Common Ground, Stronger Voices
For almost 10 years, IRCOM has been engaged in reconciliation activities. We began with the realization that while our job is to help newcomers learn about their new country in order to successfully integrate, a huge gap existed in terms of accurate knowledge of Indigenous peoples and the history and legacy of over 500 years of colonization. Myths and stereotypes abounded among newcomer arrivals. IRCOM began to connect with organizations such as Ka Ni Kanichihk (youth education activities) and the Treaty Relations Commission to support our learning. We made our commitment concrete and worked with Dufferin School to co-host a parenting program called Wiggle Giggle Munch that included both Indigenous and newcomer parents and their children. As we learned more about how to create opportunities for greater connection and understanding, the TRC Calls to Action came out and put our work into sharper focus. In 2015, IRCOM’s Board identified one of its top 4 Strategic Priorities to be “Nurturing Strong Indigenous-Newcomer Relations” and again in 2018, our Board ratified a new Strategic Plan for 2018-21, which includes “Encouraging Meaningful Indigenous-Newcomer Relationships” as again, one of four strategic priorities for the next 3 years.
For more information, please check out these resources:
Indigenous Peoples of Manitoba: a guide for newcomers
MCC ManitobaGroundwork for Change