Our history, Vision, and Values
The Services d’Établissement pour les Nouveaux Arrivants Francophones (SENAF) exists since October of 2003. It is the result of an initiative by two francophone organizations, the Francophone Multicultural Association of Alberta (AMFA), and the French-Canadian Association of Alberta (ACFA), Edmonton branch. Challenged by the constant arrival of many new francophones in the Edmonton area, often in quite difficult circumstances, and inspired by the need for the francophone community to open itself to immigration, these two organizations established the “Welcoming and Settlement Service.”
From its very beginning this service has welcomed many newcomers, contributing to its rapid development and testifying to the importance of this new francophone service within the heart of the community. Various partnerships were also established with both francophone and anglophone organizations. Various activities of community rapprochement were organized as well as consultations. These all gave the service considerable credibility both within and outside the community.
The rapid development of this service as well as the specificity of its mission within the heart of the community are the two factors which led the founders and those responsible for the project to seek its incorporation in 2005. Thus the welcoming and settlement service was transformed into the “Centre for welcoming and establishment for the Edmonton region.”
In order to respond efficiently to the needs and expectations of the francophone communities in Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie, the annual general meeting of 2010 slightly modified the name of the organization in order to emphasize its field, which had become much larger than at its beginning. From 2010 to 2018 the organization was operating as the Centre d’accueil et d’établissement du Nord de l’Alberta.
The SENAF has a specific mandate: “To welcome francophone newcomers and to facilitate their settlement and their social, professional, and economic integration in the Edmonton region and in Northern Alberta.” From this perspective we provide tools for immigrants and migrant francophone newcomers for them to become an integral part of the multicultural francophone community and the greater Alberta community. Furthermore we stimulate the local francophone communities so that they will evolve towards a greater openness to diversity.
In offering its services to newcomers, the SENAF privileges the welfare of the individual, their autonomy, their social development and communal integration, and their openness to diversity and to intercultural dialogue.
For greater efficiency our services are offered with respect for the individual, confidentially but with an open spirit. Thus there is no emphasis on the individual’s religion, race, country of origin, gender, or sexual orientation.
The Services d’Établissement pour les Nouveaux Arrivants Francophones (SENAF) is one of the most important partners of the North Central School Board. The projects in common with the schools, and partnerships for the middle and long term, have been numerous and worthwhile. Among these are the publication of a guide for parents of immigrant children, the orientation week for newcomers (SONA), and the three establishment workers in the schools (TEE), whose job is to deal with the integration needs of immigrant students and their families within the school and the community. The North Central School Board is proud to count the SENAF among its most important partners and collaborators.