Southeast Manitoba has a long history of migrants moving to the area. When immigration in large numbers started again in the late 1990’s, Eastman Immigrant Services (EIS) was established in an effort to assist newcomers and community with the settlement and integration process.
EIS’s office is located in Steinbach, but our services expand from Pine Falls (north) to Sprague (south) and from Falcon Lake (east) to Rosenort (west). Over the years, and as needed, EIS has operated satellite offices throughout the region, including in Grunthal, Niverville, Beausejour and Oakbank.
EIS’s staff consists of four full-time and three part-time staff, serving an average of 280 newly arrived families a year, in addition to returning clients from previous years. Our region has become very diverse, as we record about 45 different nationalities arriving per year. During Steinbach’s annual Pioneer Days Parade, EIS’s parade entry consists of over 100 flags, which are carried to represent the various nationalities in our region.
Our services are driven by a philosophy of informing, supporting, and empowering both newcomers, and the receiving communities. As such, we emphasize a collaborative approach where we work with community. Just as the old saying goes “It takes a village to raise a child”, we believe it takes a community to integrate newcomers.
Our service areas consist of settlement, employment, English At Work, a resource centre with access to computers internet and printing, integration programming and events, and a volunteer program.
While the success of every newcomer causes celebration, our biggest celebration is our Cultures in the City event, which is scheduled for June 16 -18 (Friday to Sunday). This year, our annual Cultures in the City event will have 10 food vendors providing the opportunity to sample ethnic foods from all around the world. In addition there will be a few vendors offering cultural clothing, art and other products. Our 20‘x 20’ stage, right on Main Street, will feature cultural performances and dance representing 20 different groups. It is estimated that over 10,000 visitors enjoy the cultural foods and performances per year. The sights and stories of people celebrating their cultures is not only educational, but helps build a community where everyone is welcome.
See you at Cultures in the City!
Some photos from last year’s event:
Eastman Immigrant Services.