Though immigration to Canada’s northern territories is small by comparison to the immigration flow to Canadian provinces, the number of newcomers deciding to live in the Northwest Territories (NWT), the Yukon, and Nunavut is on the increase. In response to this, there have been new immigrant settlement service agencies setting up in the northern territories to help newcomers with the transition into Canadian society and the Canadian workforce.
The new Canadian Multicultural Program has recently been established in Yellowknife, NWT. It is part of the Centre for Northern Families and works with immigrants to help them with language training, immigration and citizenship issues, and settlement issues. The Canadian Multicultural Program offers a number of social networking programs to help newcomers integrate into the community. It offers a computer lab where new immigrants have access to the internet for learning purposes and to stay connected with their families. There is also a multicultural collective kitchen where immigrants can share their culture and network.
“It’s tough for any family (to immigrate) and that’s why we need the program. We help them to cope,” explained Ana Perdomo, the director of the Canadian Multicultural Program. “It’s not just information, they need more than that.” The program runs on donations and funding from the NWT Department of Education, Culture and Employment.