Vision, Mission and Membership
Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Associations’ (SPRA) programs, services and support reach lands covered by Treaties 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10, the traditional territories of the Cree, Dakota, Dene, Lakota, Nakota and Saulteaux peoples, and homeland of the Métis. They respect and honour the Treaties, and move forward with Indigenous Nations in the spirit of truth, reconciliation and collaboration. SPRA envisions “a Saskatchewan in which all people have equitable access to recreation experiences that contribute to their health and wellbeing; result in connected and engaged community members; and provide connection and attachment to the natural environment”. Their mission is to “provide leadership, support and services that contribute to recreations’ impact on the quality of life for people in Saskatchewan”. SPRA has approximately 400 members, including Provincial Recreation Associations, communities, and seven Sport, Recreation and Culture Districts.
How SPRA is Supporting Inclusion and Access for Persons with Disabilities
In addition to incorporating sessions and keynotes into their Annual Conferences, SPRA is responsible for the allocation and monitoring of approximately $2.5 million dollars annually in grant funding support, generated through Saskatchewan Lotteries, to 33 Provincial Recreation Associations. The following organizations have identified inclusion and access as an integral part of their mandate: Saskatchewan Abilities Council (highlighted below), Inclusion Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism, Boys and Girls Clubs, Saskatchewan Divisions of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Canadian Red Cross Society, Girl Guides of Canada, and Scouts Canada. SPRA has also recently created a staff position responsible for the identification, development and coordination of programs and strategies that encourage inclusion and access to recreation.
Community Spotlights: Camp Easter Seal
Camp Easter Seal, a program of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council, is Saskatchewan’s only barrier-free camp, serving 700-plus campers (children and adults experiencing disabilities) each summer. The camp operates 12 weeks during the summer, and camp programming is designed and executed with the various needs of the wide variety of campers who attend in mind. Campers range in age from 6 to 86 years old, and have high medical needs and complex challenges. The well-trained staff ensure every camper has a meaningful experience, growing in independence and fulfilling a sense of belonging and community.