Winnipeg program bridges new Canadians with Indigenous peoples

There is a new program in Winnipeg that hopes to bridge Indigenous communities with immigrants in the city.

According to officials with Building Bridges program, newcomers to Canada have few resources to understand First Nation, Metis and Inuit peoples.

The result is often stereortypes and misconceptions.

“What we are doing here is for the newcomers to pick up the right stories,” said Abdikheir Ahmed, the project’s coordinator. “To understand the real backgrounds of Indigenous people, to get orientated on the history and contribution of Indigenous people and to take it from here and educate their own communities.

The program is being put together by Immigration Partnership Winnipeg.

A forum was held with the goal of teaching about Treaties, and how newcomers can play a role in reconciliation.

Loretta Ross, commissioner of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba explains the importance of Treaties – and why it’s important to learn about them.

“The history in what we learn about each other shapes how we then treat other now in 2018. So we have to go back to learn our history. We have to go back and understand where it is we come from, and how we got here.”

This is the second forum that has been held.

Community activist Hani Ataan Al-Ubeady says these are just stepping stones towards reconciliation.

“It is very essential to have these kinds of gatherings these are just basic steps in an education process to educate and orient newcomers about Indigenous people of Winnipeg,” said Alubeedy. “In order to create a better and new understanding where we all can coexist respectively in one community.”

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