This past week, our agency and community partners attended the 6th Metropolis Identities Summit: Migrating Identities: Conversations on Settlement and Integration in Diverse Communities Across Canada. The conference took place in Calgary from November 1 to 3. The summit was more than just a conference; it was an opportunity for networking, establishing partnerships, and exchanging promising practices. Leaders, professionals, and advocates met at the event to discuss, learn, and share best practices. We had the opportunity to showcase the impactful work of the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence (CWICE) and highlighted the importance of fostering inclusion in our diverse communities through the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion work at Peel CAS through our ethnocultural programs. Many thanks to Peel Children's Aid Foundation for funding this initiative to help move these important conversations forward towards positive change.
It was attended by Mary Beth Moellenkamp, Prasad Nair, Emmanuel Ansah of Peel CAS, Solomon Owoo, CEO of the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS), Dr. David Green and his two Akoma cultural navigators Aurelia Thomas and Folashade Akintomide of Free for All Foundation, Shane Joseph of Roots Community Services, Hashim Alhussaini from Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services and Baiju Vareed from MacEwan University; Samuel Mammen of Oak Hill Ranch.
One presentation “Distinct, Diverse, & Unique Identities Across 5 years” showcased Peel Region's transformation, focusing on the immigrant-majority area adjacent to Canada's largest airport. There was a discussion of the evolution of services, initiated by Peel CAS and culminating in the establishment of the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence in 2018. CWICE has now evolved into a national consultation center that provides research and training programs.
Also, a presentation was given on "Building Inclusive Child Protection Services: Best Practices for Engaging Newcomer Communities", emphasizing cultural sensitivity, language barriers, and engaging the newcomer community to improve the outcomes of children and their families.
The third presentation explored “Navigating Identities: Understanding the Impact of Time, Space, and Community on Immigrants in Canada”, focused on language, culture, privileges, and power dynamics that have a significant impact on immigrant cognitive functioning and behavior.
The 6th Metropolis Identities Summit served as a powerful reminder that our nation is enriched by the rich tapestry of diversity. Participants expressed their commitment to creating a society that is inclusive, equitable, and welcoming to all. Together with our community partners, we look forward to the future with renewed enthusiasm, ready to make a difference in the lives of those we serve. For their collaboration, we would like to thank our leaders, as well as the leadership of CWICE, DEI, OACAS, and our Community Partners.