Discovering the Contributions of the Somali Community in Edmonton Society – 2023

by | Mar 12, 2023 | News

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Edmonton, Alberta, is a city known for its diverse community, and the Somali community is an active and thriving part of it. In a recent interview with Abdirhaman, a member of the Somali community who has lived in Edmonton for many years, we learned about the Somali community’s significant contributions to the city and Canada as a whole.

This blog post is based on the information that Abdirhaman shared during the interview as part of CT Somali’s video program. Abdirhaman talked about how the Somali community is involved in Edmonton, including their integration into society through non-profit organizations and government offices. He also discussed the many businesses that Somali community members own, such as grocery stores, clothing shops, and cosmetic stores, and their participation in the transportation industry.

Not only are members of the Somali community contributing to Edmonton’s economy, but they are also involved in politics. Many members are part of political parties; some have run for office and won, while others are willing to run federally, provincially, and in the municipality for upcoming elections. The contributions of the Somali community in Edmonton are vast and diverse, and it is clear that they are a valuable part of the city’s fabric.

Brief overview of the Somali community in Edmonton

Since the early 1990s, Somalis have been immigrating to Canada as refugees and settling in various cities nationwide. Among these cities, Edmonton, Alberta, has emerged as a significant hub for the Somali community in Canada. According to the 2021 Statistics Canada census, Edmonton was home to more than 10,560 Somalis, making it one of the largest Somali communities in the country. Over the years, the Somali community in Edmonton has become an integral part of the city’s diverse fabric, making significant contributions to the local economy, government, and society. In this blog post, we will explore the contributions of the Somali community in Edmonton and highlight their stories of integration and success.

Importance of their contributions to the city

The Somali community in Edmonton is a vibrant and active part of the city. As Abdirhaman pointed out in his interview, the contributions of the Somali community are significant and far-reaching. One of the key ways in which the community contributes to the city is through their businesses.

Somali-owned businesses can be found throughout Edmonton, offering the community a range of products and services. In the food industry, notable restaurants include Banaadiri Xamereey Somali Restaurant, Fartun Cultural Cuisine, VILLAGE, and Mareeg Cafe & Restaurant. These restaurants provide delicious Somali cuisine and serve as community gathering places.

In addition to restaurants, there are also several Somali-owned stores in Edmonton. Fahmo Fashion Store offers traditional Somali clothing, while Capital Convenience And Halal Meats provides halal meats and other grocery items. These stores are crucial in supplying essential goods and services to the community.

In addition to their businesses, members of the Somali community are also involved in politics at all levels of government. They have become active participants in local politics, running for office and making their voices heard in city council meetings. Haruun Jibril Ali is a 17-year-old political science student at the University of Victoria and was the youngest candidate in the last election. Even though he didn’t win, it demonstrates the power of his community.

The Somali community’s contributions to Edmonton go beyond just their businesses and political involvement. They are also involved in community service, volunteering their time and resources to local non-profit organizations. Many members of the community work for these organizations, helping to provide much-needed services to those in need. Overall, the Somali community in Edmonton is a valuable and important part of the city’s diverse fabric.

The Contributions of the Somali Community to Non-Profit Organizations in the City

The Somali community has made significant contributions to non-profit organizations in Edmonton. One of the most notable organizations is the Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton (SCCSE), founded by Hassan Ali, a Somali Canadian immigrant with over 20 years of experience in the Canadian education system and settlement process. SCCSE aims to address the needs of Somali Canadian parents about their children’s education and the needs of new Somali Canadian immigrants.

Another organization that has been making a difference in the Somali community is the Somali Canadian Education & Rural Development Organisation (SCERDO). SCERDO’s mission is to promote the educational and developmental needs of primarily Somalis in Alberta, across Canada and internationally. It advocates for economic development, community enhancement, environmental protection, and the effective use of available resources. SCERDO also aims to bridge the gap between the community, government, and stakeholders to find ways to address the various issues impacting community members.

The Alberta Immigrant Women & Children Centre is another non-profit organization to the Somali community that has contributed. The organization’s main objective is empowering immigrant women and families by providing relevant and inclusive frontline services that meet their needs. The organization collaborates toward meeting its client’s needs and always acts with integrity, transparency, and accountability. With the help of the Somali community’s contributions, these non-profit organizations are significantly impacting the lives of many in Edmonton.

The presence of Somali community members in the transportation industry

During our interview with Abdirahman, he talked about the significant presence of Somali community members in the transportation industry in Edmonton. He highlighted that many Somali community members own and operate taxis, trucks, and other transportation services. This contribution helps support the local economy and provides essential transportation services to the community.

Abdirahman also discussed how the Somali community had established a strong network within the transportation industry, with many Somali-owned businesses working together to provide efficient and reliable transportation services. This network has helped the community to establish a strong presence in the industry and to build a positive reputation for its services.

The transportation industry has proven to be an essential avenue for economic advancement and entrepreneurship for the Somali community in Edmonton. Through their hard work and dedication, Somali community members have established successful businesses and provided essential services to the community. Their contributions to this industry have not only helped to improve the lives of community members but have also enriched the overall fabric of the city.


Watch the Comprehensive Interview with MPP Faisal Hassan