*GUEST POST* by Heather Hale.
This past Monday evening I had the honour of hosting the Saskatchewan Co-operative Merit Awards ceremony. These awards highlight the amazing contributions that people involved in co-operatives and credit unions make to our province. It was a delight to celebrate the accomplishments of the recipients in the company of friends and colleagues. It also gave me an opportunity to “talk co-ops” which has been sorely lacking in my world over the last while.
Many co-operatives and credit unions have recognized the need to build stronger and more intentional relationships with Indigenous people. With the launch of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a day to commemorate the legacy of residential schools and provide an opportunity for people to learn more, I have written this blog post to provide some ideas for co-ops and credit unions looking to learn more about Truth and Reconciliation.
It can be a bit daunting to figure out what to do to learn more about Truth and Reconciliation. I’m here to help you get started! That said - I’m not Indigenous. So, one of my first recommendations is to get to know Indigenous people in your area and build relationships and partnerships with Indigenous organizations as you work on Truth and Reconciliation in your co-operative or credit union. Indigenous people should be at the heart of and actively involved in your organization’s Reconciliation journey, in partnership with everyone in your co-op.
My other main recommendation (and the focus of this blog post) is to invest some time into learning more about Truth and Reconciliation. This blog post provides a listing of courses, training, reports, videos, and resources for those interested in learning more about Truth and Reconciliation. Read on to check out the list!
Not sure if you heard, but there was this pandemic-thing happening and it kinda sucked. Saskatchewan’s Health Authority did not lift restrictions on summer camp activities until the middle of June. That meant that I didn't have time to prepare any of my normal sleepaway Co-op Camp plans. I had no location for SCYP, no staff, no food... I was pretty heartbroken.
Since the kids couldn’t come to me this year, I came up with the idea to take camp to the kids. Click on the "Read More" link below to see how it unfolded.
More than three years ago Affinity Credit Union officially launched the Restart Loan – a unique, made-in-Saskatchewan lending product that has both social and financial benefits.
Traditional payday loans often attract clientele with interest rates that appear affordable – for example 17% over a two-week period. When calculated on an annual basis, however, the interest rate can become a staggering 442%. The Restart Loan was designed to assist those who are struggling with unexpected expenses or emergencies and are vulnerable to getting trapped in the payday loan debt cycle.
Saskatchewan is home to more than 850 co-operatives and credit unions operating in 24 sectors of the economy. Here is the third spotlight on one of our province’s diverse, community-focused co-op businesses.
When COVID-19 struck, La Ronge Child Care Co-operative (LRCCC) swiftly moved into action. While schools and other services were shutting down in the early days of the pandemic, the co-operative remained open and prioritized its child care spaces for workers in healthcare, policing and other essential services so they could continue to do their jobs.
What are their plans to grow, and whittle down a waiting list almost six pages long? Read on...
Saskatchewan is home to more than 850 co-operatives and credit unions operating in 24 sectors of the economy. Here is the second spotlight on one of our province’s diverse, community-focused co-op businesses.
In 2020, Conexus Credit Union launched the Conexus Kindness Capital Fund (CKCF), one of many projects Conexus has undertaken to help improve the well-being of its members and communities.
Click on the image above to discover the unusual story of how CKCF was funded. It illustrates one of the defining principles behind this 80+-year old financial co-operative.
Saskatchewan is home to more than 850 co-operatives and credit unions operating in 24 sectors of the economy. Here is the first spotlight on one of our province’s diverse, community-focused co-op businesses.
Did you know that Saskatchewan has a prehistoric "art gallery" almost in our own backyard? St. Victor Petroglyphs Provincial Historic Park is home to more than 360 petroglyphs (carvings). While the site is owned by Saskatchewan Parks, a co-operative is responsible for education, research and awareness building.
Read on to learn more about the Friends of St. Victor Co-operative Ltd., how you can visit the site, and the best times to view the petroglyphs.
For years, I’d been looking for examples of co-operatives and credit unions excelling at engaging youth. It turns out, Irish credit unions are among the best in the world at attracting young members, staff, and elected officials. In 2014 I did my Master’s research on this topic, which the Canadian Centre for the Study of Co-operatives later turned into a publication. This blog post presents some key learnings and details from that research, which I hope will provide some useful ideas for co-operatives and credit unions that want to increase youth involvement in their co-ops.
Last month, I talked about how making changes to any part of your life is a pretty great thing to work towards. It really is never a waste of time or energy to do so. Change and growth are good things. But what if you are making those changes, or at least attempting to do it, and it just doesn’t work out… What if you fail?
Photo Credit: The Author in her Grade 9 Yearbook Photo.... YIKES!
Ahhh January! The month where everyone decides that they need to change their lives and begin fresh. Diets, Check! Exercise routine, Check! Starting a new hobby, Check! They say that the average resolution lasts 12 days before it is either totally abandoned or modified, and if you are modifying it, it is usually because there has been an element of “failure” involved. Why do we make these huge, life altering changes because of a day on the calendar? January 11th is just as effective day to begin a change as January 1st, or even March 23rd for that matter! An arbitrary day is not what will make you stick to a change, even if it was the inspiration to make the change.
Sometimes when we want to make a change, there is a reason for it. We feel inadequate for the situations we are facing, or we see a negative quality in our lives and we want to make it into a positive. Change is good, change is healthy, and change can be necessary, but you have to work to keep a change going. Often, we believe that the good intentions are enough to carry us through, and then when we aren’t putting forth the proper effort, and we fail. We then see it as another shortcoming and that the failure is due to our lack of value or worth.
It’s December. Normally, this month is filled with people around the world preparing for all kinds of celebrations. Some are buying gifts to give to loved ones. Some are cooking and baking wonderous treats and feasts. Some are writing cards and letters to send out to family and to friends to share the news of the past year with everyone. This year though, things will look and feel a bit different.
Have you ever gone somewhere and had a whole new language thrown at you? I don’t mean that grade 12 trip to Europe, where they ACTUALLY speak a different language, I mean somewhere where the lingo is just all new? When I first got to Co-op Camp, I had absolutely no idea what a Warm Fuzzy was, or exactly why people wanted to be “cannibals”. Our final batch of letters covers the new words you may hear at Co-op Camp from R-Z. Some of these are essential to having a great summer at Co-op Camp!
Saskatchewan has so many interesting co-operatives. I am always amazed at the many different types of co-operatives we have here. In my first blog post on this topic, we looked at several unique types of co-ops and I’m back with another list of a more different kinds of co-ops! In this blog post, we’ll take a second armchair tour of interesting and unique co-operatives found around Saskatchewan.
We asked a long-time Co-op Camper, Staffer, and Program Assistant, Kallin Kehrig, to tell us about what Co-op Camp has given him in his life. I met this young man in January of 2019 and he made a lasting impression on me. Here he is, in his own words, telling us about his experience.
When I first heard of Co-op Camp I was young, shy, and above all, I did NOT want to go to this new summer camp my parents had signed me up for. Pulling up into a parking lot full of people I didn’t know was terrifying, especially because a handful were wearing silly costumes. I remember asking my mom if I really had to go to this weird new summer camp. It turns out that I did, in fact, have to go to this new summer camp. The first words I told my mom when I got back from camp? “Mom, I have to go back next year!”