St. John's Many Voices
MMaP is in the process of creating a book on a selection of ethnocultural groups in and around St. John's with a view to providing preliminary research "portraits." With a team of graduate research assistants, we have compiled historical background and resource lists (archival, individual contacts, ethnocultural organizations) for selected groups in each of the following communities: East Asian, South Asian, African, South America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Mediterranean, Jewish, and Scandinavian.
Our goals are several in light of the fact that we think this project will address several different audiences: NL residents (both those in the specific ethnocultural communities included in the study and those in other ethnocultural communities); potential immigrants, and tourists. With an over-arching objective of fostering local pride in local diversity, we aim to: improve immigrant retention by making the positive cultural contributions of diverse citizens more visible; reflect the changing demographics in our urban space and counter out-dated perceptions that Newfoundlanders are homogeneous; stimulate economic activity for new immigrant communities by involving paid community liaison persons in our study, and by generating interest among potential new clients for businesses and cultural events that have been hitherto marginalised; provide succinct and easily used portraits of diverse heritage communities in a format that will be useful in schools in the province; provide baseline data about the history, organizational infrastructure, religious institutions, businesses, and noted leaders or culture bearers, in order to facilitate and encourage new research and media attention. In addition, it is our desire that this book become a resource not only for visitors, but for potential and new immigrants to the province who are seeking information on their own or other ethnocultural groups.