Cultural Navigators honoured at Alberta Crime Prevention Awards

EDMONTON – A team of eight Cultural Navigators with the REACH Immigrant and Refugee Initiative (RIRI) were recognized with an Alberta Crime Prevention Award at a ceremony May 10. These team members worked tirelessly for many years within their own cultural communities to address family violence issues. These navigators work with newcomers and police to reduce misunderstandings of the way the Canadian system works so that help can be received in a culturally appropriate manner. Three years ago, these team members came together to talk about the increase in family violence cases within their communities and the lack of effective, culturally appropriate services and supports for newcomer families. Since then, the cultural navigators have promoted healthy families and shared information with the community about what to do when conflicts arise in the home. The team has been instrumental in creating tools that frontline workers and community leaders used to open up the sensitive topic of family violence. These resources were also translated into eight languages and shared with the community. These individuals are leaders to their families and their larger communities as they work with police, children’s services and many other groups every day. Thanks to the hard work of these workers, the community has seen a drop in calls to police in half of all women surveyed. “Much of the amazing work of this team has been invisible, in part because they all do their work so selflessly without any thought of reward,” said REACH Edmonton Executive Director Jan Fox. “This team is leading the way in family violence prevention within the immigrant communities in Edmonton.” The team members honoured by the award include Tigist Dafla, Mulki Ali, Tsedale Aregawa, George Ishiekwene, Joseph Luri, Killa Ibrahim and Badri Dolar. For more information about REACH’s role in supporting this team, call Marilyn Gray at (587) 991-3142.

For information about the Cultural Navigators contact Yvonne Chui at (780) 710-1577 or (780) 423-1973. For an interview with a team member, call Joseph Luri at (780) 200-3684 or (780) 424-7709. -30-