Project Title: Enhancing and Linking Ethnocultural Organizations and Communities in Rural Manitoba: A Focus on Brandon and Steinbach
Final Report: Bucklaschuk, J. ; Sormova, M. (2011). Enhancing and linking ethnocultural organizations and communities in rural Manitoba: A focus on Brandon and Steinbach. Saskatoon, SK: Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, University of Saskatchewan. Final Report (pdf)
Rural communities receiving immigrants struggle to ensure adequate service provision, partly because there are few pre-established institutions or organizations in these areas to assist newcomers. An important factor in immigrant attraction, settlement, and retention is the role of ethnocultural organizations and communities. In rural communities without large immigrant populations, however, these organizations may not be well established or exist at all. Ethnocultural organizations are vital to meeting the needs of newcomers and ensuring a vibrant, diverse community
Ethnocultural groups must be encouraged to build capacity as they have an important role to play in developing welcoming communities and contributing to the social economy of rural areas. These organizations have the potential to alleviate some of the pressures on traditional, government-funded, immigrant-service-provider organizations.
There is no research exploring the organizational structure, history, membership, and operations of ethnocultural organizations and communities in rural areas. The principle objectives of this project are to gain insight into the processes of establishing and developing ethnocultural communities and organizations, the factors that contribute to their success, and the barriers that may hinder them.
This project will leverage and compliment work being conducted at the Rural Development Institute (RDI) in Brandon, which has recently focussed research efforts on rural immigration, temporary foreign workers, and welcoming communities. A guiding concern for all immigration-related initiatives at RDI is the capacity of rural communities to attract immigrants, to welcome diversity, and to accommodate these newcomers. This project is part of a larger research initiative designed to understand the scope of immigration to Brandon and southwestern Manitoba, with a particular focus on how communities can become more welcoming.
The first step in successfully attracting, settling, and retaining newcomers in a rural community is to be open to change and new ways of thinking. Collaboration and communication amongst non-government organizations and ethnocultural communities is needed to support ethnocultural organizations. Ethnocultural organizations and communities require easily accessible information resources. Ultimately, it takes time, financial resources, a lot of energy, and a rich volunteer-base for ethnocultural communities to establish formal organizations. The level of encouragement and support from the community as a whole will determine whether social enterprise ventures are successful or not.
The role of the social economy and community economic development in enhancing and building capacity in ethnocultural organizations cannot be ignored; however in rural areas there are many steps to be taken before such concepts can be successfully introduced.
Project Number: CL4-13-MB