RCE Saskatchewan - 2020

RCE Saskatchewan Virtual ESD Recognition Event May 2020
Basic Information
Title of project : 
RCE Saskatchewan Virtual ESD Recognition Event May 2020
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Saskatchewan
Contributing organization(s) : 
University of Regina
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Polytechnic
First Nations University of Canada
Luther College
and Additional Sponsors (see below)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Roger Petry
Organizational Affiliation: 
Luther College at the University of Regina
Margret Asmuss
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Saskatchewan Co-coordinator/Recognition Event Coordinator
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Monday, September 28, 2020
Additional resources: 
Virtual participation by Lieutenant Governor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XowHBWholQc&feature=youtu.be
Award Recipients: https://www.rceskrecognitionevent.com/history-of-recognition-award
"What is RCE Saskatchewan" Promotional Video Prepared for Event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY-toPGjcro
Geographical & Education Information
Regina, Saskatchewan
Address of focal point institution for project: 
First Nations University of Canada/University of Regina
3737 Wascana Parkway
Regina, Saskatchewan
Canada S4S 0A2
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada (Regina Campus), and Saskatchewan Polytechnic are located in the capital city of Saskatchewan (Regina) while the University of Saskatchewan is located in the City of Saskatoon (the largest city). The two largest cities in the province are located in the mixed moist grassland ecoregion in the province, a prairie ecosystem and one of the most transformed landscapes due to intensive agriculture, ranching, and diverse forms of resource extraction (for example, oil, gas, and potash mining). Attempts to increase these forms of production has meant increasing threats to and loss of wetlands and remaining natural prairie.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The RCE Saskatchewan Education for Sustainable Development Recognition Event is in its 12th year. The Event began as an opportunity to showcase all types of ESD projects in Saskatchewan but especially those addressing the 9 priority thematic areas identified by RCE Saskatchewan members, specifically:
• climate change
• health and healthy lifestyles
• farming and local food production, consumption, and waste minimisation
• reconnecting to natural prairie ecosystems
• adapting and bridging cultures for sustainability
• sustainable infrastructure including water and energy
• building sustainable communities
• K-12 education for sustainable development
• youth
In the last two years projects have been asked to additionally identify specific UN SDGs that they help support.
August, 2019
Each year many ESD projects are undertaken in the RCE Saskatchewan region but without the RCE's ESD Recognition Event they would not be formally acknowledged nor showcased, despite their importance. The innovation in this year's ESD Recognition Event was the move to a purely virtual format due to COVID 19 (away from a traditional in-person event hosted by a local community). On Wednesday, May 13, 2020 the 12th Annual Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development Recognition Event that was to have been held on the Regina Campus of First Nations University of Canada was held as a purely on-line event to accommodate the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The event was held over Zoom and streamed live to Facebook. Attendance at the Zoom event was limited to those who presented during the event. Others were encouraged to watch on Facebook. The on-line event required additional collaborative partners than usual, in this case the generous last minute support of the IT staff in the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Regina.
There are several objectives of the ESD Recognition Event that had to be adjusted due to the shift to an online format. One objective is to profile the local hosting organization. In this case from 9:15 to 9:30 a.m.,while people were logging into the event, a number of short videos featuring First Nations University of Canada were shown, in recognition of their role as hosts. In addition, First Nations University of Canada Elder Audrey Cochrane provided an opening prayer and its Interim President, Dr. Bob Kayseas also provided formal remarks. A second objective is to have a sustainability thematic gathering associated with each event. Because this gathering was not possible, a special video on RCE Saskatchewan was commissioned prior to the event and premiered at this event to highlight how the RCE advances ESD. A third objective is to profile award winners. Each of the 17 award winning projects was profiled by representatives virtually attending who had three minutes to speak to their project, accompanied by 3-4 power point slides with video segments prepared for each as well as a recording of the entire event provided online.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Planning for the Recognition Event begins in August of each year when the location for the next event is finalized for May of the following year. The date is also selected to accommodate RCE Saskatchewan's patron, the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan. In October, the event coordinator is hired and the planning committee is struck with representatives from the largest 3 Higher Education partners in the province and the local host organization. The Recognition Event application form is revised and sponsorships are sought in November and December with the nomination form and updated website made publicly available in January. Nominations forms are received until March 31st. Following this a subcommittee reviews the applications and decides on the award winners (normally 20 to 30 but slightly lower this year due to COVID). Award winners are informed mid-April and provided guidelines for their presentations at the event. Guest speakers and dignitaries are also arranged to present at the Recognition Event. Media releases are sent out just prior to the event. On the day of the event, the morning is dedicated to the recognition ceremony where each project receives a certificate (though this was sent subsequently due to the online format). The event this year concluded with a guest presentation from the UNESCO Chair at York University, Dr. Charles Hopkins. The lunch and afternoon tour and gathering were unable to be held. However, the "What is RCE Saskatchewan?" promotional video was produced, a first for the RCE and well received by the event participants.
Size of academic audience: 
32 people participated directly in the Zoom event, most of whom presented at some point during the program. This included 19 recipients and 11 special guests. 168 people viewed all or part of the livestreamed event.
17 projects were formally recognized:
2019 EECOM Action on Climate Change through Education Conference, SaskOutdoors, Sustainability Education Research Institute (USask), Can. Network for Environmental Education & Communication
Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Area Inc. 2020 Green Vision, Friends of Saskatoon Afforestation Inc.
Agroclimate Impact Report (AIR); a Citizen Science Initiative, National Agroclimate Information Service, Agri-Food Canada
Campus Waste Bin & Recycling Program, Faculty of Science, University of Regina
Design of a Conceptual Water Distribution System for the Village of Meath Park, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Regina
Creation of EnviroCollective, EnviroCollective (Regina)
Low Carbon Stories of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Environmental Society
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Studies Network, Luther College at the University of Regina
Reclamation of Storm Water from the University of Regina Campus for Irrigation, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Regina
Recycled PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) as Composite Structural Material, Mining, Energy and Manufacturing, Sask. Polytechnic
Saskatchewan Master Naturalist Program, Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan
Earth Rangers: Stand Up for the Little Guy, Earth Rangers, Nature Saskatchewan, SaskEnergy
Stewards of Saskatchewan: Engaging Rural Landowners and Managers in Prairie Species at Risk Conservation, Nature Saskatchewan
Triple Bottom Line, City of Saskatoon
UN Sustainable Development Goals Staircase, Luther College Student Association
USask Graduation Powwow Waste Reduction Initiative, USask Aboriginal Students’ Centre, USask Office of Sustainability

The "Lyle Benko Future Generations Award" for education for sustainability achievement within the K-12 system or that supports the K - 12 system was awarded to the Cree Dictionary of Mathematical Terms for Elementary Classes, developed by First Nations University of Canada. The award was created and named in memory of RCE Saskatchewan’s co-coordinator and founding member, Lyle Benko.
Lessons learned: 
With COVID 19 hitting in mid-March in Saskatchewan, this was just before nominations were to close (on March 31st) and less than two months before the event was to be held on May 13th. Many events were being cancelled at this time and most groups has not yet begun using online platforms, especially for an event of this complexity. However, the RCE felt that it was important to provide hope and encouragement at this time and went boldly ahead with a shift to a virtual format, despite the short time frame. The good will of our RCE partners meant that many came forward to help with the technological and other challenges so that the event went very smoothly, even with its complexity. The key factor in success was the surplus capacity of the various partners of the RCE and their openness to experimentation in light of challenging circumstances.
Key messages: 
The annual RCE Saskatchewan ESD Recognition Event is central to developing broad awareness about ESD and mobilizing future resources within organizational stakeholders for these endeavours. This is done by acknowledging and honouring the hard work of individuals among their peers and by profiling different communities each year. The event is central to building awareness and partnership between organizations for sustainable development (SDG 17) and, with COVID 19, the need for an event, even if it had to be shifted to an online format, was all the greater.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
As the projects are reviewed by an independent panel of experts, this allows for projects led by RCE Working Groups and RCE partners to apply for awards each year. The RCE also encourages award winning projects to consider becoming RCE flagship projects. Some choose to and, in turn, get profiled at the global RCE level through the UNU RCE project portal and awards program.
This years 2020 ESD Recognition Event received a total monetary sponsorship of $6500. Sponsors included the following:
The Association of Professional Engineers and Geo-scientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS)
Campion College
Luther College
University of Regina President's Advisory Committee for Sustainability (PACS)
Saskatchewan Polytechnic
University of Saskatchewan's Office of Sustainability
MacPherson Engineering


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon 2020 Event Program Final.jpeg (225.02 KB) 2020 RCE Saskatchewan Event Program M. Asmuss
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level