By Isca Irangwe, ECVO Communications Summer Student
On August 3, the Edmonton Local Immigration Partnership (ELIP) hosted an Intercultural Community Gathering for community organizations and groups in Edmonton’s immigration and settlement ecosystem to participate in a full-day in-person gathering. The event offered an incredible opportunity for ELIP members to meet in-person for the first time since the pandemic.
ECVO and our partners at the Edmonton Local Immigration Partnership, the Africa Centre, Francophonie Albertaine Plurielle (FRAP) and Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society started the day with Indigenous land-based knowledge sharing including sessions on drumming, storytelling, and traditional healing and medicines from Treaty 6 and 8. Following a delicious multicultural lunch with dishes that ran the gamut from freshly made bannock to chicken and beef kabsa, the afternoon discussion kicked off with Edmonton’s newcomer and cultural communities and organizations working on a conceptual framework, and engaging in robust discussions about their place in the sector’s ecosystem.
The various groups and organizations present shared insights and thoughts about where they see themselves in the ecosystem, the gaps that they have encountered, which areas could be improved, and what is working well. The discussions, notes, and findings from this important gathering will be summarized and the findings will be presented to the City of Edmonton.
When asked about how she felt when the meeting ended, ECVO’s Karis Nsofor said “My discussion group and I felt empowered, rejuvenated, renewed, and joyful. Many of ELIP’s member organizations met online during the pandemic so they know each other, but most have never actually met in-person. I saw so many people who were really excited to recognize each other from online meetings. The opportunity to meet in person, chat, share a meal, and catch up on the important work they have been doing has been wonderful.”
ELIP was founded in 2019 with a mission to bring communities, organizations and individuals together to learn about the unique needs of newcomers in our community. To learn more about ELIP, visit www.elip.ca.
The ELIP gathering began with Indigenous land-based learning, while the afternoon allowed participants to consider Edmonton’s newcomer ecosystem.
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