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Immigrant, Refugee, and Visible Minority Women of Saskatchewan (IRVM)

In the mid-1980s, immigrant women around the country started forming organizations to do advocacy work in their respective provinces. In Saskatchewan, the provincial organization, IRVM (formerly Immigrant Women of Saskatchewan), has played a leading role in organizing educational and outreach programs to address needs and concerns of immigrant, refugee and visible minority women. As the name change suggests, the organization has evolved to reflect the changing concerns of the membership. The organization has also engaged in several research projects; its most recent publication has been Women and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Moving Research to Policy. Local chapters have been present in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, and Yorkton. While the Yorkton and Prince Albert chapters are no longer active, the Regina and Saskatoon chapters continue outreach, educational, and research work; the Moose Jaw chapter continues to provide work to newcomers. In Swift Current, immigrant and refugee women have set up an informal network to provide support to one another. Local IRVM chapters, like other non-profit women’s organizations, have faced debilitating budget constraints, and the struggle to survive has led to tremendous staff turnover and irregular work hours. The fact that the organizations continue to maintain a presence is a reflection of their belief in the value of their work.

Judy White

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Further Reading

Immigrant, Refugee, and Visible Minority Women of Saskatchewan. 2003. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Moving Research to Policy. Winnipeg: Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence.
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