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Volunteer ambassadors will help visible minorities feel at home

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Umucyo drummers perform under The Forks canopy and get the crowd going as part of Multicultural Day on Saturday.

JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Umucyo drummers perform under The Forks canopy and get the crowd going as part of Multicultural Day on Saturday. Photo Store

Manitoba Immigration Minister Christine Melnick introduced volunteer ambassadors with a mission to help young people from visible minorities feel at home in Manitoba during a multicultural concert at The Forks Saturday.

The newly formed group includes former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Obby Khan, along with 23 others in their 20s and 30s who will use their own experiences to help break down cultural barriers.

"It's important that people know, that from the moment their foot touches the rich soil of Manitoba, that they are Manitobans," Melnick said.

About 120 people who were attending the afternoon concert to mark Multicultural Day were on hand to hear announcement.

About 10 of the 24 attended the event and Melnick called each one up to the stage to introduce them.

The group includes people from different socio-economic backgrounds and cultures but they all share the same determination to overcome cultural obstacles and build strong lives for themselves in the province, Melnick said.

The group will attend events hosted by organizations in the province that want presentations to help youth feel at home. So far, they've held sessions in schools in Winnipeg as well as at locations in The Pas and the Interlake Fisher Branch First Nation.

The province projects that by 2031, more than 25 per cent of Winnipeg's population will be made up of visible minorities. That includes a growing aboriginal community that will represent 5.3 per cent of the city's population.

History

Updated on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 1:58 PM CDT: Fixed cutlines

2:00 PM: Fixed typo, cutlines.

2:53 PM: Fixed cutlines

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