Nogojiwanong Youth Solidarity Initiative

In May 2016, under the primary sponsorship of CRRC, the Nogojiwanong Youth Solidarity Initiative (NYSI) brought together local Indigenous, recent Syrian refugee, and other Newcomer and immigrant communities in a unique evening of cultural sharing, connections and commonality through food, conversation, music and dance at the Canadian Canoe Museum.

Inspired by NYSI’s belief in the many similarities — including struggles, resilience and values — among our community’s original and most recent inhabitants across obvious differences, “Moving Forward Together: An Indigenous and Refugee Community Feast” provided the chance for Newcomers to meet with this land’s First Peoples along with the general public as a way of beginning to build mutually beneficial relationships that strengthen Nogojiwanong (Peterborough) and our world at large.

In addition to representatives and additional support from Indigenous and other racialized organizations including First Peoples House of Learning, TRACKS, Aboriginal Student Services at Fleming College, New Canadians Centre, and Kawartha Muslim Religious Association, the event featured an Anishinaabe Kwe (Indigenous Women) hand-drumming group, hoop dancer Beanie John from Kehewin Cree Nation, Alberta, African musician Jean Paul Mohammed, and MP Maryam Monsef.

As a youth-led, grassroots project, NYSI has enjoyed ongoing support from CRRC in its goal of promoting understanding, reconciliation and unity among this community’s peoples by bringing together Indigenous and Newcomer/immigrant youth in shared spaces of intercultural dialogue, creativity and experiential learning.

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