Sydney, NOVA SCOTIA
Did you know?
History of Diversity

1605 - Mathieu Dacosta was a black seaman involved with French Expedition at Port Royal. As a freeman he was recorded as an interpreter of the French and Micmac languages at a time when the Acadians were developing a fur-trade industry along the Atlantic sea coast. He was the first recorded black man to reach Canada. 

Resource / Link: http://www.coastalcommunities.ns.ca/didyouknow.php?aid=106

Municipal Diversity Policies

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is hiring its first diversity officer to better understand why more of its workforce isn't part of a visible minority group. Director of human resources Angus Fleming said the part-time position will review the municipality's current workforce of approximately 800 employees, and will spend some time in the community reaching out to visible minority groups to determine the reasons why they wouldn't consider applying for a job within the CBRM.

Resource / Link: http://www.ns.dailybusinessbuzz.ca/Provincial-News/

Newcomer Barkaat Ahmad, whose wife practices medicine in Cape Breton, made an interesting presentation about adapting to cultural differences and employment challenges.

Resource / Link: http://www.capebretonpost.com/

Provincial/Federal Policies

Nova Scotia is investing $306,000 to help immigrants settle into the province. The government money will be split among seven regional development authorities to provide immigration navigators, staff and services who will help ease the integration process and keep newcomers in Nova Scotia.

Resource / Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/

Temporary foreign workers in Nova Scotia will be better protected as a result of an agreement between Canada and Nova Scotia that gives the province a role in managing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Resource / Link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/

Diversity of Elected Representatives

Mayann Francis started out in the Pier. Her dad - who was originally from Cuba - was the pastor at St. Philip's African Orthodox Church. Her mother was from Antigua. Mayann Francis went on to work and study in New York & Toronto.  In 2006, Mayann Francis became the first black person ever to be appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia.

Resource / Link: http://www.cbc.ca/

Demographics

Statistics Canada released the first batch of numbers from the 2011 census on Wednesday and the population of Cape Breton decreased by 4.7 per cent since the last census in 2006.The region’s growth rate was below the national growth rate of 5.9 per cent, while the population of Nova Scotia increased by 0.9 per cent.

Resource / Link: http://www.capebretonpost.com/News

The census data released Wednesday also includes information on visible minorities in Cape Breton Regional Municipality. A total of 1.7 per cent of the population of Cape Breton Regional Municipality identified themselves as a visible minority in 2006 - an increase from 2001 when the figure was 1.4 per cent.

Resource / Link: http://www.capebretonpost.com/Living/

Diversity/Equity Initiatives in Education

Cape Breton is not, itself, particularly diverse, and it is not always easy to attract candidates who may feel out of place on a small, sparsely populated island where they are less likely to meet others with the same religion, linguistic backgrounds, or cultural traditions. Nevertheless, the university is far more culturally diverse than the surrounding community.

Resource / Link: http://oncampus.macleans.ca/

A rush of students from China is boosting enrolment at Cape Breton University in Sydney. Overall full-time undergraduate and graduate enrolment is up three per cent this year, according to the latest figures. While the number of students from Cape Breton is down almost 15 per cent, the number from China is up 26 per cent.

Resource / Link: http://www.cbc.ca/

The Cape Breton Flight Institute (CBFI) is preparing for take-off. The institute is looking forward to welcoming its first group of students from China. Situated on the grounds of the Sydney airport, CBFI recently signed a contract with a private Chinese flight school to provide their students with commercial pilot licence training. Upon completion of training at CBFI students return home for the additional instruction needed to receive a Chinese aviation pilot licence.

Resource / Link: http://www.novascotialife.com/

Police/Minority Relations

SYDNEY — Three years after the fatal shooting of a Wagmatcook man, the RCMP plan to host a community dinner in a bid to repair community relations.

Resource / Link: http://www.capebretonpost.com/ 

With over 40 African Nova Scotian RCMP members, Nova Scotia leads Canada in the highest number of African Canadian recruits from one geographic area.

Resource / Link: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca

The Diverse Community

Mahmood Naqvi, originally from Pakistan and now resident of Cape Breton, has been honoured for introducing major improvements to health care services for the people there as a surgeon and administrator for over 40 years.

Resource / Link: http://www.southasianobserver.com/

The Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia is looking to establish a regional multicultural council in Cape Breton County.

Resource / Link: http://www.capebretonpost.com

The names are typical: the Saint Joseph Lebanese and Syrian Benevolent Society in Sydney, Nova Scotia (founded in 1907)

Resource / Link : http://www.multiculturalcanada.ca/Encyclopedia/A-Z/l4/5

Religious Groups/Facilities

Churches, temples and synagogues were built to feed the spiritual hunger of the newly arrived. Halls were built to meet the cultural needs. Indeed, Whitney Pier was multi-cultural decades before the term was even invented. 

Resource /Link: http://www.communityspiritaward.ca/stories_scrolling.htm

St. Philip's African Orthodox Church is valued for its role in preserving Nova Scotia's West Indian heritage and for its association with the industrialization of Nova Scotia. Over the years, St. Philip's has become one of the most important institutions in the Black community of Sydney; a community which originated mainly in the West Indies (Barbados) and whose members emigrated to Sydney during Cape Breton's industrial boom of the early 20th century.

Resource / Link: http://www.historicplaces.ca/

Ahmadiyya Muslim community of Sydney, Nova Scotia organized their Interfaith Symposium on Nov 1st 2011.The symposium was entitles Freedom of Conscience and speakers from different religions were invited to talk on the topic from their respective religion’s view.

Resource / Link: http://ahmadiyyatimes.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/

A group of Muslims in Sydney, N.S., has bought a church hall to convert into a mosque. The Antigonish Roman Catholic diocese sold the parish hall affiliated with Sydney's Holy Redeemer Parish Church because a shrinking congregation means the church no longer needs the space.

Resource / Link: http://www.cbc.ca/

Aboriginal Services

On October 1st every year, Mi’kmaq from around Nova Scotia join the provincial government in hosting Treaty Day – a celebration commemorating the signing of the 1752 Treaty, and including many public events.

Resource /Link: http://www.novascotia.com/

Cape Breton Island is home to five Aboriginal communities – Wagmatcook, Waycobah, Chapel Island, Eskasoni and Membertou. These communities are proud to be a living culture, where the language and traditions of the people’s ancestors continue to influence life today.

Resource /Link: http://www.wagmatcook.com/Communities/

Diverse Arts and Cultural Scene

Ann-Marie MacDonald achieved considerable success as an actor and playwright before she rocketed to the best sellers lists with her first novel, Fall on Your Knees. She was born in 1958 at the Canadian Forces Base in Baden-Baden, West Germany and grew up in several communities. Her Lebanese mother came from Sydney, Nova Scotia, and her father from nearby New Waterford. Fall on Your Knees draws upon her Lebanese and Cape Breton, N.S. heritage. 

Resource / Link: http://www.ryerson.ca/library

Landmarks/Monuments/Museums

Mi'kmaq history and culture in a new, innovative setting. Interpretation, interaction, live demonstrations of the early times to the present

Resource /Link: http://www.novascotia.com/en/home/thingstoseeanddo

The Media

The Coast 89.7 is Community Radio for Cape Breton that is pleased to offer diverse programming that reflects the needs and interests of our Cape Breton community.

Resource / Link: http://www.capebretonpartnership.com

Human Rights Policies

Black immigrants from the United States and the Caribbean were among those who found Canada an inhospitable milieu during the 1920s. Not only was it difficult to get into the country, but black workers were channelled into low-status occupations. Such was certainly the case for Caribbean blacks in Sydney, Nova Scotia, who were forced to accept the most arduous and unpleasant jobs in the coal mines and steel mills. 

Resource / Link: http://www.multiculturalcanada.ca/Encyclopedia/

On the final day of African Heritage Month, Cape Breton University's Viola Desmond Chair in Social Justice, Graham Reynolds, and Viola Desmond's sister, Wanda Robson, reflect on the history of racial discrimination in Nova Scotia.

Resource / Link: http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningcb/

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission will take steps to be more responsive to aboriginal Nova Scotians, including hiring two Mi'kmaq staff members who will be based close to those communities.

Resource/ Link: http://www.capebretonpost.com/

Immigrant Settlement

Nova Scotia, Canada's “ocean playground”, started attracting Sikhs (a ... from Halifax and Dartmouth, people came from Truro, New Glasgow and Sydney.

Resource / Link: http://www.google.com/url?

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