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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CANADIANS OF ORIGINS IN INDIA PO BOX 2308 STATION D,
OTTAWA, CANADA
K1P 5W5

NACOI Is:

The National Association of Canadians of Origins in India (NACOI) represents people whose ethnic origins, by birth, ancestry or marriage, can be traced back to the Indian subcontinent .

NACOI's constituency, a significant component of Canada's diverse ethnic mix, comes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and includes people of Indian ancestry from numerous countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and elsewhere. They are all united by a common history and a shared desire to make Canada their home.

The first significant movement of South Asians to Canada began in the late 19th century. Settling primarily on the West Coast, they came to Canada to help build a new country and a new life for themselves and their families. They worked initially in the forests and mines; and despite overt discrimination, South Asians have successfully settled into Canadian communities from British Columbia to Newfoundland.

The number of Indo-Canadians has grown significantly in both urban and rural regions of Canada. The problems that confronted many members of this community in their attempts to integrate into Canadian society were compounded as they faced the enormous task of adjusting into a new social and cultural environment. Learning a new language, adapting to new cultural values and norms, re-creating a community of support and facing the ever-increasing problems of unemployment and underemployment created enormous stresses and strains on individuals, the families and the community. Systemic discrimination and racism greatly impeded the ability of these communities to fully realize their potential. The community needed a common national voice to articulate their issues and concerns and facilitate their integration and full participation in Canadian society. These needs led to the formation of NACOI.

NACOI's role is the development and facilitation of a national network to provide support by harnessing the skills and resources from within the community so as to develop local, regional and national community based social and economic development strategies and programs.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES




THE ORGANIZATION


NACOI has a national executive made up of a president, deputy-president, regional vice-presidents, secretary, treasurer and the immediate past-president. The national executive is elected from seven regions in Canada: British Columbia and Yukon Territory, Alberta and the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces. The executive is responsible for the formulation, development and implementation of NACOI policies and programs.

NACOI's thirty seven local chapters provide the grassroots support, and, together with our member organizations, create NACOI's national network, representing every major city in Canada. As well, numerous affiliated organizations work in close cooperation with NACOI to achieve common goals and objectives.

The constitution provides for three types of membership - individual, affiliated and corporate. Any Canadian or permanent resident of Canada who can trace their origins back to the Indian sub-continent and who subscribes to NACOI's aims and objectives can become a member. Groups or associations of people of origins in India who subscribe to the aims and objectives of NACOI can become affiliated members of NACOI. Any private business or professional association that subscribes to the aims and objectives of NACOI can be recognized as a corporate member.

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COMMUNITY SERVICES:

NACOI's activities include community and public education, networking with politicians and government officials at the national, provincial and municipal levels, and working with other organizations sharing common concerns. NACOI has planned, organized and conducted several workshops, conferences, seminars, etc., and submitted briefs to various committees and commissions articulating the issues of concern to Canadians of origins in India.

NACOI's program focus is in the following areas:

Race Relations

NACOI organizes education programs for Canadians of origins in India and other visible minorities to assist them in overcoming the barriers they face in the process of integration into Canadian society. NACOI networks with other organizations who share these common concerns.

Women and Youth

NACOI has worked in the area of family issues, in particular issues related to women and youth by conducting workshops, developing resources and lobbying on the issues of access.

Immigration

NACOI has and continues to participate actively in dialogue and action on issues of immigration and integration.

Public Education

NACOI publishes a newsletter three times a year that is distributed to its membership, government and non-government agencies and organizations, and to other interested individuals. NACOI also acts as a resource providing information and advice to the general public, decision makers in government departments, and other organizations on the perspective of its constituency.

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