A celebration of NorQuest’s diverse community

October 13, 2022

Celebrations took place across the country the week of September 12 as part of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) efforts to welcome newcomers to Canada. The objective of IRCC’s Welcome Week is “for communities across Canada to recognize and celebrate the people, places, and values that help everyone feel welcome and that they belong in their local community, no matter where they come from” (Welcoming Week Proclamation).

NorQuest hosted its very own event on Friday, September 16, 2022 as part of the IRCC’s Welcome Week initiative. The Newcomers to Canada: NorQuest Welcome Day celebrated the unique skills, talents, and diversity of our community of learners.

Queen Borah

There were many inspiring speakers throughout the welcome day event that began with Delores Cardinal, NorQuest Knowledge Keeper, sharing the Land Acknowledgment and offering a prayer in both Cree and English. The sense of pride was inescapable as learners and staff filled the atrium to watch the cultural dances and listen to student success stories. With the room filled to full capacity, cheers broke out after every performance and speech with learners and staff alike excited to be a part of the festivities which fueled the energetic atmosphere in the room.

"I was nervous about speaking in front of so many people. But, after I shared my personal story, I felt so proud and now I know I can speak in front of any group.” (Abdulla Abdo, NorQuest College LINC Program)

Along with being a fun memorable event, it was also an important reminder of the college’s pivotal role in the community. Over ten thousand learners are registered for Fall 2022. The courses and programs offered take them one step closer to achieving their goals – whether it be about employment goals, personal growth, settling into Canada, or honing their language skills.

Queen Borah

"My students really enjoyed the event and are still talking about it 2 weeks later. As a LINC instructor, it has been really wonderful to see my students’ pride in their cultures, wearing their traditional clothing, being more confident in sharing stories of their heritage and bonding with others from the same or different cultures. Events like these, especially at the beginning of the term, help students open up, feel represented and supported.” (Hanh Nguyen, LINC Instructor, Blended Learning)

The sensational display of diversity is an excellent illustration of NorQuest’s philosophy: we are who we include. As a champion of diversity and inclusion, the Welcome Day event organized by LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) was a snapshot of the college living its philosophy. It’s something to be very proud of and it’s definitely something worth celebrating. 

Queen Borah

Video and photos courtesy of Sarah Smyth.