For some Aboriginals making the transition from living on a reserve to an urban setting can be a difficult one.

One Calgary initiative is trying to make the transition easier through a community partnership.

The Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative (CUAI) makes partnerships with different organizations to connect Aboriginals to the urban world around them.

“We partner with communities, stakeholders, businesses and corporations to see how they can collaborate and work together, as well as address the issues that need to be addressed for urban Aboriginal Calgarians,” said Christy Morgan, the senior community liaison for CUAI.

According to Morgan, a lot of Aboriginals struggle when they first come to the city.

Morgan said CUAI gives Aboriginals the chances to connect with jobs and to connect with people in the city.

“We provide good opportunities for people that are coming into the city, to come in and engage with people that are here and give them a chance to engage with employment providers,” said Morgan.

Not only does it allow for Aboriginals to connect with potential employers, but also to make connections that allow Aboriginals to learn about the city, such as housing, how expensive it is to live in the city and how to interact.

An example of other services CUAI provide Aboriginals is a recently held forum that educated Aboriginals how to deal with the H1N1 virus and how to handle a pandemic.

Amber Schilling is someone that has benefited from CUAI on several different levels.

“It has allowed me to connect with the community on both a professional level and social level, it is the opportunity to be part of something that is doing wonderful things,” said Schilling.

“It’s helped to provide me with a foundation to stay connected to the community and the events that are going on around it,” said Schilling.

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