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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
November 23, 2006

2006 All My Relations Welcoming Ceremony

Mr. Speaker, today I have the honour of sharing the story of an important and unique multicultural celebration that I had the privilege of attending last week. The event was a 2006 All My Relations Welcoming Ceremony, which brought together the Aboriginal community and our city's new immigrants and refugees in a wonderful celebration of friendship, food and cultural entertainment.

Volunteers with the multicultural All My Relations group recruited and gained support from many Manitoba immigrants and cultural groups, in order to make the event the remarkable success that it was. What's all the more remarkable is that this was the first time that the All My Relations group had attempted this type of an initiative.

The evening was a huge success with a large number of people. The room was absolutely packed and was celebrated with a vibrant collection of song and dance and wonderful food from across the world, including traditional Aboriginal cuisine and food from the Congo, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. I very much hope that this kind of event will continue to grow into a much-anticipated community tradition.

It was also inspiring to hear the words of encouragement that the Aboriginal community extended to the new immigrants and refugees, as the Aboriginal people committed to helping them learn about Aboriginal culture and values, as well as our city as a whole.

This welcome was a unique type of grass-roots community approach to building bridges between neighbours, focussing on the similarities between our groups, but also reminding us that differences are a precious asset to be treasured.

I would like to congratulate all those involved in organizing the event for creating such an outstanding evening. The All My Relations Welcoming committee has sent a strong message to the community about how to build strong relationships and how to celebrate diversity.

I know that the new immigrants and refugees that attended this ceremony very much appreciated the efforts that the Aboriginal community made to make them feel like cherished members of a thriving community.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to working with the All My Relations group in the future, and I once again commend them on their very first and very successful welcoming ceremony.