Artifacts of childhood: 700 years of children’s books – a Newberry Library exhibit

The Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois, USA, will be mounting an exhibit from Sept 27/08 to Jan 17/09 on Artifacts of Childhood: 700 Years of Children’s Books.

The exhibit will showcase over sixty books from the Middle Ages to the present day, featuring books from Europe, the Americas and Asia in many languages (a small faction of the 10,000 + collection of children’s books in all the world’s languages). In conjunction with the exhibit, there will be a series of lectures and other events. I shall post when information becomes available.

Latest on proposed changes to IRPA

The Standing Committee on Finance received a report from the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration entitled “Consideration of the subject matter of Part 6 of Bill C-50”.

Dated May 15th, the report recommends that the Citizenship and Immigration Committee undertake a study on the immigration system in order to address identified challenges.  The report reminds the Committee that their previous report Reclaiming Citizenship for Canadians informed Bill C-37, the ‘Lost Canadians’ bill.

The Conservative Party of Canada issued a dissenting opinion, arguing that the proposed changes to immigration legislation will in fact meet the backlog issues and that refutes much of the charges made by opponents to the proposed changes. An excerpt: 

“The current system is especially problematic, since in a few short years, all of our net labour growth will come from immigration. These systemic flaws undermine Canada’s ability to meet our immigration goals, particularly the goal of providing for Canada’s economic and family reunification needs. Urgent action is required. That is why changes to the IRPA were included in Budget 2008. Advantage Canada (2006) identified that Canada needs the most flexible workforce in the world – an issue that is critical to Canada’s future”.

Neither the dissenting opinion or the report specifically address children. Should the committee agree to undertake a study, let’s ensure that the study identifies issues and develops solutions that will work for immigrant children and their families.

SSHRC Strategic knowledge clusters – 11 new research initiatives

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) announced funding of 2.1 Million for 11 new Strategic Knowledge Clusters last week. Funding continues for the next 7 years.

In announcing the funding, the Minister of Industry, the Honourable Jim Prentice said “Canadian scholars and researchers will continue to produce world-class results so that we, as a country, may use this knowledge to enhance the quality of life of all Canadians“.

Chad Gaffiled, President of SSHRC said “These talented researchers will help advance understanding of complex issues in our society and inform decision makers in government, business and communities across Canada”.

Of the 11 newly funded initiatives, these 3, of interest and relevance to the Early Childhood Working Group and Canadian Coalition for Immigrant Children and Youth:

Canadian Forum for Public Research on Heritage, with Luc Noppen, Université du Québec à Montréal

Canadian Refugee Research Network, with Susan McGrath, York University

Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Childhood Development, with Michel Bovin, Université Laval.

The three are clearly linked and we look forward to the work undertaken and especially to the linkages that must be made among them, if the knowledge clusters are to, as Gaffield says “advance understanding of complex issues” and as the Minister of Industry emphasized “to enhance the quality of life of all“.

Gender, families and Latino immigration in Oregon, USA

Latino children make up about 15 % of the population under age 18 in the US state of Oregon. Latino births account for 20 % of the total births in Oregon.

A conference sponsored by the University of Oregon, on Gender, Families and Latino Immigration in Oregon will be held this upcoming week, May 22-23/08 in Eugene, Oregon. The conference is free and open to the public.

The conference features panels on a range of topics of interest to the Early Childhood Working Group, including: education, changes in family dynamics, immigrant indigenous women’s organizing. It also will include a community forum on Myths and Facts about Immigration: Gender, Youth, and Family Perspectives, a plenary session on Building Alliances for Immigrant Rights, and a closing keynote panel on Lessons on Gender and Families Issues among Latino Immigrant Populations in California and Oregon.

Multicultural to intercultural: Libraries connecting communities

The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) is holding a satellite meeting Aug 5-7/08 in Vancouver BC (prior to their 2008 Conference and Congress, Libraries Without Borders, in Quebec City).

The satellite meeting theme is Multicultural to Intercultural: Libraries Connecting Communities. See the site also for a call for papers.

Visit the IFLANET site to learn about how libraries and other institutions come together to meet the needs of culturally diverse populations. Here you’ll find strategic plans, work schedules, publications and more.

Graduate program in refugee and migration studies at York University

York University offers a graduate diploma program in Refugee and Migration Studies. Coordinated by the Refugee Studies program at York, the program allows students in a graduate program at York to specialize in migration and refugee studies. The program encourages students to consider how they can best serve both the Canadian and international communities in this area of public and humanitarian policy.

The Centre for Refugee Studies at York University is “engaged in research on refugee issues which inform public discussion, policy development and practice for international, governmental, advocacy and service organizations. The Centre also supports teaching in refugee and migration studies”.

For more information, see the Centre for Refugee Studies page at York U.

Immigration: Quelling the conflict between French and English Canada?

At the annual Canadian Association of Principal’s Conference, currently being held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, keynote speaker Gwynne Dyer said:

“…federal immigration reforms since the 1960s have changed demographics in a way that is largely responsible for quelling the conflict between French and English Canada. It has essentially…saved this country as a political entity. These policies have resulted in classrooms in large urban centres with children with diverse culturally backgrounds, creating challenges for Canadian educators….It’s been a journey that’s occurred with remarkably little conflict.  This is an extraordinary accomplishment, which you might want to bare in mind next time you deal with the downside”.

What do you say, educators? Is Gwynne right? perspective on the proposed change to immigration policy has posted an editorial on the proposed changes to the federal immigration policy. See the link for a number of other related articles – and – here is a round-up of links from this blog on the proposed changes to the IRPA:

March 13/08 – Economic class favoured over family reunification?

March 15/08 – Amendments to IRPA

March 17/08 – Canadian Council on Refugees on proposed changes to IRPA

March 24/08 – Proposed changes to immigration legislation

April 4/08  –  Changes to IRPA

April 8/08 – DM press conference on changes to IRPA

April 16/08 – CIC on proposed changes to IRPA

April 16/08 – CCRs 10 areas of concern about proposed changes to IRPA.

Multilingual parent resource sheets from, (see blog entry here March 19/08), has published a series of parent resource sheets in ten languages, including: Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Hindi, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil and Vietnamese.

Topics include: Building active habits, Family routines, Parents at play, Promoting positive behaviour, and Supporting children’s play. is a collaboration of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs and settlement agencies across Canada.

OECD Thematic review of migrant education – an update

As posted Jan 22 on this blog, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development – the OECD – is undertaking a thematic review of migrant education.

The question being asked is ‘What policies will promote successful education outcomes for first and second generation migrants’? 

The objectives and outputs are based on criteria for the assessment of the successful integration into the education system, including pre-school education, which is threefold:

1. Access: Do immigrant students/children have the same opportunities to access quality education as their native-born peers?

2. Participation: Do immigrant students/children participate (enrol and complete) as much as their native-born peers?

3. Learning outcomes: Do immigrant students/children perform as well as their native-born peers?

An interesting project. Here’s the site.