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Media Backgrounder

IWS is a non-profit, grassroots, feminist and gender equality seeking women’s organization dedicated to empowering newcomer, immigrant and refugee women and supporting their entire families to flourish in all aspects of Canadian society.

We do this by providing free programs, services and support that will help newcomer, immigrant, and refugee women and their families develop important language, education, employment and life skills so they can succeed in their new home.

Our Vision

A community where newcomer, immigrant and refugee women and their families are empowered to reach their full potential.

Our Story
  • IWS was formed in 1985 by a group of newcomer women who wanted to help other newcomer, immigrant, and refugee women settle and adjust more effectively to their new life in Saskatoon.
  • Guided by feminist, anti-racism and anti-oppressive principles, the founding members dedicated the early years of the organization toward giving voices to the multiple barriers, personal and systemic, experienced by newcomer women during their settlement journey.
  • In 2005 the IWS mandate was expanded to provide programs and services to support the entire family through their settlement journey.
  • We are funded by the Government of Canada mainly through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training. Additional funding is provided through the City of Saskatoon, corporate sponsors and acquired through fundraising.
  • Our vast network of national and regional partners helps us with knowledge exchange, sharing of resources and best practices, data and research collaboration, and service coordination so we can continuously improve our services and provide the Saskatchewan newcomers with the support they need. Also, working with national and regional partners allows for a collective voice in advocating for supportive policies at the national level.
  • We work with our partners in the community to provide a multitude of resources and support services to newcomers who have chosen to Saskatchewan home. Our community partners help us by sharing their resources and services, collaborating with us on the provision of newcomer settlement services, volunteering at IWS, donating to IWS, participating in events for the advocacy of the newcomer and immigrant causes, sharing expertise with us, and more.
  • Our corporate supporters empower IWS with in-kind donations and support services that aid us in the delivery of our programs. Without our corporate supporters, we would not be able to secure employment and internship opportunities for newcomers attending our programs. Our partners help newcomers obtain valuable Canadian work experience which helps them successfully enter the job market and integrate in Saskatchewan
Who We Serve
  • Canadian Citizens
  • Permanent Residents
  • Convention Refugees
  • Persons residing in Canada on Work Permit
  • International Students
  • Refugee Claimants
  • Persons residing in Canada
  • temporarily on Visitor Visas
Our Services
  • W2SK: Newcomer Orientation Program
  • Needs and Assets Assessment and Referral Services (NAARS)
  • Language Assessment and Referral Centre (LARC)
  • CLBPT Language Assessments
  • Provincial Settlement services
  • We also offer almost 20 programs and courses designed just for women, youth, seniors, and the whole family.
  • All IWS programs and services are free of charge to newcomer, immigrant, and refugee women and their families living in Saskatchewan.