Canada Post stamp to commemorate 2010 Year of the British Home Child

 Stamp set

Canada has declared 2010 Year of the British Home Child to acknowledge the child emigration scheme that brought over 100,000 children from Britain to Canada from 1826 to 1939. Under the guise of providing a welcoming home for poor, abandoned and orphaned children, a great many of these children came to Canada and served as farm labourers and domestic servants and endured lives of abuse from the people who acquired them.

On Sept 1, 2010, Canada Post will issue a stamp in recognition of the British Home Child. From the Canada Post catalogue: “The stamp features an image of the SS Sardinian (a ship that carried children from Liverpool to Quebec), a map symbolizing their cross-Atlantic journey, a photograph of a child at work on a farm and one of a rewly arrived Home Child, standing beside a suitcase while en route to a distributing home in Hamilton, Ontario”.

Conference call: Migration and the global city, Toronto

It looks like Ryerson University is working to launch a research institute devoted to immigration and settlement issues. Good luck to them. As part of this initiative, they are calling for proposals for a conference entitled “Migration and the Global City”. The conference, a launch to the proposed research centre, tentatively called the Ryerson Institute on Immigration and Settlement (RISS), will be held on the Ryerson campus from October 29-31, 2010.

A call for papers has been released here. Of particular interest to, conference themes include; Children and Youth; Citizenship, Migration and Identity; Precarious and Temporary Status; and Settlement Services.

The conference will feature a range of activities, including day-trips to local immigrant/settlement locations, a film-documentary screening and art-show, and a possible “CIHR-funded pre-conference on immigrant and refugee children and youth” (Source: Ryerson website). Ryerson – do let us know at how we can support this important inclusion!

Deadline for abstract submission is June 15, 2010.

Multilingual resources from the Best Start Resource Centre

The Best Start Resource Centre, Ontario’s Maternal, Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre (part of Health Nexus Santé) is holding an event to announce a new series of multilingual resources in eight languages developed for newcomers to Canada who are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or are new parents.

The event will be held 6-7:30pm on Thurs May 13, 2010 at Oakham House in Toronto. For more information and to rsvp, please contact Ronald Dieleman, 416.408.6910 or

The eight languages are: Arabic, Filipino, Hindi, Punjabi, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Tamil and Urdu.

Call for participants: Working group on age & generation in migration

Canadian-based researchers working on issues related to age and/or generational relations in the context of migration are invited to join the Refugee Research Network‘s (RRN) working group.

The working group will complement other ongoing initiatives, including the Metropolis Canada priority on Family, Children and Youth.

Some of the activities of the proposed working group include:

  • A database of Canada-based researchers
  • As part of the RRN website, an online discussion forum and links to other related and relevant online sites, etc.
  • Information exchange, through meetings and collaborative research projects
  • A 2011 seminar/roundtable, culminating in a working paper series or journal or edited volume(s).

First meeting is scheduled for Wed May 5, 2010 in Hamilton at McMaster University (one day before the CARFMS conference). Details TBD. For more information, contact Christina Clark-Kazak, International Studies, York University, 416.736.2100 x 88106.

Toronto’s Hot Docs festival offerings on multiculturalism, integration, equity, racism & child rights

Among the showings at Toronto’s annual Hot Docs film festival, running from April 29-May 9, 2010 are:

In the Name of the Family ~ about Aqsa Parvez and her so-called honour killing

Listen to This ~ Pianist Thompson Egbo-Egbo starts a music program at his former school in Toronto’s Jane-Finch community

Babies ~ just babies in settings around the world (also see film website)

Grace, Milly, Lucy … Child Soldiers ~ the lives of Ugandan child soldiers

The Day I Will Never Forget ~ about female genital mutilation in Kenya

Made in India ~ about tourist surrogacy and the reproductive industry in developing countries.

Senate report on early childhood education and care ~ a follow-up

In April 2009, the Senate released a report on early childhood education and care, calling for – among other things – a collaborative effort among federal government departments to address the early learning and child care needs of newcomer children. (See the May 3, 2009 post on for full details).

On December 15, 2009, a follow-up statement was made by Senator The Honourable Art Eggleton. It is repeated here, fyi.

Hon. Art Eggleton: “Honourable senators, I rise today to make a statement on the government’s response to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology report, Early Childhood Education and Care: Next Steps, which was adopted by the Senate on June 22, 2009.

“Honourable senators, I am disappointed that the government did not implement the recommendations in our report. The government does not want to appoint a minister of state for children and youth, even though we have a Minister of State for Seniors and even though it would send a clear signal that Canada understands the importance of young people to its future.

“The government does not want to have a permanent national advisory council on children to draw on the best minds from across the country on how best to support parents and children.

“The consultation process they cite in their letter happened over two years ago, and many from the early childhood education and care community tell me that consultations are no longer happening.

“The government does not want to develop a pan-Canadian framework with the provinces and territories that would recognize and respect federal, provincial and territorial leadership as essential elements of developing early childhood education. Instead, they are content with the patchwork of provincial programs that exist today.

“Instead of becoming a champion for the 21st century family, the government has essentially abdicated that role to others. This is disappointing because national leadership is crucial at this time. Now more than ever, our children need the right skills and knowledge to ensure that they will manage the many challenges they are facing in school, in society and in the workforce.

“In addition, as our report pointed out overwhelmingly, scientific research shows that the early years are vital to this development because that period sets the foundation for confidence and skill development, which help children to become highly literate and mathematically competent later in life.

“Honourable senators, based on the government’s response, I am not sure that the government understands that early learning is about much more than simply the transferring of care giving responsibility from a parent to someone else. It is about shaping our future by investing in our children and by creating a system that will help every child succeed.

“In those areas where the federal government has direct responsibility, such as for Aboriginal children, the response from the government is practically silent. Sadly, the record in this area continues to be discouraging. Incidents of behavioural challenges, as well as cognitive and language delays, are more prevalent in Aboriginal communities than in other Canadian communities, and could be aided by providing quality early childhood education and care.

“In closing, honourable senators, as the Honourable Margaret McCain said before the committee, “The best single investment Canada can make for social justice and the optimal development of our children is to get them off to a good early start by building a high-quality evidence-based early childhood development system.”

Enter to win Shaun Tan’s “The Arrival” for International Mother Language Day

People who have previously commented* on are eligible to win a copy of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. How? By Feb 21 – International Mother Language Day (IMLD) – leave a comment to the IMLD post in your home language. The winner will be selected randomly at 10pm EST from the list of comments.

Good luck! Bonne chance!

*If you’ve left a comment anywhere on before February 20th, and you leave a comment to the IMLD post in your home language, you are eligible to win the book. (The book will be sent through Canada Post).

Feb 21 is International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day was first proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity.

Related resources: ~, a project of Dr. Roma Chumak-Horbatsch, Ryerson University’s School of Early Childhood Education, provides evidence-based research and multi-lingual resources to support parents, teachers, early childhood practitioners and other interested service providers in maintaining and protecting minority languages spoken by children and families in Canadian homes. This year, graduate students of Dr. Chumak-Horbatsch invite the Ryerson community to the School of ECE to commemorate International Mother Language Day.

facebook page ~ set up by Vox Humanitatis, a non-profit organization that supports “less resourced cultures” in maintaining their culture and languages.

UNESCO International Symposium: Technology and the Mother Tongue: Friend or Foe? ~ as part of a 2-day event to mark IMLD, this symposium will bring together researchers, academics and other experts in Paris to discuss “bridging global and local languages and translation, mutual understanding and stereotypes”.

UNESCOs Multilingualism on the Internet ~ the 2004 online issue explores “the linguistic impacts of the Internet and at filling this knowledge gap”.

Leave a comment here in your mother language – and tell us what it is!

Dzi?ki! (Polish)

Speaking in tongues, film on promoting, maintaining ‘home’ language of children

From the Speaking in Tongues website: “Julian, Jason, Kelly, Durell.  Four typical American kids with one exception.  Their parents placed them in schools where, from the first day of Kindergarten, their teachers speak Chinese or Spanish.  Why? To give them a career edge.  To raise their academic achievement.  To maintain their home language.  Or to help communicate with their grandparents.

“What would it be like if your parents put you in a school where the teacher spoke a foreign language?”

Speaking in Tongues makes the case for promoting the maintaining of ones home language. Speaking in Tongues follows 4 diverse children in their roles as global citizens.

For more information and promotional goodies, see the film website.