the event was World University Service of Canada (WUSC). With campus chapters in both Saskatoon and Regina, WUSC supports refugee students to access quality education and provides skills training for young leaders in Canada and around the world.

“Youth today are growing up in a different world — one that is increasingly connected and complex,” said Stephanie Leclair, communications and fund-raising manager for WUSC. “This new vantage point enables youth to recognize different obstacles and better challenge the status quo.”

“WUSC is a launching pad for collaborative youth-led research and innovation,” said Humble. “Because of their work, youth are accessing education, training and opportunities to create innovative solutions to development challenges facing their own communities.”

The Global Citizen Awards were presented Feb. 10 in Saskatoon. There was also a ceremony in Regina Feb. 8 honouring Micheal Langan and Jack Boan (Lifelong Global Citizen Award).

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