‘Ethnocultural Communities’ Role in Supporting
Newcomers to Winnipeg
Researchers: Jill Bucklaschuk, Reuben Garang, Janelle Gobin and Ray Silvius
Affiliation: University of Winnipeg, University of Guelph
Research Partner: Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW)
Keywords: Ethnocultural community organizations, integration, settlement, newcomer support, employment, funding, housing, language services, families
Go to: Full Infographic, Methodology, Findings
Objective: To better understand, acknowledge, and support the work done by ethnocultural community groups in meeting the needs of immigrants and refugees in Winnipeg.
Justification: Ethnocultural community organizations are often a ﬁrst point of contact for many newcomers, yet little is known about their role in the settlement process. It is necessary to better understand where newcomers go to access information and supports and to give policymakers, researchers, and service providers a clear picture of the formal and informal sources they access.
Practical goal: To focus on the role of ethnocultural community organizations in newcomer settlement and highlight where more support is needed. The study will inform Immigration Partnership Winnipeg’s (IPW) future initiatives and provide representatives of ethnocultural community organizations with a resource to leverage funding and supports.
Primary audience: Ethnocultural community organizations, service providers, policy makers, and municipal governments.
Two community workshops were facilitated by IPW, bringing together representatives of Winnipeg’s ethnocultural communities to discuss concerns, challenges, and opportunities regarding newcomer settlement. In the ﬁrst workshop, funding was the most common challenge discussed. In response, the second workshop focused on identifying funding sources and developing successful proposals. The research report brings together the discussions from those two workshops into a cohesive narrative of the experiences, challenges, and concerns faced by ethnocultural community organizations.
Ethnocultural organizations play an important trust-building role in newcomer settlement, as newcomers do not always trust the formal institutions designed to assist them.
Many ethnocultural community organizations rely on volunteers. Recruiting and retaining dedicated volunteers is a challenge, and burnout is common due to long, irregular hours and strains on personal ﬁnances. A ﬂuctuating group of volunteers often lacks the knowledge and skills necessary to eﬀectively provide services to newcomers. Ethnocultural community organizations need access to training opportunities that build the essential skills and capacity of volunteers.
Ethnocultural community organizations would like greater recognition, support, and engagement from the municipal government.
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