“I pointed out to them the site of their future metropolis, and gained for persecuted principles a sanctuary, for myself and followers, a home.” – Captain Michael Grass
Captain Grass spoke of refugees that fled their war-torn homes and journeyed to a new land. These refugees, their numbers greatly diminished since leaving home, arrived on Kingston’s shores, and quickly joined in the making of Canada – all the way back in 1784.
What was true over two hundred years ago, as the Loyalist refugees made their way down the St. Lawrence, is true today, as newcomers make their way up the 401 – Kingston becomes a home to those who settle on its shores. The distances travelled have certainly increased over the years, while the globe seems to have gotten much smaller, but all the while Kingston has grown and changed with the settlement of each generation of immigrants. As we look to our future – metropolis or not – we must consider how Kingston will remain a welcoming home to immigrants. Our future depends on it.
Making Kingston home to the next generation of newcomers is the business of the Kingston Immigration Partnership. Built around the simple idea that making immigrants a part of our community is everybody’s responsibility, this Partnership is connecting and coordinating efforts – both big and small – to support the settlement of newcomers. To do so, the KIP brought together dozens of local organizations, businesses, and institutions – as well as hundreds of community members – to craft a plan that will guide the community’s efforts in attracting, welcoming, and including new immigrants to Kingston. As you read through this plan, remember that it is a community plan, and think about what your role – as friend, neighbour, colleague, manager, teacher, healer, service provider, etc. – will be in this effort.