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History of SEDA

The Saskatchewan Elocution and Debate Association was founded in 1974 by a group of Regina teachers who had a shared interest in using public speaking in the classroom. The association started off very small, meetings were held in the president’s home while his wife took the minutes of the meetings. Slowly, the organization began to grow. School clubs sprung up across Saskatchewan accompanied by inter-city tournaments. 

SEDA’s ability to champion speech and debate broadened in the late 1970’s when money from the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation became available. Soon staff was hired to ease the swelling workload of the volunteers.   The association flourished and became a charitable, non-profit organization that promotes speech and debate activities in English and French. Step by step it implemented new programs, special events and fresh print and video resource materials.  SEDA grew across the province working with students from Grades 5 through 12 and at the University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina.

One of SEDA's earliest projects was a long-running, televised debate series in 1975. Students came together from across the province to tape debates that aired throughout the season. This led to the production of a ten episode debate series in 1999 that aired in Regina and the surrounding area, and an annual recording of a parliamentary debate aired on Canada day. This was active up until 2015.

SEDA continues to pursue exciting avenues to expand the reach of its program in the province. Long term we hope to continue:

  • Development and growth of weekly city-wide debate meetings open to all youth in Saskatoon and Regina
  • Expanding our summer camp to include students, teachers, and coaches in Saskatoon, Regina and other key cities like Prince Albert, Swift Current, and other rural communities
  • Bringing debate to new schools and communities
  • Increasing the number of workshops throughout the season
  • Development of advanced workshops to increase preparation and coaching time for national delegations
  • Enriching our opportunities for alumni, parents, and coaches
  • Increasing participation in national events
  • Revival of the provincial speech workshops and tournaments

In the last few years amidst changes in the Board and Staff, SEDA has seen increased membership, increased diversity, high performance at competitions, and sense of renewal.


In addition to providing opportunities for Saskatchewan, SEDA also impacts debate across the country by hosting inter- provincial and national events including:

Canadian National Junior Debate Championships- 1988 Edam, 1994 Saskatoon, 2000 and 2001 Edam, 2003 Yorkton, 2011 Estevan

Western Canada Debate Championships- 1986 Regina, 1990 Edam, 1995 Prince Albert, 2001 Edam, 2006 Moose Jaw, 2009 Saskatoon

National Students Debating Seminar- 1984, 1989, 1998 Saskatoon, 2005 Estevan, 2013, 

Canadian National Senior Debate Championships- 2016 Saskatoon


Beyond hosting, SEDA has sent many delegates to these competitions with great success 

Junior Nationals

  • 1998 Max Shapiro [Aden Bowman] 1st in Parliamentary and Overall
  • 2001 Quarter Finalists Lauren Bortolotti (6th speaker), Ellen Wardell
  • 2011  Nasra Moumin and Areeb Salim, Jr National Champions
  • 2011 Leora Diakuw 10th speaker
  • 2013 Layla Moumin (2nd Speaker) and Ahmereen Salim 3rd Place Team
  • 2018 Kaia Bater 7th Speaker, Victor Wu 10th Speaker
  • 2018 Kaia Bater and Bhavandeep Bath 11th Place Team ;  Victor Wu and Aditya Khan 13th Team; Carrick Peak and Seth Noel 14th Place Team

Senior Nationals

  • 2007 Dylan Hardy (4th speaker) and Alyssa McMurtry  10th team
  • Vinay Mysore and Kevin Hovdestad 10th place team 
  • Nasra Moumin and Areeb Saleem 2nd place team 
  • 2014 Jason Xiao and Leora Diakuw 9th place team 
  • 2015 Jason Xiao (11th speaker) and Leora Diakuw semi finalists
  • 2016 Leora Diakuw (6th speaker) and Anwyn Diakuw 2nd place team 

Western Canada Debate Championship

  • 2002 Brooklyn Andre (3rd place speaker), Marie Klassen (5th place speaker)

Pan Americans 

  • 2016 Quarter Finalists Rahul Parek, Anwyn Diakuw, Afsohneh Amirzadeh, Leora Diakuw (4th place speaker)

Oxford Cup

  • Vinay Mysore and Kevin Hovdestad 2nd place team 
  • 2013 Nasra Moumin and Areeb Saleem 2nd place team 
  • 2015 Jason Xiao and Leora Diakuw 9th place team 
  • 2017 Anwyn Diakuw and Afsohnah Amirzadeh 8th place team 

National Student Debating Seminar

  • 1983 Norman Leach [Weyburn Comprehensive], top English debater
  • 1989 Anshu Prasad  [Campbell collegiate], top Eglish debater
  • 1991 Stephania Lucuik [Leboldus], top French debater
  • 2016 Muhammed Ahmed [Walter Murray], Top Parliamentarian; Chan Min Roh [Luther College High School], Top Bilingual Debater
  • 2017 Camile Pelet (Ecole Canadienne)  Top French Debater
  • 2019 Janie Moyen (Ecole Canadienne) Top French Debater and winner of the Richard Picotin Spirit of Bilingualism Award

Worlds Public Speaking Competition 

  • 2004 Adam Zelmer, 1st in parliamentary style 
  • 2006 Jennifer Wang and Whitney Skinner 

Canadian World's Schools team members

  • 1990 Wendy James [Bedford Road] WSDC Canada. 3rd place team, 9th speaker
  • 1999 Erin Weir [Campbell collegiate] WSDC England 
  • 2006 Whitney Skinner [Yorkton] Training team 
  • 2007 Dylan hardy [BJM] Training Team 
  • 2007 Caroline Ness [Walter Murray] WSDC South Korea, 4th place team 
  • 2011,2012 Nik Carverhill [Walter Murray] WSDC Scotland quarter finalists , WSDC South Arica 
  • 2013 Brittany Haughey [Campbell] Training Team
  • 2013, 2014 Nasra Moumin [Campbell] WSDC Turkey quarter finalists, WSDC Thailand Semi finalists 
  • 2014 Areeb Saleem [Campbell] – Training Team
  • 2015 Jason Xiao [Walter Murray] WSDC Singapore. 2nd place team, 5th speaker
  • 2018  Anwyn Diakuw  [Walter Murray] WSDC Croatia
  • 2018  Wendy James, Team Canada Coach WSDC Croatia
  • 2019, 2020 Jason Xiao, Team Canada Coach WSDC Thailand, Mexico

Model European Parliament, Helsinki, Finland November 2017

SEDA Debaters: Wardah Mahmood, Chan Min Roh, David Camarador, Sara Cronan, Sarah Costa represented Canada with coach Kim Greenman and Executive Director Melissa Ong in Finland. Canada was the only non-European Team at the MEP celebrating Canada’s 150 and Finland’s 100 Birthday

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