Ethnocultural Community Organizations in Winnipeg: A Legacy Document
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Since research has found that only about one-third of newly arrived immigrants and refugees access settlement services from a government-funded immigrant-serving agency (Lo, et al., 2010; Wilkinson & Bucklaschuk, 2014), it is necessary to better understand where newcomers go to access information and receive supports. There are a host of formal and informal avenues utilized and accessed by immigrants and refugees when they arrive, but policymakers, researchers, and service providers do not have a full picture of the nature of those sources. However, we do know that a step in the early settlement process is to find social networks, which can be sources of information, knowledge, and community inclusion (Simich, et al., 2005). Ethnocultural community organizations and groups can often be a first point of contact for many newly arrived refugees and immigrants, as they provide linguistic and cultural familiarity while also assisting with the settlement process. Surprisingly, little is known about the role that ethnocultural community organizations play in the settlement process, yet they are acknowledged as an important actor in meeting the needs of newcomers.