Oct 13-19 is Citizenship Week

Citizenship Week is held the 3rd week of October every year. Several activities and resources on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website here. Some interesting facts:

·      Canada became the first Commonwealth country to gain its own citizenship act in 1947

·      Before 1947, Canadians were considered British Subjects

·      Prime Minister at the time, William Lyon Mackenzie King became the first Canadian citizen

·      Each year approximately 160,000 people become Canadian citizens

·      The 2001 census says about 84% of eligible immigrants are Canadian citizens.

 Let’s take the ocassion to review the Oath of Citizenship: 

I swear/affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

immigrantchildren.ca invites you to revisit the FInal Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, Children: The Silenced Citizens. Effective Implementation of Canada’s International Obligations with respect to the Rights of Children.

Call for papers ~ 2nd generation research dialogues: Comparative perspectives on children of immigrants

Second Generation Research Dialogues: Comparative Perspectives on Children of Immigrants

Papers are being requested for a two-day workshop on children of immigrants, held at the Center for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin, Jan 16-17/09. Work on second generation immigrants will be discussed along two themes: the second generation and the city & the second generation in school. 

For more information, including the full call description, contact secondgeneration@metropolitanstudies.de or visit the Center for Metropolitan Studies website.

Call for papers: Racism, immigration & citizenship in contemporary plural societies

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

 Call for Papers

What is the relationship between racism, immigration and the privilege and practice of citizenship? How might our understanding of the interactions between these independent yet overlapping processes enable scholars and governments to better comprehend political and cultural pluralism in contemporary societies?

These are the motivating questions undergirding the first international conference of the project on Racism, Immigration and Citizenship (RIC). RIC is a cross-regional, comparative research effort that seeks to identify both general and anomalous forms of interaction between immigration and racism, and their combined effect upon how groups and states shape citizenship laws and practices.

Some of the common questions we seek to address across cases are:

1) How salient are somatic differences within racial classification and codification across societies?

2) What is the role of citizenship criteria and privilege in perpetuating or eliminating racial hierarchy?

3) Do societies with jus soli citizenship policies exhibit fewer indicators of racial inequality than those with jus sanguinis policies?

We seek paper proposals from scholars interested in these and other related questions.  Proposals should include the paper title, the author’s contact information, and an abstract of no more than 300 words. The deadline for proposal submission is December 15, 2008.  Send proposals to: ricconference@gmail.com.

Call for papers: Canadian women and multiculturalism

Canadian Women’s Studies/les cahiers de la femme (cws/cf). CWS/cf’s Fall/Winter 2008 issue is committed to an exploration of women and Canadian multiculturalism. Twenty years after the Canadian Multicultural Act was passed in 1988, this journal aims to provide a space to reflect critically on the issues related to Canadian multiculturalism for the last two decades in specifically feminist terms. …

While multiculturalism is often touted as a reason to celebrate Canadian identity, our approach is premised on the understanding that multiculturalism is in fact a contentious concept. As a policy, multiculturalism is embedded within gendered-racialized discourses of national identity, that variously urge tolerance or assimilation in response to deep anxieties about the loss of national identity.

Possible topics of interest to immigrantchildren.ca visitors:

  • immigration policy and patriarchalization of immigrant communities/families
  • 1st generation, 2nd generation, 1.5 generation experiences
  • Québec v. federal policies (interculturalism v. multiculturalism)
  • new policies and laws, Bill C-50
  • multiculturalism and education.

For more information, contact CWS/cf by telephone: 416-736-5356 or email: cwscf@yorku.ca

Deadline: September 30, 2008.

Metropolis Conversation series: Transnationalism and citizenship

The Metropolis Canada Conversation Series brings together researchers, civil servants, policy makers and others to “identify and explore public policy issues”.  At the December 11, 2007 Conversation, the topic was “Transnationalism and the Meaning of Citizenship in the 21st Century” and participants were asked to consider how transnationalism has impacted citizenship.

Transnationalism was defined this way:

Transnationalism refers to the ties linking people or institutions across the borders of nation-states. As the country having the second highest proportion of foreign-born residents in the world, and with an estimated 9% of its population residing overseas (Zhang, 2006).

We are pleased to see that issues related to immigrant/transnational children and families were part of this conversation. 

Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood annual conference

The Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood Annual Conference will be held Nov 13-15, 2008 in Melbourne, Australia. The conference theme is Honouring the Child, Honouring Equity 8: Young Citizen(s), New Citizenship(s). Key themes to be addressed include:

How are the possibilities for citizenship and for children being imagined and practiced in diverse contexts?

How can we transform relationships with children to create greater reciprocity and respect?

What are the local and global possibilities for enacting ethical citizenship processes and practices with young children?

What local and global and global linkages can inspire new possibilities for children’s citizenship(s)?

How do issues of diversity, difference and identity intersect with possibilities for honouring children, honouring equity?

Call for proposals closes July 16/08.

Call for expressions of interest: Ontario region of Canadian Heritage

The Ontario Region of Canadian Heritage is calling for expressions of interest that align with the recently released guidelines for funding from the Multicultural Program.

The Multicultural Program in Ontario will focus on initiatives that promote:
– Civic participation
– Cross-cultural understanding
– Institutional change.

Projects should align with the following priorities:
– Support the economic, social and cultural integration of new Canadians and cultural communities
– Facilitate programs such as mentorship, volunteerism, leadership and civi education among at-risk cultural youth
– Promote inter-cultural understanding and Canadian values (democracy, freedom, human rights and rule of law) through community initiatives with the objective of addressing issues of cultural social exclusion.

Funding preferences will be given to projects that involve multiple partners and that:
– Focus on action and measurable results leading to sustainable and lasting changes
– Involve the broad community (community-based, neighourhood-based and/or coalitions that are inclusive)
– Include other sources of funding, including cash and in-kind contributions.

Interested parties are invited to submit a pqa1 by Fri. May 23/08 to multi-on@pch.gc.ca or to the attention of Rocky Serkowney, Program Officer, Department of Canadian Heritage, Ontario Region, 150 John St., Suite 400, Toronto ON M5V 3T6.

Need more info? In the GTA, contact Rocky Serkowney at 416.952.2651. Outside of the GTA, contact Mimi Lo at 519.645.5190.

Promoting integration: Canada’s Multiculturalism Minister reports to Parliament

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) issued a news release April 3/08 commenting on Statistics Canada latest release on immigration in Canada, “Canada’s Ethnocultural Mosaic, 2006 Census“. Here’s some of what was in the release:

“A particularly interesting statistic from the 2006 Census shows the highest ever proportion of people reporting “Canadian” as ethnic origin. Almost 10.1 million people, one-third of the total population, reported Canadian as their ethnic ancestry. In addition, more than half of those reporting have multiple origins, better illustrating the living diversity in our country.

Our government is pleased to support initiatives that preserve and promote Canadian identity. For example, we are a partner in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, a powerful symbol of this country’s commitment to recognizing, promoting, and celebrating human rights. We are also supporting the Aga Khan’s Global Centre for Pluralism, which will serve as a cornerstone of good governance, the rule of law, and human development in the years ahead.

The Government of Canada is also fully cognizant of the need to have policies and programs that reflect our changing population. We have revised the Multiculturalism Program to focus on promoting integration, combatting radicalization, and encouraging collaborative projects between Canadians from diverse backgrounds. In fact, our annual report to Parliament underscored this new focus with its title, Promoting Integration“.

Promoting Integration includes several references to children. PDF version available here. HTML version.

Entre deux mers * Between two seas: Bridging children and communities, BC conference

The Early Childhood Educators of BC, the Canadian Child Care Federation, Ryerson University and the University of Victoria School of Child and Youth Care are sponsoring a conference in Richmond, BC May 29-31/08. Entre Deux Mers * Between Two Seas: Bridging Children and Communities includes many workshops, keynotes and sessions on topics related to immigrant and refugee children and families, including:

The Ethics of Enacting Children’s Right to Citizenship, with Kylie Smith, research fellow at the Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Refugee Preschool Children as Cultural Mediators, with Darcey M. Dachyshyn, University of Alberta.

Bridging Children and Communities through Integration of Diversity Training and Teacher Education, with Valerie Rhomberg,  .

Working with Newcomer Children and Families: The Research and the Realities, with Penny Coates, Office of Early Childhood Development, Learning, and Care, Daljit Gill-Badesha, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society and Gany Wawa Tut, a Southern Sudanese refugee and parent in Surrey.

Skilled Dialogue Strategies for Responding to Cultural Diversity, with Cathy Robb, Affiliated Services for Children and Youth.

Looking Back and Looking Forward: A Pan-Canadian Perspective on Diversity Theory and Practice in Early Childhood, with Gyda Chud, Vancouver Community College, Maryann Bird, formerly of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, and Debra Mayer, SpeciaLink.

Faces of Diversity: Supporting Children in Early Childhood Programs, with Becky Kelley, Bow Valley Community College.

Visit the ECEBC website for the conference brochure with registration details and more.

Childhood and migration conference, June 20-22, Philadelphia

A look at child migration through the lens of child rights. This US conference, sponsored by the Working Group on Childhood Migration features keynote speaker Jacqueline Bhabha, Harvard Law School and Executive Director of the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies.

The conference is raising some of the following questions:

How are children’s rights and the notion of children as citizens affected by transnationalism, or by movement of parents and children in and out of various national legal systems?What are the emotional consequences of family separation across migratory families, especially for children?

What are children’s perspectives on migration, how are they to be elicited, how well can they be elicited and represented, and what can these perspectives tell us about socialization and processes of maturation in transnational families?

How is migration shaping any given culture group’s notions of childhood, and how are cultural notions of childhood shaping migration?

How do media and policy makers represent children in migration and how do discourses about immigrant children and migrant parents affect their lives and experiences?What can we do to generate better quantitative and qualitative data on the effects that migration has on children? What are the numbers of migrant children and how are they best defined as children in their own rights?

For more information, visit the conference website.

Institute for Canadian Citizenship

“No country in the world welcomes more new citizens per capita than Canada”.

Upon leaving office as Governor-General, Adrienne Clarkson and her husband, John Ralston Saul established the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC). The ICC seeks to engage Canadians in conversations about citizenship.

The ICC wants to “bridge the gap between the newly-arrived immigrant and fully engaged citizen“. The goals of the ICC are to:

• enhance citizenship ceremonies

• increase awareness of, disseminate information concerning and promote successful
grassroots immigrant support programs

• provide forums for national non-partisan information exchanges and discussions on issues
related to immigration and citizenship

• analyze and disseminate existing research on issues related to citizenship.

A sweet little slip of a statement by a seven-year-old at a recent citizenship ceremony is all there is with regard to children. This child’s positive experience likely does not reflect the reality of many children who arrive on Canada’s shores and seek citizenship. The child-as-citizen is an important addition to any discussion of “citizenship” and needs to be more fully addressed in this initiative. To contact the ICC: icc@icc-icc.ca.

Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration writes to us!

On behalf of the Early Childhood Working Group, CCICY, letters of congratulation were sent to the newly named provincial ministers of Citizenship and Immigration (The Honourable Michael Chan) and Children and Youth Services (The Honourable Deb Matthews) on November 17, 2007.

The letters of congratulation were a way to introduce the cabinet ministers to us and to the CCICY. They were also an item on our workplan.

I am delighted to report that Minister Chan has responded. When Minister Matthews replies, I’ll post that letter too. Click the image below to read Minister Chan’s reply.

Link to letter from Minister Chan