Several people from around the world have come to call Lloydminster home and are adding value to the community even as they seek new opportunities in Canada. They were able to share with grade eight students from Bishop Lloyd School who were tasked with doing a project on the experiences of newcomers.
One of them is Hineaupounamu Nuku, also known as Missy. She is the point guard on the Lakeland Rustlers Women’s basketball team that has gone 11-0 this season.
She is from the Indigenous tribe called the Maori in New Zealand and has been in Canada for about four months. Until about five years ago she did not speak any English, but has learned the language via YouTube and social media.
Nuku shared that all her schooling and worldview before coming to Canada was in Maori.
“Maori people are all over New Zealand. We have different tribes or iwi. All speaking similar languages, maybe some tribes might say things differently.”
Nuku is presently a university transfer student at college and aims to pursue business marketing.
Another one of the speakers was Ercelan Yazdani who has lived in eight countries. He is originally from Pakistan and moved to Vermilion in October 2022 to work in marketing at Lakeland College.
At first, he was in Calgary looking for work, but having lived in large cities like Cairo with some 30 million people (Canada has about 38 million people), he felt he wanted to live in a smaller community with his family.
“I enjoy the peace and quiet. I enjoy the space I have because I am no longer living in a congested city. I love the accessibility of the facilities. It doesn’t matter if you are living in a big place or a small place, you have the same opportunities as everybody else,” said Yazdani.
He encouraged the students to make time for travel and experience world cultures.
Grade eight student Ryden Callbeck said the presentations answered several questions about what it’s like coming to Canada.
“A lot of people wanted to know about the cold and how people adjust to different temperatures. That was interesting to hear.”
Ahead of the school project, the students were able to meet with the different newcomers in smaller groups and gain some one-on-one insight.
The final report is due before school closes for Christmas.