The province marked 20 years of welcoming newcomers through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) on Tuesday.
Thirty-one new Canadians took the Oath of Citizenship at the legislative building.
Rosemary Ojo stood next to her son as he sang the national anthem for the first time as a Canadian citizen.
She went through the program in 2010 after moving to Canada from South Africa when her husband got a job here. She has three sons, two are Canadian while the third, who was sworn in as a Canadian citizen on Tuesday, was born in South Africa.
Saskatchewan has welcomed more than 108,300 newcomers in the decade from 2007 to 2017.
SINP played a big role in growing Saskatchewan’s economy while enriching the cultural diversity of the province — seven out of 10 newcomers immigrated through the SINP program.
“It helped us to settle in quickly, more than we were thinking,” said Ojo.
She explained the online application process has greatly improved since she used it eight years ago.
“Loading all your stuff, it wasn’t so easy then,” she said.
Once the immigrants arrive, they tend to stay in Saskatchewan. In a release, the government said Saskatchewan has retained 80 per cent of newcomers since 2007.
Saskatchewan also has the highest employment rate for newcomers who’ve been in Canada for less than five years, aged 25 to 54, at 76 per cent.
“It’s linking people who have those skills and abilities with matching with labour needs in Saskatchewan,” said Gene Makowsky, minister of parks, culture and sport
He credited the work SINP does to link the skills and abilities of immigrants to labour needs across the province.
“I believe that’s what Saskatchewan is. It’s a great place to live, work and raise a family.”