Somali Canadians

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Somali Canadians
Somcand.jpg
Total population
44,995[1] (official NHS figure)
150,000[2] (unofficial estimate)
Regions with significant populations
Toronto · Ottawa · Calgary · Edmonton · Vancouver · Winnipeg · Hamilton
Languages
Somali · Arabic · English · French
Religion
Islam

Somali Canadians are residents and citizens of Canada of Somali ancestry.

Overview[edit]

Canada has one of the largest Somali populations in the western world. Unofficial estimates placing the figure as high as 150,000.[2] The early 1990s saw an increase in the total number of Somali immigrants entering the country, with some secondary migration from the United States.

Electronic, money transfer and wholesale stores at a Somali mall in Toronto.

As with many other immigrant groups in the Toronto area, Somalis have faced some barriers to employment despite counting many qualified professionals. This has been attributed to enclave economies, self-employment, language unfamiliarity, and various public policies and social programs.[3][4][5] To address the issue, the Canadian government, in coordination with the Somali Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization's Somali Youth Skills Project, set up in 2010 job-preparation training and work experience programs for local Somali youth. Part of the Canadian government's Youth Employment Strategy, the initiative is intended to help youngsters that are facing challenges finding employment to better access career information, develop necessary skills, gain relevant work experience, find decent jobs and stay employed.[4] The Canadian Somali Congress has also teamed up with local Jewish community organizations in Ottawa and Toronto to offer mentorship opportunities to young Somali university students and professionals. The program is scheduled to span two years and takes place in various major cities across the country, partnering 130 experienced Jewish-Canadian mentors with 18 to 25 year-old Somali-Canadians.[6][7]

Following a greatly improved security situation in Somalia in 2012, many Somali residents of Canada have begun returning to Mogadishu and other parts of the country for investment opportunities and to take part in the ongoing post-conflict reconstruction process. Participating in the renovation of schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure, they have played a leading role in the capital's recovery and have also helped propel the local real estate market.[8]

Demographics[edit]

Journalist Hassan Abdillahi of Ogaal Radio with M.P. Justin Trudeau at Seneca College (2009).

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 44,995 people in Canada reported Somali ancestry. Of those, 37,115 were Somali language speakers and 4,315 were recent immigrants.[1]

Somalis tend to be concentrated in the southern part of the province of Ontario, especially the Ottawa and Toronto areas. The Albertan cities of Calgary and Edmonton have also seen a significant increase in their respective Somali communities over the past few years. In addition, the neighbourhood of Rexdale in Toronto has one of the largest Somali populations in the country.

Organizations[edit]

The Somali community in Canada is represented by various Somali-run organizations. Ahmed Hussen chairs the Canadian Somali Congress, which works closely with national and regional authorities to strengthen civic relations.[9] The Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton (SCCSE) provides social, educational, recreational, cultural and religious programs and services to the Somali community in Edmonton.[10] Additionally, the Somali Youth Association of Toronto/Somali Youth Coalition (SOYAT) offers various social, recreational and educational programs for Somali youth to inculcate volunteerism and leadership. It also annually organizes the Somali Youth Recognition Awards, which recognizes the achievements of and contributions made to the Somali community by individual Somali youngsters.[11]

Notable individuals[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Household Survey (NHS) Profile, 2011". Statcan. 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  2. ^ a b "Ontario Municipal Election: Somali Canadian Prospective". Hiiraan Online. 10 November 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.utoronto.ca/ethnicstudies/Reitz_JIMI_2.pdf
  4. ^ a b "Government of Canada Helps Somali Youth in Edmonton Prepare for Job Market". Somalidiasporanews.com. 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  5. ^ "Small business fails to tap into immigrant talent". Bartamaha.com. 2011-09-24. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  6. ^ "Jewish community to mentor Ottawa Somalis". Cbc.ca. 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  7. ^ "Jewish and Somali Canadians join forces with government’s help on mentoring plan". Jewishtribune.ca. 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  8. ^ "SOMALIA: Returning diaspora help rebuild". Somalilandpress. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "About Us". Canadian Somali Congress. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "About Us". Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Programs". SOYAT. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 

External links[edit]