Shahina Siddiqui moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba from Pakistan. While in Pakistan she attended St. Joseph College at the University of Karachi where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English honours and philosophy. Shahina is a freelance writer, author, spiritual counselor, speaker and educator.
Shahina co-founded Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA). She served as volunteer executive director for ISSA-- USA and Canada from 1999 to 2003.
She continues to serve as president and volunteer executive director of ISSA- Canada .
Shahina has received many awards among them - YMCA-YWCA (Winnipeg) ‘Peace Medal 2002’ for her work since September 11 in fostering understanding between Muslims and other religious and cultural groups in Winnipeg. In 2010 she was recognized for her life’s struggle for justice and was awarded the Grass Roots Women of Manitoba Award in 2010 in recognition of her social justice activism. In 2013 she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada. She was awarded the Civic Courage Award from DawaNet in Agust 2014. She was awarded the Joan Melanson Award to honour her commitment in working for peace on April 25, 2015. Shahina received the Tayyibah Taylor Award 2016 at the One Love Gala in Toronto on January 30, 2016 in appreciation as a successful woman in leadership and incarceration issues.
She founded the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute and is one of the founding members of Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute.
She serves on the National Advisory Board for the Canadian Association for Muslims with Disabilities.
Shahina is a member of the National RCMP Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Diversity as well as on the RCMP Commanding Officers’ Advisory Committee on Diversity, D- Division, and Manitoba.
Shahina is senior board member of the National Council of Canadian Muslims.
Shahina has served as faculty for Global College Summer Institute 2013, 2014, 2015.
She is chair of Islamic History Month Canada.
Shahina is founding member and chair of the Federation of Canadian Muslim Social Services.
Shahina has been working for decades in build bridges between communities, to help preserve human rights develop cultural competency and mutual understanding. She has been profiled and recognized in magazines, newspapers and books. Some of these are:
“We Chose Canada” – Eleven Profiles from Manitoba’s Mosaic by Lesley Hughes; 2004
“Leading by Example,” The Prime Times, October 28, 2010;
“Courageous Crusader,” Winnipeg Women, Fall 2012;
“Words To Lead By”, by Leadership Winnipeg; 2013
“A Place to Call Home” by Canada West Foundation; Sheila O’Brien and Shawna Stirrett. 2014
She has organized several events focused on bringing interfaith and cultural groups together to build bridges of understanding between them and develop a sincere appreciation of multiculturalism. Examples of this are: Multiculturalism 101, January 2012; Interfaith Youth Conference, February 2012; Manitoba Muslims & Jews – Standing Together for an Inclusive and Just Canada, March 2012; Public Square Series which brought together four cultural groups in conversation cafés with immigrants and newcomers, January – March 2013 and Multicultural Tea Fest October 2014 and Multicultural Tea Fest October 2015 and standing together in solidarity after the Paris attack on Cartoonist January 2015. She was invited to present at the Senate. She also has presented in Pakistan and Vienna for the Canadian Embassy on topics of violent extremism, gender equity and human rights.
Shahina completed a public education project funded partly by the Multiculturalism program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. She has produced handbooks for journalist, educators, police officers, health care providers, social service providers on Muslim’s culture and faith, and a booklet on dispelling myths about Islam and a brochure on Canadian Muslims. These are in great demand.