In response to Islamophobia in both Canada and the United States a Regina neighbourhood association has created lawn signs so that people throughout the city can show their support to their Muslim neighbours and help newcomers feel welcome.
The signs written in English and Arabic read “I’m glad we’re neighbours”. It’s a simple phrase with a powerful message of acceptance and welcoming.
The Heritage neighbourhood has always been a place that people from all over the world call home. Because Regina is on Treaty Four Territory we felt it was important to feature Cree and Saulteaux prominently on the sign. The Cree word Tawâw translates into “Come In. There is room.”
The Heritage Neighbourhood (formerly Core) was once known as Germantown, and 11th Avenue was home to Regina’s Chinatown. The neighbourhood is home to several cultural centres including the German Club, The Chinese Cultural Society of Saskatchewan, the Canadian Serbian Cultural Club, St. Anthony’s Polish Hall and the Ukrainian Cultural Centre. It is also home to many different faith groups including offering services in various languages, the Regina Immigrant Women’s Centre, and many longstanding restaurants and shops specializing in food from around the world (Italian Star Deli, Korean House, Ngoc Van, Ukrainian Co-op).
The yard signs are available in time for Mosaic, a festival that celebrates different cultures in Regina. The signs feature the word Welcome in: Punjabi, Tigrinya (Eritrea/Ethiopia), Arabic, Burmese, Ukrainian, Chinese, German, English, Arabic, Cree, Saulteaux, Korean, French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Polish, Hindi, Serbian, Swahili, Urdu, Romanian, and Italian.
While lawn signs will not address the root causes of racism and hate in our city, the Heritage Community Association hopes this initiative can be part of their broader anti-racist efforts in the neighbourhood.
This weekend the HCA is hosting a Sign Blitz.
Volunteers will be putting up signs around the neighbourhood and encouraging people from all over Regina to come and pick up some signs and spread them throughout their neighbourhoods.
The signs are free to residents of the Heritage Neighbourhood and available by donation to people, businesses and organizations outside the neighbourhood (suggested donation is $10 per sign). All proceeds go to the Good Neighbour Community Grant program, which funds creative projects proposed by Heritage residents.
Signs will be available by pickup at the Heritage Community Association Office (#100 – 1654 11th Avenue) on Saturday June 3rd from 10am -1pm while supplies last.
They will also be available for pickup during office hours: Mon-Wed 1-5pm.
For more information, e-mail Shayna Stock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regina has a rich history of welcoming people from all over the world. Let’s send a message that Regina is a welcoming place and that we are stronger because of our diversity. Get your sign today!