HCI Edmonton Event

A new approach to shared space in downtown Edmonton is bringing together Muslim, Indigenous, and Christian communities to serve those in need

Human Concern International (HCI) is thrilled to be a part of a unique partnership event with the Muslim Association of Canada’s (MAC) at McDougall, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, and McDougall United Church, which took place on Sunday, March 5th, 2023. This event saw volunteers come together from diverse cultural and faith communities to serve those who are unhoused and facing difficult times in Edmonton.

HCI Committed to Diversity and Inclusivity

As a trusted charity within the Muslim community in Canada, HCI is committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity, recognizing that we are stronger when we unite and work as one. We are honored to have participated in this event, as we continue to work towards our vision of a world without poverty and injustice we are guided by our firm belief that charity starts at home.

The importance of collaboration between organizations of goodwill, including those of different faiths, cannot be overstated. As the oldest protestant church in Edmonton with a historical relationship with Indigenous people, McDougall United Church recognizes the significance of finding ways to participate in activities that can foster reconciliation. Larry Derkach, Chair of the McDougall Church Council, spoke about the importance of this partnership, saying, “Our church’s history and our belief in collaboration make the opportunity to work together with the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), Human Concern International (HCI), and Bent Arrow especially valuable for McDougall. As we are located in the heart of downtown, the large number of unhoused people – many of whom are Indigenous – are indeed part of the community of this church.”

Collaboration and Commitment

It is heartening to see organizations such as the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) at McDougall and Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society prioritize the establishment and nourishment of inter-agency relationships and cooperation to foster a more equitable and empathetic society. Vernon Boldick with Bent Arrow said, “We walk hand in hand with agencies of all faiths committed to improving the lives of the most vulnerable Edmontonians.” We believe that this kind of collaboration and commitment to community is critical to addressing the issue of homelessness and helping those who are most vulnerable in our society.

Impacting the Wellbeing of Our Neighbors

Current statistics from Edmonton’s Homeward Trust suggest that there are about 2,800 homeless people in Edmonton. With temperatures fluctuating and shelters at capacity, a hot meal and wellness kit can provide some temporary relief for those who are unhoused. Yasin Cetin, Director of Outreach and Engagement with MAC at McDougall, said, “We envision breathing new life into this space, and making it a place that serves the needs of our community- spiritually, socially and in ways that impact the wellbeing of our neighbors.”


We at Human Concern International are proud to have been a part of this partnership and commend the efforts of all those involved in this event. It is through collaboration, commitment, and empathy that we can work towards a more equitable and just society, one that supports those who are most vulnerable in our communities.

Related posts