Displaced Tibetans begin a new life in Calgary
Ryan White, CTV Calgary
Published Thursday, March 27, 2014 11:54AM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 27, 2014 6:30PM MDT
What began as a request from the Dalai Lama to Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a Canadian trip in 2007, has resulted in the Calgary arrival of 25 Tibetans who had been displaced from their homeland and left to reside in Arunachal Pradesh, India.
Project Tibet Society: The Tibetan Resettlement Project in Canada, offers special visas for the displaced Tibetans but will not allow the immigrants access to government funding.
A total of 1,000 Tibetans are expected to arrive in Canada over a two and a half year period, 400 of which are destined for Alberta. Many of the displaced were born in India and have never set foot in their homeland.
“They're incredibly hard working people, and they're able to demonstrate that,” said Nima Dorgee, Project Tibet Society’s president. “It’s a chance for a new beginning in a new country, and we're just there to provide that leg up.”
The 25 recent transplants are the second group to arrive in Calgary and they are scheduled to meet with potential employers situated in the mountain parks.
The first group of displaced Tibetans is adjusting well to life in the Stampede city. The nine members have all found employment, including two people who are working in the kitchen at the Mercato location in Wentworth.
Mercato’s chef says the Tibetans are adapting well and, while their English continues to improve, they have embraced unspoken communication in the restaurant’s kitchen.