Save the date: The University of Guelph’s immigrant children conference

Dr. Susan Chuang will once again host an On New Shores immigrant children conference from the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph in 2012.

The dates are October 25-26. The theme is happiness.

The 2010 conference was comprehensive, engaging and a great way to connect with researchers, policy makers and front-line workers passionate about understanding and empowering immigrant children, youth and families.

Save the date; c’mon, get happy!

Multi-faith calendar from AMSSA/ANCIE

Our friends at ANCIE/AMSSA (AMSSA Newcomer Children Information Exchange & Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC) are accepting orders for their 2012 multi-faith calendar. The calendar highlights the dates and provides descriptions of almost 400 observances and events from 14 world religions. Useful for planning purposes in early learning and child care environments and other community and social services.

To order your calendar, contact ANCIE/AMSSA here.

Canadian Council for Refugees fall consultation ~ call to youth participants

The Canadian Council for Refugees Fall Consultation (to be held Nov 24-26, 2011) this year is on the theme of independence. Youth are being encouraged to participate.

An orientation for youth will be held Wed, Nov 23rd, 7:30-9pm to meet other youth and find out about the CCR, the CCR Youth Network and the fall consultation.

Workshops include sessions focusing on:

Youth-led projects to debunk myths about newcomer youth

Canada’s violation of migrant youth rights

Digital storytelling


Migrant youth in care.

Have a look at the provisional agenda.

A Youth Caucus has been/is being established to discuss refugee and immigrant youth across Canada to answer questions such as: What can we do locally to address issues faced by refugee and immigrant youth? What issues should the CCR Youth Network focus on? On Sun Nov 27 the CCR Youth Network will meet to debrief and create action plans to move forward within communities.

Special registration rates are available for all youth delegates between 18 and 25 years old. Register by Nov 4th to get early registration rates and the first 30 Montreal area youth to register by Nov 4th get in free!

For more information, please see the CCR Spring Consultation. on arrival to its 500th post!

the-arrival is approaching its 500th entry! To celebrate, we’re having a contest. If you have ever commented to any post on since the launch in November 2007, you are eligible to win a copy of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival.

All you need to do is add a comment responding to the question What do you think best supports the settlement needs of young children (birth to age eight)?

Is it high quality, early learning and child care?

Is it ensuring that settlement services promote and support home languages?

Are social/recreational programs the best way to facilitate very young immigrant children’s integration into Canadian society?

Is it a family-oriented approach, involving all members of the child’s family in programming/activities? Like what?

Or, something else? Let us know!

Post your responses and comments to this blog entry and I will randomly draw a winner two days after the date of my 500th post, and send off a copy of Shaun Tan’s beautiful book (via Canada Post).

Contest opens now! Don’t delay; reply with your comments today.

Sept 26th is European Day of Languages

From the website:

“At the initiative of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September. Throughout Europe, 800 million Europeans represented in the Council of Europe‘s 47 member states are encouraged to learn more languages, at any age, in and out of school. Being convinced that linguistic diversity is a tool for achieving greater intercultural understanding and a key element in the rich cultural heritage of our continent, the Council of Europe promotes plurilingualism in the whole of Europe”.

Canadian Council for Refugees spring consultation

The Canadian Council for Refugees spring consultation will be held from May 26-28, 2011 in Hamilton, Ontario.

2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the Refugee Convention. The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is the internationally recognized legal document that defines who a refugee is, what their rights are and the legal obligations of states parties to the Convention.

This consultation includes (so far) at least two sessions directly related to children/youth/family issues, including:

The impact of lost or mistaken identity documents for youth

Lost identity documents (ID) or misinformation can have serious impacts on the lives of refugee and immigrant youth in Canada. This workshop will look at the problems associated with trying to replace lost or mistaken identity documents for newcomer youth, and some possible solutions and actions.

Convention compliance for refugee children

The purpose of this workshop will be to explore the extent of Canada’s compliance with the Refugee Convention in the  areas of refoulement, detention and family reunification. Participants will review CCR activities relative to each area and brainstorm about potential activities the CCR could undertake to promote greater compliance.

For more information, visit the Canadian Council for Refugees website.

Interculturalism is the new multiculturalism

Here’s one of my tweets made during the first (and only) English language debate between the four main party leaders on April 12, 2011:

ZS Worotynec @immigranttalk ZS Worotynec
Harper doesn’t understand difference between #multiculturalism and Quebec’s #interculturalism & Duceppe not good at explaining #exln41 #db8
12 Apr via web Favorite Reply Delete

Which is odd: Harper’s own Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, The Honourable Jason Kenney, has been advocating for interculturalism over multiculturalism his entire time in the portfolio, I think.

In any case, it got me thinking: Do I know enough about the difference between interculturalism and multiculturaism? So, I looked for and found some useful resources. visitors may already know about an upcoming conference exploring this issue: The International Symposium on Interculturalism/Symposium international sur l’interculturalisme ~ Dialogue Québéc Europe will be held May 25-27 in  Québéc. A description of the symposium:

Under the aegis of Gérard Bouchard, Professor at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and with the support of an array of Québec organizations, and the special contribution from experts of the Council of Europe, this Symposium will be an important forum for participants from Québec and Europe. The main purpose will be to report progress on interculturalism as a model for integration, and specifically for managing ethno-cultural diversity in democratic societies. The interculturalist model already has a long history in Québec, and it attracts growing interest in Europe. Thus, the Symposium will be a dialogue between Québec and Europe on the situation and future of interculturalism.

On the conference website, you’ll find the following – all PDFs:

  1. Bouchard, Gérard & Charles Taylor (2008). Building the Future. A Time for Reconciliation. Report. Commission de consultation sur les pratiques d’accommodement reliées aux différences culturelles.
  2. Council Of Europe (2008). White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue. “Living together as equals in dignity”.
  3. Council Of Europe & European Commission (2010). Intercultural cities – Towards a model for intercultural integration.

The steering paper, which provides rationale for the symposium discusses the term “interculturalism” and introduces a new term “integrationism” to avoid having integration (good) associated with assimilation (bad). Fascinating stuff! If anyone goes, please share thoughts, etc.

“In accordance with North American tradition, the concept of integration is used to refer to those mechanisms and processes (of articulation or insertion) through which social bonds are created, including their symbolic and functional foundations. Such mechanisms and processes are of concern to all citizens (whether new or old), and they operate at various levels (individual, community, institutional and State) and on many dimensions (economic, social, cultural, etc.). In terms of culture, it should be noted that the concept of integration, thus defined, is exempt from any assimilationist overtone. In order to avoid confusion, the term integrationism will be used here, when referring to those forms of integration that are not respectful of diversity”.

Immigrant children falling behind (US)

From The Future of Children listserv:

Nearly a quarter of schoolchildren in the United States are immigrants or the children of immigrants. A substantial percentage of these children, especially those from Latin America, are falling behind in school and as a result, face a bleak economic future.

On April 20, The Future of Children, a joint project of Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, will host an event: Immigrant children falling behind: Implications and policy prescriptions and release the latest issue of its journal. The issue is devoted entirely to several aspects of the status and well-being of immigrant children. An accompanying policy brief proposes a set of policy recommendations that could improve their attainment, including expanding preschool programs, improved English Language Learner instruction, and congressional passage of the DREAM Act to allow undocumented students to attend college.

The event will begin with an overview of the journal and the policy brief by the editors, Marta Tienda of Princeton and Ron Haskins of Brookings. Following the overview, a panel of experts will present arguments for and against the DREAM Act and comment on how the educational achievement of immigrant children can be improved.

After the program, the speakers will take questions from the audience.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 9am -11am, The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC. Info: or 202.797.6105.

CU Expo 2011: Sessions on immigration, settlement and multiculturalism


CUExpo is a conference about how community and university partnerships collaborate together to develop innovative solutions to strengthen communities.

CUExpo2011 will be held May 10-14, 2011 in Waterloo, Ontario Canada. It is expected to draw about 600 people from Canada and around the world who are passionate about the power of community-university partnerships as a vehicle for social change. Students, community leaders, researchers, educators, funders, policy makers and others invested in community-building will be in attendance.

The CU Expo movement began in Canada as a response to individuals involved in community-university partnerships needing a forum to share experiences, strategies and ideas. CUExpo2011 includes several sessions related to immigration, settlement, diversity, multiculturalism and integration (all links open as PDFs):

Wed May 11th ~ Community Voice and Relevance

It takes a village: Training community health workers in the Burundian refugee population using a community-based participatory service learning model.

Training immigrant peer researchers for CBPR on HIV/AIDS in Germany.

Tuberculosis amongst immigrants and refugees at an adult education centre: A community-based participatory research approach.

CBR within an immigrant community.

Cross-cultural lessons of engaging immigrant and refugee families in research and evaluation.

Growing community through urban agriculture: A community-university project involving senior immigrants.

Immigrant cultural values and language barriers as communication class lessons.

Settling, working, and belonging: An innovative and collaborative approach to integrating newcomers.

Churches responding to the immigrant reality in Canada: A national participatory action research project.

Thurs May 12th ~ Partnerships & Collaboration

Building multi-cultural and multi-health system partnership to conduct health research.

Recruiting low-income families into community programmes: Exploring differences in engagement strategies among ethnic groups.

Fri May 13th ~ Action and Change

Immigrant peer researchers and HIV prevention in Germany: The PaKoMi video.

Register now! to celebrate its 3rd anniversary has a birthday coming up! On November 3, 2010, the blog turns three!  And, like most three-year-olds, we like to celebrate with presents! <Update Nov 5th: The only one to enter the contest – DoreenatDMS – wins a copy of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. The other gifts will be presented to the Kitchener Multicultural Centre>.

To reward readers who have participated on the blog, I’m announcing a series of prizes. If you have ever left a comment on this blog and if you can answer 3 questions on immigration and settlement in Canada, three of you will be randomly selected to win one of the following gifts.

The Gifts

1. A copy of a soon to be published book by consultant Dr. Judith Colbert, entitled Welcoming Newcomer Children: The Settlement Needs of Young Immigrants and Refugees”.

2. A copy of Shaun Tan’s “The Arrival”, a graphic picture book for adults and children about a family’s migration journey (see my post on this outstanding book here).

3. Memorabilia from Pier 21, Canada’s Immigration Museum. Items vary from books, bags and other ephemera.

Eligibility – 3 criteria to meet:

1. You must have posted a comment somewhere on the blog. NB This means you still have time to be eligible. Get your comments in!

2. You must identify (by full name, government and party affiliation) the last 3 federal ministers of immigration up to, but not including the current Minister, The Honourable Jason Kenney.

3. Finally, name one other website, blog or other social media tool that examines, addresses, advocates for or supports newcomer children and families in Canada.

The contest has now officially launched ~ leave your answers by comment here and be sure you’ve got a comment somewhere else too. The winner will be determined by random draw and announced by end of Nov 5th. All prizes will be shipped by Canada Post. In the event there are no winners, prizes will be donated to the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre.

“Coming to Canada: The price that children pay”

Promised Land is a series of radio programs profiling “escape” stories of families who came to Canada in search of a better life. Produced by Natasha Fatah, the series includes stories of escapes from Argentina, Checkoslovakia, Eritrea, Honduras, Iran, Uganda, USA, and Vietnam.

In an op-ed on the CBC News website “Coming to Canada: The price that children pay”, Fatah reflects on the issues that immigrant and refugee children face:

“Some children who escape even to a country as seemingly embracing as Canada, are left deeply disturbed from the experience of having to uproot their lives and by the impact on their families”. (Source: CBC News website).

CBC Radio One runs the Promised Land series Mondays, 7:30pm, EDT and Fridays, 9:30am, EDT. You can also watch the series or download podcasts of it at the program website. A worthwhile series overall and is pleased to see children and youth issues highlighted by Fatah today.