Moose Jaw’s Pride Week Pride Awards luncheon was held Tuesday.
As part of the weeklong celebration, Moose Jaw Pride – whose motto is “to celebrate and support gender and sexually diverse people through the provision of fabulously inclusive community services and educational opportunities” – handed out awards to local organizations who have shown support for their cause.
The award for Community Service was given to St. Andrew’s United Church for opening their doors to members of the LGBTQ community.
In addition, Moose Jaw Pride handed out the first ever Prairieaction “Youth Leadership” award to the Prairie South School Division’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). Prairieaction is a Calgary-based group that “supports action-oriented research that contributes to finding solutions to the complex reasons behind societal violence.”
This is the second school year that the GSA has been in existence, and co-founder Jayda D’Amico says their efforts are creating positive change among fellow students.
“Their attitudes towards the LGBTQ students, they are much more inclusive,” said the 17-year old D’Amico, who is in Grade 11 at Central Collegiate. “They’re much more patient, not assuming things. I’ve noticed a decrease in slurs, a lot less bullying and a lot more acceptance within the school.”
Carrie Kiefer is one of the GSA advisors at Peacock Collegiate and agrees. “Just being present in the schools is an important thing,” she stated. “Kids know that in this building they are accepted and welcomed. Sometimes kids may not want to be active in a group, but knowing that the group is there is significant, and more significant than we realized, for them to know that they’re ok here, and we accept them for who they are.”