Thursday, 21 October 2021 22:02

7 Ways to Spot a Co-op Member

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*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.

So, to wrap up Co-op Week, here is my top seven list of “ways to spot a co-op member.”

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.

Sunday, 15 August 2021 14:42


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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.

Tuesday, 02 March 2021 15:51

Why it is OK to fail sometimes.

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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?

Monday, 11 January 2021 20:11

Meaningful Changes

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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. 

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