The Canadian Coalition for Immigrant Children and Youth: The Ottawa meeting & report

Early Childhood Working Group members will recall that a meeting was held in Ottawa at the end of November to do some visioning and priority setting for the Canadian Coalition for Immigrant Children and Youth (CCICY). The meeting was facilitated by Joan Riggs, Catalyst Research and Communications.

The report on that meeting, written by Riggs, is posted here: ccicyreportnov28.htm.

The future of ECE in Ontario: Focus on the changing landscape

The Association of Early Childhood Educators, Ontario (AECEO) is hosting their 58th annual conference May 9-10/08 at Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Of interest to the Early Childhood Working Group, these workshops, panels and presentations:

Equity and Access in ECE: Making the shift toward a critical perspective in early childhood studies and challenging the discourse of anti-bias education, with Zeenat Janmohamed, Atkinson Centre for Society & Child Development

The Young English Language Learner, with Roma Chumak-Horbatsch, Ryerson University School of Early Childhood Education &

Visit the AECEO website to download the preliminary conference brochure and for more details.

Immigrant children in Canadian history

As a grad student on placement at the Toronto-based Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration Studies (CERIS) in 2005, I compiled a bibliography of holdings in the CERIS library about immigrant and refugee children and youth.

I’d like to start compiling an annotated bibliography of books and other resources about the history of immigration and immigration policy in Canada that either focus on or include sections on/about children.

Kelly, N. & Trebilcock, M. (1998). The making of the mosaic: A history of Canadian immigration policy is one.

Kenneth Bagnell’s The Little immigrants: the orphans who came to Canada (1980 & 2001) is a classic. It tells the story of the home children.

Another account of the home children is Marj Kohli‘s 2003 The Golden bridge: Young immigrants to Canada (1833-1939).

I am currently reading Valerie Knowles’ updated 1992 Strangers at our gates: Canadian immigration and immigration policy, 1540-2006, which has a short section on the home children and guest children.

Please share any books with/out annotations – or other resources – that address or include children in the history of immigration and immigration policy in Canada. I’ll maintain a page for this for us in our “pages” section, see right-hand side of the blog.

Call for nominations: BC multicultural award

The Nesika Award is a new initiative of the British Columbia government. “Nesika” is Chinook, meaning “we, us, our”. BC AG and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism Wally Oppal says the term reflects BCs “reputation as a world leader in inclusion” (Source:, Feb 11/08 ).

The Nesika Awards recognize an individual, organization and a community “for their work in helping two or more cultures to live, learn or work together. Award recipients will be honoured for developing respect and understanding between different cultures. Their initiative sets an example for others, demonstrating the many benefits received when we live and work with each other“.

See the Ministry’s website for details, including the news release, nomination forms, fact/info sheets on the advisory council and etc.

Someone nominate an individual/group who works on behalf of immigrant children/families! Award winners receive a $500 donation to a charity/group of their choice.

Nominations close September 15/08.

NAME Conference: Beyond celebrating diversity

US-based National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) will hold its 18th annual conference Nov 12-16/08 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference theme is Beyond Celebrating Diversity: reActivating the Equity and Social Justice Roots of Multicultural Education.

Conference strands:

  • Critical discourses in multicultural education, social justice and equity
  • The roots of multicultural education
  • Empowering students of color, English language learners, and low-income students
  • Community-based initiatives for educational equity and social justice
  • Multicultural education in a digital age.

See the NAME site for details, including the call for proposals, rubric proposal and information on last year’s conference.

Proposals due March 31, 2008.

Immigration wait times – some dependent children kept waiting

A Feb 10/08 Canadian Press story reports on liberal MP Jim Karygiannis‘ accusation that wait times to enter Canada for some immigrants are longer than for other immigrants, quoting the story, “depending on where they’re from and what immigration category they fall under”.

“A dependent child whose file is dealt with by Canadian officials in Beijing, Seoul or Ankara, for instance, has an 80 per cent chance of being processed within four months. But a child’s average wait time is 13 months in Singapore, 19 months in Guatemala and 34 months in Cairo”.

See the MPs site for more information.

Federal pre-Budget online consultation

The Federal government has launched an online consultation, seeking feedback for their upcoming budget. Questions are asked in five categories: 1. How Canada should address an increasingly aging population. 2. Economic policy. 3. Resources and re-directing resources. 4. How to keep Canada competitive internationally, and 5. “What tax and other measures should the Government take to ensure that Canada keeps its best and brightest, attracts highly skilled immigrants, encourages as many people as possible to enter the workforce, and rewards Canadians for their hard work, while respecting the Government’s fiscal goals?”.

Here’s our chance to respond and raise issues! Please visit and participate in the online pre-budget consultation.

Deadline is February 11, 2008.

CPRN’s leadership summit – will immigrant children’s issues be raised?

On Wed. Feb 13th, the Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) will bring together “more than 100 community, business, and youth leaders” to launch their public policy research agenda as part of the CPRN Leadership Summit. (Source: CPRN E-Network bulletin, Feb 7/08).

Five challenges, identified through a consultation process lead by CPRN across Canada, will be addressed at the Summit, including: Citizenship, Diversity, Productivity, Health and our aging population and the Environment.

From the Feb 7th CPRN e-Network bulletin:

“… we want advice about what the public policy needs are to shape Canada’s response to these challenges so that we can shape our research to meet these needs” says Manson Singer. CPRN is committed to working with Canadians to find innovative policy approaches that will strengthen Canada and contribute to making it the fair, prosperous and inclusive society we seek.

“Canada has had great success as a nation and is a leader in the developed world. But, we have much to do to ensure that all our citizens share our great potential and future success. CPRN believes that citizens can make an important contribution to shaping Canada’s future through Connecting with Canadians research and dialogue”.

Of the more than 100 participants, surely issues of importance/relevance to immigrant children and families will be raised. Watch the CPRN for updates/reports coming out of the summit, promised in next week’s E-Network bulletin.

Anti-bias tool

A few years ago, I looked at the widely known and used Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) and developed an anti-bias tool that would use the same format as the ECERS does with the “Notes for Clarification” but with a focus on diversity issues.

See antibias.htm

Please feel free to use and comment on the tool. I’d be interested in learning how this tool is or is not useful/applicable today as well as any other comments.