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New community program launches in Halifax's north end to help cross-cultural learning

The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre is one of many local organizations in the north end that support and connect our community.
The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre is one the many local organizations in Halifax's north end that support and connect the community. - Contributed

Every One Every Day is a program that focuses on reconciliation through shared experiences

Residents in the north end of Halifax are being given a chance to know their neighbours and their cultures through a variety of activities in March.

Yesterday, the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre (MNFC) launched a four-week-long program, Every One Every Day (EOED), aiming to provide a platform for reconciliation and opportunities for people to cross-culturally learn and share. 

The program contains 35 sessions that provide participants with a wide range of interactive activities from mask-making to family yoga, all conducted with other residents. 

“While the new COVID restrictions affect the ability to be together in person, the spirit of EOED remains with its mission to share a sense of togetherness and community learning,” said program director Aimee Gasparetto. - Contributed
“While the new COVID restrictions affect the ability to be together in person, the spirit of EOED remains with its mission to share a sense of togetherness and community learning,” said program director Aimee Gasparetto. - Contributed

“This is about peer-to-peer learning. It's not about someone delivering a program, it's about residents' ideas, and helping to bring those to life through the platform,”  said Aimee Gasparetto, program director of the MNFC. 

Gasparetto said reconciliation can't be done by one group versus another group, and the best way to solve the problem is to make relationships and actually learn from each other and understand each other.

"We often talk about inclusivity. But it's how do we take that a step further and speak about belonging, and really make people feel safe and welcome and invited to bring their whole selves into a space and ask questions," she said. 

Neighbourhood Photo Walk 🗺👟♥️👟 📸 1st in-person session went great! Please share your photos from today’s adventures!!

Posted by Every One Every Day Halifax on Thursday, 4 March 2021

The initiative is a result of a collaboration of eight local organizations: Develop Nova Scotia, Participatory Canada, Inspiring Communities, Engage Nova Scotia, United Way Halifax, Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia, Halifax Regional Municipality and the Halifax Partnership. It is inspired by a global movement for broad social engagement and improved quality of life quotients in diverse communities, the McConnell foundation and Employment and Social Development Canada identified Kjipuktuk – Halifax as one of three Canadian cities working to explore transformative social infrastructure.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to share more about who we are and our guiding philosophy of Wije’winen which means 'come with us' in Mi’kmaq, this really is about sharing and learning together,” said Pam Glode Desrochers, executive director of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre. 

In response to the new COVID restrictions, the centre is keeping outdoor meetups while transitioning the indoor sessions to an online platform.

Further details around these changes will be shared directly with participants and can be found on the EOED website and social media channels.

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