Diversity in Manitoba: Many cultures, one neighbourhood

Children from a variety of backgrounds working on a multi-colored diversity mural together

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Manitoba is known as a melting pot of many cultures. In fact, it recognizes that it has always been a multicultural society from the time of its original population, the Aboriginal peoples. It is proud of this diversity, and sees strength in the collaboration of various cultural communities.

As a newcomer, a major component of your settlement journey will be adjusting to cultural norms and learning the best ways to respect and work harmoniously with people around you. Integrating into your new country, is a give and take – we are allowed to share the best parts of our respective cultures while adapting elements of others’ into our everyday lives. This requires flexibility, respect, tolerance and understanding. Yes, it is easier said than done!

However, slowly but surely, and with an open mind, you will learn to adapt and even appreciate the melding of various ways of life, beliefs and practices. When you try and know more about other cultures, you will understand people better; you might even find a renewed appreciation of your own.

Here are 10 basic terms you need to know about living in diverse Manitoba. Interspersed with the terms are videos that will help you understand these concepts better:

Diversity

People from different countries, cultures, races and religions living in one place.

Multiculturalism

Welcoming and celebrating many different cultures and exploring the benefits of diversity.

Watch this video to know more about diversity and multiculturalism:

Human rights

All people having equal opportunity and protection.

Equality

All people having the same rights and benefits.

Stereotype

An opinion or generalization that people have about a person or group based on prior assumptions (Diversity Awareness for Newcomers II).

Discrimination

An action or a decision that treats a person or a group negatively for reasons such as their race, age or disability (Canadian Human Rights Commission). Know more about grounds of discrimination and how to file a complaint if you are discriminated against on the Canadian Human Rights Commission site.

Prejudice

Attitudes against a person or group because of race, gender or religion based on judgements formed without accurate knowledge (Diversity Awareness for Newcomers II).

Racism-free workplace strategy

Part of the initiatives of the Canadian Action Plan Against Racism (CAPAR) that prevents discrimination and promotes integration of visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples in the workplace.

This video will explain the concepts of equality and human rights, as well as show examples of racism and discrimination and what possible means of recourse you have if this happens to you:

Intercultural

People from different cultures, races and religions sharing and learning from each other.

Integration

People of many backgrounds blending with the broader society while maintaining their culture

These videos will show examples of immigrants who have successfully integrated into Canadian culture while maintaining their own. It will also discuss the benefits of being open-minded about getting to know, participating and being present in the larger Manitoban community.

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Community Resources

Manitoba has a Multiculturalism Secretariat that works with ethnocultural organizations to support community development.  It advances the goals of the Manitoba Multiculturalism Act which lays down policies that protect and promote cultural diversity.

Learn about Diversity and Employment Equity at the Manitoba Civil Service Commission site.

Know more about human rights from the Manitoba Human Rights Commission page.

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Diversity in Manitoba: Many cultures, one neighborhood

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