First Light aims to connect Inuit community with new program in St. John's

There's a new program being introduced at the First Light St. John's Friendship Centre aimed at bringing the city's Inuit community closer together.

Ashley Dicker, the organization's program facilitator, moved from Nain two years ago after living there for over 30. She currently resides in Mount Pearl but noticed something was missing.

"I noticed right away that I was very homesick for the people. For other Inuit," she said.

"A lot of things I miss the most are things that I didn't realize that I'd miss at all."

First Light is a non-profit organization that serves the St. John's Indigenous community by providing programs, services and celebrations of Indigenous cultures.

Dicker said she knows for a fact that there are hundreds of Inuit in St. John's and surrounding areas, for work, school, hospital visits and more who decide to settle down in the area.

Her idea was to start the Inuit Cultural Program, a weekly meet-up for Inuit and non-Inuit at First Light's community room on Water Street every Thursday, so that people can come together, share stories and learn about a different culture.

"We want people to mingle. We want different cultures. We want Inuit to meet other people too," Dicker said.

"Our culture is beautiful, rich and amazing and it makes us proud to show it off to other people who don't know much about it."

The program will fit the mantra of First Light, meaning it doesn't focus solely on a particular group in the interest of fairness, inclusion and being open to anyone.

Each meeting will run 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and include Inuktitut songs, Inuit drum dancing and throat singing.

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