Multiculturalism in Canada

Canada is a multicultural country. Canadians come from a vast range of nations, races, religions and heritage. This multicultural diversity comes from centuries of immigration. As a result, a diverse population is now one of the distinctive features of Canadian society.

Some examples of Canada’s official support of multiculturalism and diversity:

  • The government of Canada funds programs and projects which promote multiculturalism.
  • Police and military officers may wear a turban as part of their uniform if their religion requires them to wear one.
  • Michaëlle Jean, who was born in Haiti and immigrated to Canada with her family as a refugee when she was a child, served as a governor general of Canada.

The government of Canada values the population diversity and tries to protect the cultural heritage of its citizens. Through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, the government encourages Canadians to take pride in their language, religion and heritage, and to keep their customs and traditions, as long as they do not break any Canadian laws.

Multiculturalism in NL

Right up to the end of the twentieth century NL’s population was predominantly of English, Scottish, Irish and French descent, with a small percentage belonging to First Nations. There were immigrants from other backgrounds, but in very small numbers.

With the steep increase in immigration in the first decade of the twenty-first century, NL communities are becoming more and more diverse. There are people from all over the world living in the province.

This rise in immigration is reflected in increasingly diverse social, cultural and economic scenes in the province.

the Congo region of Africa and now members of the ANC as ESL students dressed in their traditional African garb. From left, are, Mauwa Ichard , Vanessa Aisha and Antoinette Kahindo. Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram.

Related Resources

Faith-Based Organizations

Multicultural Organizations

The following is a list of multicultural organizations and cultural associations. Connecting with these organizations may connect you to newcomers in the region:

Culture Adjustment

2021 Multiculturalism Week Winning Art Submission by L’anse-au-Loup student, Kennedi Holley.

Despite Canada’s multicultural heritage and policies, it can be difficult for you as a new immigrant in Canada to adjust to new customs, ways of daily living and social systems that may be very different from your country of origin.

The St. John’s Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) is a collaborative community initiative dedicated to improving immigrant integration and retention in St. John’s. Aimed at helping newcomers fully engage in all aspects of social, economic, and cultural life and building on the knowledge gained through other LIP’s across the country, the role is to:

  • Establish priorities and develop action plans to help address key immigrant issues
  • Encourage broader stakeholder collaboration
  • Help St. John’s grow as a welcoming community for newcomers

Established in 2015 and hosted by the City of St. John’s, the St. John’s LIP is co-chaired with the Association for New Canadians and is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. There are currently more than 60 LIP’s across Canada, including seven in Atlantic Canada.
Visit Newcomers – City of St Johns to learn more about the Local St. John’s Immigration Partnership.

If you are experiencing difficulty in adjusting to your new life in NL, ask for help. There are many organizations, groups and businesses that can help you overcome culture shock and the difficulties of living in a non-familiar environment.

Related Resources

Related Topics in this Guide