Know the Demographics of your Local Community

Statistics Canada’s most recent census data will inform you of necessary demographics to target the particular populations in your community, ensuring relevant engagement across language, culture, faith, age, and status.

Build and Maintain Relationships with Key Leaders and Organizations

This would include faith-based leaders, Ethnocultural and Grassroots organizations, service provider agencies, certain employers and community representatives. Leverage the knowledge, data, and trust relationships that existing Newcomer Serving Organizations can offer, and resource them accordingly.

Ensure First Language

Ensure all of your resources, presentations, and information sessions are offered in plain language and in first language – which can be determined by knowing the demographics of your local community, and through your local engagement.

Identify the Needs and Priorities of your Particular Community

Take the time to learn the challenges and issues that your local community has identified for themselves. Through personal conversations and meetings you will be able to identify and align your engagement meaningfully.

Reconsider your Media and Outreach Strategies

Consider targeted community networks and newsletters, along with leveraging the communication channels of local Newcomer Serving Organizations and ethnic media. Also consider the impact of social media messaging channels used by newcomer groups such as WhatsApp and Line.

Make Public Engagement Reciprocal

When seeking input ensure you are reducing barriers to access for newcomer engagement. Meet communities where they are and provide resources in the form of incentives, shared meals, opportunities, etc. Offer childcare or transportation if required, and consider work, family, cultural, and religious obligations and engage in first language.

Create Opportunities for Newcomer Engagement and Leadership

Consider creating community ambassadors that can champion your messaging for you, and navigate the relationships and systems within their own communities. By creating community ambassadors, and resourcing them properly, you can essentially create a community of practice around your cause and messaging.

Enhance your Organizational Capacity and Representation

Aim to have your organization represent the demographics of your local community – both in staffing and leadership. This will allow your organization to plan collaboratively and have informed strategies as you move forward.