Archive for the ‘Integration’ Category

Building our capacity to support transitions of immigrant/refugee children and youth

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

BCs Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA) have released a report post their provincial learning exchange on the topic of Building capacity to support transitions of immigrant and refugee children and youth held this summer.

There were several goals for the event:

- to create opportunities for learning about current and emerging research and best practices

- to increase the skills, knowledge and practice of service providers who work with immigrant and refugee children and youth

- for networking, learning from each other and meeting new colleagues

- to re-energize and develop synergy amongst the different sub-sectors

- to identify emerging issues and priorities for future work and development.

The report includes background, goals and overviews and discusses what is called three big ideas for serving newcomer children and youth: Settlement, culture, and readiness.

The language challenge from Maytree Canada

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Yesterday I attended a local community forum, Dialogue on Diversity: Immigrant Civic Participation, sponsored by the Waterloo Immigration Partnership, Regional Municipality of Waterloo. The event was MC’d by Lucia Harrison, ED of the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre. The keynote speaker was the President of the Maytree Foundation, Ratna Omidvar.

Omidvar used her time well, bringing Alan Broadbent’s Three I’s of Integration (Investment, Intentionality, Instruments) to our attention, the Maytree’s Five Good Ideas project, to name only two. But it was her discussion about the language we use in Canada when discussing immigration that really caught my interest. We talk about multiculturalism, interculturalism, multiversalism, and the dreaded by almost all – tolerance.

Omidvar always has enlightening and thought provoking things to say about immigration and settlement, but I want to focus on a challenge she posed to those of us attending the forum. With regard to language, Omidvar proposed that the word integration is problematic – that is somehow diminishes the newcomer by subsuming her into the Other, new world she is settling in, that the accommodations made are made by the newcomer. Inclusion however is, according to Omidvar, a 2-way street and one that welcomes the participation of the newcomer (which was the point of the event: how to engage newcomer participation).

Those who come from the early learning and child care and family support sector have long been advocates of the word – and concept – of inclusion. For us, inclusion has always meant that ‘everyone belongs’: families with children with special needs, families and children living in poverty, Aboriginal children and families, immigrant and refugee children and families, urban children and families, rural children and families, children and families living in Northern and remote communities, etc. All children share the same rights of participation (see UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). So, we like this move in the immigrant/settlement community towards the language of inclusion. What do you think?

A number of years ago, the Laidlaw Foundation commissioned a series of reports on social inclusion for marginalized groups. It’s a joy to share these (PDFs) once again in the hopes they are useful in furthering the discussion about immigrant/newcomer inclusion (1 co-written by Omidvar):

Social Inclusion, Anti-Racism and Democratic Citizenship, Anver Saloojee (2003)

Immigrant Settlement and Social Inclusion in Canada, Ratna Omidvar and Ted Richmond (2003)

Social Inclusion as Solidarity: Re-thinking the Child Rights Agenda, Michael Bach (2002)

Social Inclusion for Canadian Children through Early Childhood Education and Care, Martha Friendly and Donna Lero (2002)

These papers addressing inclusion among marginalized and disadvantaged groups can help us support and promote the language of inclusion for newcomer children and their families. I urge you to re-visit them.

The Drummond Commission recommendations on immigration (and the missed opportunities to address immigrant children/families)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

There has been much examination and discussion of the recommendations of the recently released Drummond Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services (struck by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan). immigrantchildren.ca notes that the Commission has lost the opportunity to highlight and promote the importance of addressing both the needs of immigrant families with young children – and the contribution that immigrant parents can make to the Ontario economy if these needs are supported.

In the introduction, “The Economic Importance of Immigration”, the Drummond report says:

“By attracting skilled workers from abroad, Ontario can better address potential labour-market shortages. Maintaining labour-force growth, aided by successful immigrants, can help sustain Ontario’s long-term economic growth”.

immigrantchildren.ca believes that immigrant parents may be able to contribute economically by participating in the labour force, but only if they are secure in their child care arrangements. Current federal initiatives for child care are almost absent. There is an opportunity for the federal government to partner with the provinces to ensure that culturally appropriate child care is made available to newcomers.

This introduction ends with the bold statement: “In short, future trends in immigration and the degree to which Ontario can successfully integrate new arrivals into the province’s labour market and social fabric will have a significant effect on Ontario’s fiscal fortunes”. The Drummond report makes a case for ensuring that social supports are in place for immigrants in order for them to contribute to the economy through labour force participation. Child care is one such social support. We wonder how it was overlooked.

In the Commission’s section on immigration, seven recommendations are made. With respect to each of the recommendations, immigrantchildren.ca has some initial thoughts. We invite more discussion, debate and comment. (Drummond report recommendations in bold, with comments in italics following).

Recommendation 10-1: Develop a position on immigration policies that is in the province’s best economic and social interests. Present this position to the federal government with the expectation that, as the largest recipient of immigrants in Canada, Ontario’s interest will be given considerable weight in federal policy development.

What is in the best interest is the development of fully funded culturally appropriate child care system that will support immigrant parents’ participation in the labour force. The federal government should, alongside, develop federal policy on child care for newcomer families that meets the needs not only of the national economy, but the social benefits of immigrant parents participation in the workforce if there is acceptable child care available, affordable and accessible to newcomers.

Recommendation 10-2: Catalyze national discussions on immigration policy as the successful integration of immigrants is critical for Canada’s and Ontario’s economic futures.

Few programs support integration better than community-based early learning and child care programs. Situated in public schools (as proposed in the full day kindergarten program of the McGuinty government), culturally appropriate child care for newcomer children – indeed, for all children – is a key catalyst to promotion of Canadian values and an optimal welcoming point for children and parents alike.

Recommendation 10-3: Advocate the federal government for a greater provincial role in immigrant selection to ensure that the level and mix of immigrants coming to Ontario is optimized to support economic prosperity and improve outcomes for immigrants. Barring success, advocate for an expanded Provincial Nominee Program.

The PNP might also explore age of the children of immigrants recruited through it. If Canada and Ontario are to thrive, the “level and mix” of immigrants must include children from birth to age eight and a PNP is well positioned to address this gap.

Recommendation 10-4: Press the federal government to be more transparent in its refugee policies and practices and to compensate Ontario for the costs of providing additional social supports to refugees and refugee claimants.

In our discussions and recommendations for ‘culturally appropriate child care’, it must be noted that refugee children have significantly different needs than children of immigrants who choose to emigrate. Services and supports for refugee children and youth must be developed with these specific needs in mind.

Recommendation 10-6: Streamline and integrate provincially delivered integration and settlement services for recent immigrants with Employment Ontario.

Within the discussion for recommendations 5 & 6 is found the statement “Two of the key drivers of labour-market success for immigrants are a working knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages and educational credentials that are accepted by regulatory bodies and potential employers”. While immigrantchildren.ca would agree that language and credentials are key, the Drummond report misses the mark by neglecting to consider the importance of child care for any working parent.

Recommendation 10-7: Advocate for devolving federal immigrant settlement and training programs to the province…

Again, we would argue that any settlement funding agreement with the federal government should include start-up and ongoing funds for child care.

~

The Commission cites a number of studies in its report including one by Mr Drummond himself that clearly articulates and recognizes the value of high quality child care. See D. Drummond, and F, Fong, “The Changing Canadian Workplace”, TD Economics, TD Bank Financial Group, 2010.

“…the higher incidence of part-time employment is caused, in part, by the cultural notion that women remain the primary caretaker of a family. As such, full-time employment is most likely not an option for many women as this would imply foregoing time to tend to household responsibilities. This also speaks to the poor state of childcare options available to many Canadians. Among comparative advanced nations in the OECD, Canada spends the smallest share of its GDP on early childhood education and care (ECEC) for those aged 0-6. At just 0.25% of GDP, this is extremely distant from the 1.5%-2% range spent by the Scandinavian countries. And since ECEC spending falls under provincial jurisdiction, the 0.25% figure is an aver- age across the provinces and is likely skewed by the heavy subsidization in Quebec where, for example, the $7 per day childcare provides for many lower income parents. Hence, regardless of the fact that Canada has one of the highest female participation rates in the world, participation in childcare services for children under the age of 3 is only in the middle of the pack among the OECD”.

Another report cited by the Commission is Fernando Mata, “The Non-Accreditation of Immigrant Professionals in Canada: Societal Dimensions of the Problem”, Department of Canadian Heritage, 1999:

“A recent example is a survey of the accreditation problems faced by immigrant women in the nursing, teaching and social work professions in partnership with the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women in Canada (NOIVMWC). The report coming out from the survey revealed that immigrant women with professional degrees, in addition to the common problems faced by male counterparts, were more negatively affected by “lack of services and resources in the areas of childcare and language training”.

The Commission rightfully relied on a careful examination of the literature in addition to its consultations. The literature findings, including Mr. Drummond’s own work, clearly sees the value of a system of high quality early learning and child care as an employment support and a support to integration of newcomers, but it failed to include child care as a recommendation to the people of Ontario. As such, it has failed immigrant families.

14th National Metropolis conference, Feb 29-March 3, sessions on immigrant children, youth & families

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

The 14th National Metropolis conference theme is Future Immigration Policies: Challenges and Opportunities for Canada. It will be held February 29 – March 3, 2012 at the Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto.

immigrantchildren.ca is delighted to see so many workshops and a dedicated poster session that focus on immigrant and refugee children, youth, and families:

Thurs March 1, 2012 Workshops

Family violence towards young newcomer women
This workshop will explore family violence towards young newcomer women (ages 15-30). Presentations will examine factors that contribute to abuse and violence, barriers and facilitators to seeking help, the experiences of shelter staff in offering appropriate services, and existing government policies and programs related to this type of family violence.

Organizer
Lucia Madariaga-Vignudo, Qualtrica Associates
Tuula Heinonen, University of Manitoba

Participants
Priya Sharma, University of Manitoba
Barriers and Facilitators to Accessing Help: The Experience of Young Newcomer Women Affected by Family Violence in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Lucia Madariaga-Vignudo, Qualtrica Associates
Barriers and Facilitators to Accessing Help: The Experience of Young Newcomer Women Affected by Family Violence in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Janine Fraser, Edmonton Women’s Shelter Ltd.
Providing Shelter to Young Newcomer Women Fleeing Family Violence: A Service Provider’s Perspective

Hoori Hamboyan, Justice Canada
Family violence policy and its impact on ethno-cultural minority communities

Anna Korteweg, University of Toronto
Religion, Culture, and the Politicization of Honour-Related Violence: A Critical Analysis of Media and Policy Debates in Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada

Chair
Tuula Heinonen, University of Manitoba

At the margins but longing to belong: Immigrant and refugee youth in Canadian schools Immigrant teenagers experience a steep learning curve as they attempt to learn either English or French, complete high school and integrate into Canadian society. In this workshop we will explore the social and linguistic integration experiences of newcomers at school in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec as well as policy implications.

Organizer
Antoinette Gagné, University of Toronto

Participants
Ranya Khan, University of Toronto
Meeting the needs of war-affected refugees in Manitoba high schools

Sunny Lau, Bishop’s University
Developing immigrant learners’ academic expertise through the promotion of identities of competence

Stephanie Soto Gordon, Toronto District Board of Education
Growing new roots: Coming together – New immigrant and Canadian teenagers

Antoinette Gagne, University of Toronto
Growing new roots: Coming together – New immigrant and Canadian teenagers

Yamin Qian, University of Toronto
More than English proficiency: Chinese adolescents’ peer networks and English use in Toronto

Marilyn Steinbach, Université de Sherbrooke
Social integration of immigrant adolescents in secondary schools in regional Quebec

Chair
Antoinette Gagné, University of Toronto

Discussant
Clea Schmidt, University of Manitoba

Female genital cutting in the Canadian context: Global bodies and immigration The 1990s was a time of much attention to the issue of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) in Canada with the development of legal policies, original research and innovative programming in the community. In this workshop, presenters from different sectors and disciplines will address a renewed interest in all of these areas.

Organizer
Paula Migliardi, Sexuality Education Resource Centre

Participants
Shereen Denetto, Sexuality Education Resource Centre
Women, Men and Youth’s Perspectives of Female Genital Cutting and Change In Winnipeg

Gillian Einstein, University of Toronto
Pain in Somali – Canadian Women: Neurological Consequences of Female Genital Circumcision

Perron Liette, Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologist Canada
Female Genital Cutting / Mutilation: SOGC Working for Change

Notisha Massaquoi, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre
Policy Development in Canada: Past, Present and Future

Bilkis Visandjée, University of Montréal
Clinical Imperatives, Research Perspectives: Giving Quality of Care in the Context of Traditional Practices

Chair
Paula Migliardi, Sexuality Education Resource Centre

Immigration and mothering This session will examine the multiple and shifting roles, relationships, constructions and representations of mothers and mothering in the processes of immigration. Various dimensions will be explored from issues of identity (and intersecting identities in terms of race and class), to work in the home, family and community, as well as the negotiation of family arrangements, relationships with the second generation, and roles with respect to transnational and cross-cultural mothering. In so doing, this workshop will consider how mothers contribute to immigration, settlement and integration, as well as the impact such processes have on mothering.

Organizer
Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Atlantic Metropolis Centre
Evangelia Tastsoglou, Saint Mary’s University and Atlantic Metropolis Centre
Guida C. Man, York University and CERIS-The Ontario Metropolis Centre

Participants
Guida C. Man, York University and CERIS-The Ontario Metropolis Centre
Negotiating Work and Family: Exploring Transnational Migration Practices of Immigrant Women Professionals in Canada

Mehrunnisa Ali, Ryerson University
When Mothering Never Ends: The Experiences of Mothering Teenagers and Young Adults in the South Asian Diaspora

Farishta Murzban Dinshaw, COSTI Family Violence Initiative
Mothers of Sons: Gender Roles and Cultural Continuity in Immigrant Communities

Anna Kirova, University of Alberta and Prairie Metropolis Centre
Involving Newcomer Parents and Children in Negotiating Cultural Identities Through Art-Making

Chair
Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Atlantic Metropolis Centre

Discussant
Evangelia Tastsoglou, Saint Mary’s University and Atlantic Metropolis Centre

Improving the lives of immigrant and refugee youth: Collaborative community, research, and policy initiatives The complex needs of our growing population of youth from immigrant and refugee families will be addressed by academic, professional, and community participants. Promising collaborative approaches in youth activism, local partnerships, diversity training, and health improvement among immigrant youth will be highlighted, with an eye toward policy and programming.

Organizer
Darren Lund, Prairie Metropolis Centre

Participants
Darren Lund, Prairie Metropolis Centre
Learning from Youth Leaders in Social Justice Activism

James Baker, Memorial University
The Making of a “Welcoming Community”: Youth Perspectives on Inclusion, Integration, and Participation

Marisa Cardeal-Casagrande, McMaster University
Fostering Leadership and Engagement with the “Youth Futures Program”

Hassan Vatanparast, University of Saskatchewan
Improving the Health and Nutrition of Immigrant and Refugee Children

Mischa Davison, Saskatoon Open Door Society
“Creating Youth Culture”: Teen Diversity Leadership Training Program

Chair
Darren Lund, Prairie Metropolis Centre

Discussant
Fariborz Birjandian, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

Friday, March 2, 2012 Workshops

Second generation youth: Educational and employment trajectories among Filipino youth in Canada The Philippines is now Canada’s top source of immigrants and this population has a distinctive set of arrival and settlement experiences. The echoes of these experiences are evident in the educational and employment outcomes of second generation Filipino-Canadian youth. This session explores these outcomes across four cities in Canada.

Organizer
Philip Kelly, York University

Participants
Philip Kelly, York University
Geographies of the Second Generation: Filipino-Canadian Class Reproduction in Urban
Canada

Maureen Mendoza, University of British Columbia
Educated Minorities: The Experiences of Filipino Canadian University Students

Darlyne Bautista, Winnipeg School Division
Exploring Culture in Our Schools: Policy Discussion and Community Practice

Veronica Javier, Community Social Worker

Julia Mais, York University
Behind the Resume: Influences on the Educational and Employment Trajectories of 1.5 and Second Generation Filipino-Canadians

Daisydee Bautista, Aksyon Ng Ating Kabataan (ANAK) Inc.
Exploring Culture in Our Schools: Policy Discussion and Community Practice

Chair
Mila Garcia, Community Alliance for Social Justice

Discussant
Conely De Leon, York University

The Concepts of age and generation in the migration context: Implications for policy-research This workshop focuses on the concepts of age and generation in migration contexts and examines the inter-play of age, generation, as well as gender, race and immigrant and family status in the social and economic outcomes of immigrants in Canada. Conceptual and methodological issues will be explored. Research findings related to how age and generational status are key indicators of both the context of migrations and the settlement and integration processes will be shared. Policy and program implications for governments and service providers will also be identified.

Organizer
Christina Clark-Kazak, York University
Laure Lafrance, Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Participants
Alexandra Ricard-Guay, McGill University
Unpacking human trafficking definitions through the lens of age-sensitivity

Ranu Basu, York University
Building Community in Suburban Inner-City Schools: Scarborough as Site for Emancipatory Practice

Yogendra Shakya, Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services
Challenges and Opportunities in Family Role Changes for Refugee Youth from the Afghani, Karen and Sudanese Communities

May Farrales, Unversity of British Columbia
Holding spaces: geographies of Filipino-Canadian students’ educational experiences

Chair
Christina Clark-Kazak, York University

Post-secondary education participation: Access and supports among immigrant youth in Canada This workshop reports, compares, and contrasts findings with respect to post-secondary education participation of immigrant youth with particular attention to access and supports (e.g. structural factors, social supports, special needs, engagement) from two sources — 17 year olds in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and 19 year olds in British Columbia’s Metro Vancouver School Districts (MVSD).

Organizer
Paul Anisef, York University
Vicky Maldonado, McMaster University

Participants
Robert Brown, Toronto District School Board

Gillian Parekh, York University

Paul Anisef, York University
Post-secondary Participation of First, Second, and Third Generation Students: The Role of Social and Academic Supports in Secondary School

Vicky Maldonado and Scott Davies, McMaster University
Horizontal Stratification and the Maclean’s Rankings: University Participation of Native-born and Immigrant Youth in the Toronto District School Board

Kristyn Frank, Independent Researcher
Does Parental and Teacher Engagement Influence the Field of Study Choices of Immigrant and Canadian-born University Students?

Maria Adamuti-Trache, University of Texas at Arlington

Robert Sweet, Lakehead University
High School to PSE Pathways of Metro Vancouver Students: Ethnic Group Differences

Chair
Paul Anisef, York University

Discussant
Roula Anastasakos, Toronto District School Board

Limited access to healthcare for uninsured families and children: Ontario and Quebec This workshop focuses on health status and access to care of immigrant, refugee, and migrant children, youth and pregnant women who do not have provincial health care coverage. It will present new research findings, health provider perspectives and health service delivery challenges, and discuss implications for policy and practice.

Organizer
Joanna Anneke Rummens, The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto
Cécile Rousseau, McGill University and CSSS de la Montagne (Parc Extension)
Sharon Chakkalackal, The Hospital for Sick Children

Participants
Joanna Anneke Rummens, The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto
Sharon Chakkalackal, The Hospital for Sick Children
Access to Health Care for Uninsured Immigrant, Refugee and Migrant Child and Youth in Ontario

Audrey Laurin-Lamothe, McGill University
Francesca Meloni, McGill University
Alexandra Ricard-Guay, McGill University
Health Status of Uninsured Children & Pregnant Women in Quebec

Manavi Handa, Assocation of Ontario Midwives
Karline Wilson-Mitchell, Sages-Femmes Rouge Valley Midwives Scarborough/Durham Region
On the Ground: Access to Healthcare Issues for Uninsured Women and their Canadian Babies

Joesiann Nelson, Black Creek Community Health Centre,
Simone Atungo, Mount Sinai Hospital
Before and After: Seeking Pathways to Care for Uninsured Moms and Children at Community Health Centres and Hospitals

Chair
Deb Kocay, Public Health Agency of Canada

Discussant
Wendy Katherine, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

Community-based health promotion programs for children and their families: How the Public Health Agency of Canada is improving the health of recent immigrants This workshop will highlight the Public Health Agency of Canada’s community-based programs and their work in the health promotion of recent immigrants and their families. There will be an overview of the programs from a national perspective, along with specific regional issues and the experiences of projects delivering health promotion programming in the community.

Organizer
Dana Gaertner, Public Health Agency of Canada/Agence de santé publique du Canada

Participants
Jennette Toews, Public Health Agency of Canada – National Office /Agence de santé publique du Canada – Bureau central
CAPC and recent immigrants: A national health promotion program for children and their families

Blanca Serrano, Public Health Agency of Canada – Ontario Region /Agence de santé publique du Canada – Région de l’Ontario
Promoting the health and well-being of children and families in Ontario: Working with new immigrants

Julie Burdon, The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre
Innovative solutions that meet the needs of a diverse population at our prenatal and parenting programs

Marie-Michèle Delisle-Bédard, Maison pour femmes immigrantes
L’intervention auprès des femmes et de leurs enfants victimes ou exposés à la violence: succès et défis

Immigrant and refugee visible minority youth in Canada The presence of immigrant and refugee visible minority youth in Canada has enhanced the growth of Canada’s population and labour force. As this is an advantage for the country, it is also important to determine who these youth are, their circumstances, needs, and how they can contribute to Canada’s multicultural society.

Organizer
J. Alejandro Hernandez-Ramirez, Simon Fraser University

Participants
J. Alejandro Hernandez-Ramirez, Simon Fraser University
Miu Chung Yan, University of British Columbia
Tejwant Chana, University of Alberta
Dorla Harris, MOSAIC
Farah Prashadcolah, Youth Settlement Worker
Lianne Lee, Immigrant Sector Council of Calgary
Heather Robertson, Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services (N.E.E.D.S.) Inc.
Cristina Guerrero, University of Toronto

Chair
J. Alejandro Hernandez-Ramirez, Simon Fraser University

Engaging immigrant children in Ontario and Quebec schools through the creation of multimodal identity texts How can teachers, researchers and community members collaboratively draw on the cultural and linguistic resources that immigrant children bring to their learning? This workshop examines how students’ expressions of their diverse identities and experiences through multimodal and multilingual creations deepen their engagement and facilitate their integration at school.

Organizer
Gail Prasad, University of Toronto
Marie Paule Lory, Université de Montréal

Participants
Marie Paule Lory, Université de Montréal
Quand le plurilinguisme prend corps dans des ateliers d’expression théâtrale et d’éveil aux langues

Gail Prasad, University of Toronto
What Moves Me? Exploring Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children’s representations of their mobilities through self-portraits and photography

Saskia Stille, University of Toronto
Engaging in cultural production at school: Using digital media to create identity texts with emergent bilingual children

Susan Hind, Toronto District School Board
Found in Translation: Showcasing home-school-community cultural and linguistic diversity through visual media creation

Amelia Jimenez, Inner City Angels
Found in Translation: Showcasing home-school-community cultural and linguistic diversity through visual media creation

Saturday March 3, 2012 Workshops

Muslim students in Canadian schools: Meeting students’ academic, social and faith-based needs How can Canadian schools meet the needs of their Muslim students? This session will highlight the findings from a study that included teachers’ voices, experiences and practices related to the schooling of their Muslim students, and discuss how schools and teachers attempt to support religious practices in a secular space.

Organizer
Ranya Khan, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Participants
Sararoz Niyozov, University of Toronto
Ranya Khan, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Arif Anwar, University of Toronto
Nadeem Memon, Razi Group
Uzma Jamil, McGill Transcultural Research and Intervention Team

Chair
Sararoz Niyozov, University of Toronto

International migration and maternity Maternity may amplify socioeconomic marginalization and the vulnerability of immigrant women. Reproduction is a critical event on the life trajectory and represents an imperative sphere of attention. This roundtable enables decisive exchange between researchers, and government and non-government representatives, regarding socioeconomic, political, and cultural processes perpetuating maternal health care inequities.

Organizer
Gina Higginbottom, University of Alberta

Participants
Deb Kocay, Public Health Agency of Canada
Myfanwy Morgan, King’s College London
Gina Higginbottom, University of Alberta
Annalita Shireen Bell, University of Alberta
Lanre Tunji-Ajay, Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario
Helen Vallianatos, University of Alberta

Chair
Gina Higginbottom, University of Alberta

Discussant
Deb Kocay, Public Health Agency of Canada

Immigrant mothers, health outcomes and promising practices to reduce health inequities Health inequities can affect immigrant and refugee mothers, and, as maternal health is a spread-used indicator to assess the state of well-being in most countries, there is a need to explore how immigrant mothers’ health can be affected once in Canada. Speakers at this workshop will showcase recent research on maternal health differences between immigrant and Canadian-born mothers. They will examine several health indicators and determinants of health as well as the maternal experiences, perceptions, knowledge, and practices of both populations. The workshop will also include the preliminary findings from the Migrant Friendly Maternity Care project as well as a community perspective on a number of resources and initiatives being implemented to address the reproductive needs of newcomer women and their families.

Organizer
Solange van Kemenade, Public Health Agency of Canada
Anita Gagnon, McGill University

Participants
Marcelo Urquia, Saint Michael’s Hospital
How immigrant women are doing in terms of maternal and infant health in Canada?

Dawn Kingston, University of Manitoba
Comparison of Maternity Experiences of Canadian-Born and Recent and Non-Recent Immigrant Women: Findings From the Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey

Maureen Heaman, University of Manitoba
Comparison of Maternity Experiences of Canadian-Born and Recent and Non-Recent Immigrant Women: Findings From the Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey

Saleha Bismilla, Toronto Public Health
Giving Birth in a New Land

Anita Gagnon, McGill University
Can Migrant Friendly Maternity Care (MFMC) improve perinatal health outcomes?

Chair
Solange van Kemenade, Public Health Agency of Canada

Refugee youth negotiating change This roundtable examines some of the diverse and interconnected challenges and opportunities refugee youth encounter as they negotiate various life transitions in the context of settlement in Canada. Discussion topics include education, settlement/youth services, creativity, mental health, social and cultural integration, gang involvement, sexuality, and employment.

Organizer
Alejandro Hernandez, Simon Fraser University
Jenny Francis, University of British Columbia

Participants
Jenny Francis, University of British Columbia
Paula Migliardi, Sexuality Education Resource Centre
Susan Frohlick, University of Manitoba
Marian Rossiter, University of Alberta
Nora Becker, Saskatchewan Intercultural Association
Wendy Auger, Immigrant Services Calgary
Jane Wambui Gichuru, University of Western Ontario
Zheng Zhang, University of Western Ontario
Sarah Fletcher, University of Victoria
Nona Grandea, Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Chair
Jenny Francis, University of British Columbia

Poster Sessions

Des services communautaires qui bonifient la relation école-famille : le cas d’un organisme montréalais

Annick Lavoie, Université de Montréal
Fasal Kanouté, Université de Montréal
Justine Gosselin Gagné, Université de Montréal

Enhancing our ability to respond to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) newcomer youth within the settlement sector
Zack Marshall, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Tess Vo, Griffin Centre Mental Health Services

The Role of transnational families in immigrant settlement
Amrita Hari, York University

Grandparental caregiving in Chinese-Canadian immigrant families
Cynthia Sing-Yu Shih, York University
Yvonne Bohr, York University

Afghan newcomer youth in Toronto: Exploring leisure and information practices during settlement
Lisa Quirke, University of Toronto

Étudiants internationaux et persévérance aux études postsecondaires
Sarah Mainich, Université de Montréal

The African Canadian youth leadership project: Encouraging a critical reading of the Canadian urban landscape
Troy Glover, University of Waterloo
Debjani Henderson, University of Waterloo

Visit the Metropolis conference website for more information. To register, visit here.

Call for papers: Restructuring refuge and settlement: Responding to the global dynamics of displacement

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

The Centre for Refugee Studies at York University hosts the 2012 Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) conference May 16-18th at York U, Toronto.

From the call for papers: “The 2012 CARFMS conference will bring together researchers, policymakers, displaced persons and advocates from diverse disciplinary and regional backgrounds to discuss the issue of restructuring refuge and settlement witha view to better understanding how migration policies, processes andstructures responds to the global dynamics of displacement. We inviteparticipants from a wide range of perspectives to explore the practical,experiential, policy-oriented, legal and theoretical questions raised byrefuge and settlement at the local, national, regional and internationallevels. The conference will feature keynote and plenary speeches fromleaders in the field, and we welcome proposals for individual papers andorganized panels structured around the following broad subthemes:

Restructuring settlement: Local, national, comparative and international issues and concerns

States utilitarian approach towards migration challenges the balancebetween the objective of economic development, on the one hand, and integration and equal treatment of migrants, on the other. Recent changes inthe selection of migrant workers have negative consequences on social cohesion. Settlement, adaptation and integration policies play an importantrole at local, national and international levels to address this situationand prevent exclusion: What are the strengths and the weaknesses ofsettlement policies? How should these policies be adapted to meet the needsof increasing numbers of temporary workers? How can actors promote a process of integration that fosters social cohesion? What is the role played by local and national authorities, employers and members of civil society? How to ensure coherence and coordination between various actors dealing with issues such as health, education, social welfare, employment and law enforcement? What are particular legal, social, economic needs of different groups of migrants? How does gender, age, ability, race and other factors affect settlement? What are the best settlement practices?

Restructuring refuge: Local, national, comparative and international issues and concerns

The recent reform of the Canadian asylum system aims at accelerating the refugee status determination process and reducing the number of asylum claims by making the system less attractive. In North America, the United States and Canada cooperate to stem ‘unwanted’ migration. Similar developments can be observed in other parts of the world. Critical analysis of recent trends and developments contributes to a better understanding of current challenges: How do local, regional and international mechanisms and logics transform political and media discourse, norms, policies and practices related to forced migrants? What are the changes in institutional and procedural arrangements to deal with refugee and asylum claims? How do these changes affect protection norms and policies at the local, national and international level? How do international and local actors, institutions and agencies promote the legal, economic and social inclusion of forced migrants?

Restructuring settlement and refuge:  New approaches and theories

Innovative approaches and theories developed within traditional disciplines or in interdisciplinary lines foster knowledge on current norms, policies and practices linked to questions of settlement and refuge. New theoretical, conceptual, methodological issues from diverse critical and institutional perspectives highlight these questions, including: the link between refuge and security in an era of globalization; the impact of restrictive regulation of the freedom of movement of forced migrants; the need to redefine policies of resettlement, adaptation, and integration of immigrants and refugees in a context of changing migration figures; the adaptation of settlement policies to promote social inclusion of low-skilled temporary workers, asylum seekers and irregular migrants; settlement and citizenship.

Individuals wishing to present a paper at the conference must submit a250-word abstract and 100-word biography by December 30, 2011. The conference organizers welcome submissions of both individual papers and proposals for panels. Please submit your abstract via the conference website. For more information, please contact Michele Millard at mmillard@yorku.ca”.

Immigrant children, youth and families: A Qualitative analysis of the challenges of integration

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

This spring, the Social Planning Council of Ottawa concluded work on “Immigrant children, youth and families: A Qualitative analysis of the challenges of integration”, as part of their Families in Community project.

The report addresses the disconnect when newcomer families feel their parenting and child-rearing methods are not acknowledged/respected and the tension service providers feel about some newcomers who they perceive demonstrate a lack of commitment to early child development.

Next stages in the SPCO Families in Community project will result in:

An analysis of best/good practices for culturally-based family supports by ethno-cultural organizations.

Supports to good/best practices within 8 pilot projects with small ethno-cultural organizations.

A resource kit for mainstream family services based on good practices serving new immigrant families.

The report will be launched at the annual Social Planning Council of Ottawa AGM, May 26, 2011 in Ottawa. For information, contact Helene by May 15 at 613-236-9300 ext. 300 office@spcottawa.on.ca.  Free admission, but donations are welcome.

Interculturalism is the new multiculturalism

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

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.

immigrantchildren.ca 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”.

CU Expo 2011: Sessions on immigration, settlement and multiculturalism

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

logo

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!

Call for papers, no. 1: Harvard Educational Review special edition: Diverse experiences of immigrant children and youth in education

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

The US-based Harvard Educational Review (HER) has issued a call for papers for a special issue on “Diverse Experiences of Immigrant Children and Youth In Education”.

Diverse Experiences of Immigrant Children and Youth in Education is seeking to publish an issue on experiences of immigrant children and youth in the formal educational arena. From the call (Source: nameorg.org listerv):

“In order to extend and reframe the dialogue on immigration issues in the United States by bringing multiple voices and perspectives of researchers, practitioners, families, and students in conversation. We envision a vigorous generation of unconventional intellectual exchange that will illuminate rich portraits of diverse immigrant children?

“In PreK-12 pipeline, who are too often characterized as “disadvantaged” and even culturally deprived. We further hope that a collection of these voices will celebrate the strengths, resilience, contributions, and humanity of a population often characterized as a threatening nuisance in U.S. society.

“While the topic of immigration is always relevant, the recent enactment of new immigration laws in Arizona and the surrounding protests, debates, and legal battles, have once again thrust this ongoing theme into the forefront of our collective consciousness. Unfortunately, the discourses surrounding this and other immigration-related news stories tend towards simplified understandings of immigration and the immigrant experience, and often portray immigrants and their children as a national crisis, or burden that must be managed, rather than as a complex, rich, and growing part of our national fabric. Contrary to such ideological approaches, we as the editorial board of HER summon other immigrant stories left untold, and at times, silenced.

“As the tenth anniversary of our 2001 special issue on immigration and education, the scope of this new issue will encompass the complexities of navigation pathways and social processes within and across multiple linguistic and cultural contexts that shape the lived experiences of immigrant children and adolescents. Within this framework, we aim to explore multiple contexts of immigrant childhood and adolescence, parents, families, schools, neighborhoods, ethnic community centers, weekend language schools, churches, and civic institutions that collectively present support and challenges and how these students draw upon their experiences in these complex environments to thrive in the current education system.

“We encourage authors to consider, when relevant, cross-cultural perspectives across immigrant groups and highlight processes and mechanisms by which different authors to consider, when relevant, cross-cultural perspectives across immigrant groups and highlight processes and mechanisms by which different immigrant groups build bridges across cultural contexts. In particular, we encourage proposals for manuscript that address one or more of these following contextual themes”:

  1. Children in Immigrant Homes (e.g., family dynamic, parenting role, documentation status, family literacy practice, concept of home, role of siblings)
  2. Children in Ethnic Communities or Immigrant Neighborhoods (e.g., language schools, cultural education centers, informal childcare, relative support, housing, playground, park)
  3. Children of Immigrants in Schools, Community-Based, Religious, and/or Civic Institutions (e.g., youth culture, peer relationships, ESL tracking, faith-based institutions and community organizing institutions serving immigrant groups, health care centers, workplace).

“HER invites authors to submit proposals for manuscripts that address the educational experiences of immigrant children and youth, from early childhood through late adolescence, Pre-K through 12th grade.

“HER has historically defined “educationbroadly, as education takes place in many locations other than schools.We are looking for three types of manuscripts:

  1. Scholarly articles from researchers including, but not limited to, original research, theoretical manuscripts, and essays.
  2. Reflective essays and narratives from practitioners (teachers, teacher educators, school leaders, program directors, community organizers, religious leaders, coaches, etc.).
  3. Stories from children, and youth who are growing up in immigrant homes and communities. (We have a separate process for this type of manuscript. If you know young people who might be interested, please contact us).

For information about the types of manuscripts accepted by HER, please visit the Guidelines for Authors page or contact 617-495-3432.

Proposals due by Sept 15, 2010 to the following email address: her_si_submissions@gse.harvard.edu

Call for papers, part 2: Harvard wants to hear from immigrant children and youth

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

The 2nd call from the Harvard Educational Review, HER (see above), is specifically made to immigrant children and youth (Source nameorg.org listserv):

How has my family, school, and/or communities impacted my educational goals and experiences in the United States? To All Children & Youth Growing Up in Immigrant Homes and Communities

“Dear teachers and students, The Harvard Educational Review (HER) is planning to publish a special issue on Diverse Experiences of Immigrant Children and Youth in Education in order to extend and reframe the dialogue on immigration issues in the United States by bringing multiple voices and perspectives of researchers, practitioners, families, and students in conversation.

“As part of this project, we are looking for personal essays, stories, and visual art from children and youth who have been directly shaped by immigration experience.

“Student writers could be a child of immigrant parents or have immigrated to the U.S. with or without their families. We are interested in publishing stories related to children and youths’ educational experiences, and in particular, how these experiences are shaped by their families, communities, religious institutions, community organizations, or society at large.

“While the topic of immigration is always relevant, the recent enactment of new immigration laws in Arizona and the surrounding protests, debates, and legal battles, have once again thrust this ongoing theme into the forefront of our collective consciousness. Unfortunately, the discussions surrounding this and other immigration-related news stories tend towards simplified understandings of immigration and the immigrant experience, and often portray immigrants and their children as a national crisis, or burden that must be managed, rather than as a complex, rich, and growing part of our national fabric. Equally important, the voices of immigrants, and immigrant youth especially, are too often excluded from mainstream media, policy, and academic outlets even in discussions of education, where youth experience is central. Contrary to such approaches, we as the editorial board of HER summon other immigrant stories left untold, and at times, silenced by seeking the direct involvement of young people as authors and experts on their lives and
educations”.

Proposal submission information:

“We are accepting submissions from PreK-12 students whose lives have been touched and shaped by immigration experience anywhere in the U.S. We are particularly interested in stories related to educational experience, but we realize that “educational experiences” can occur in many locations besides schools.  We are open to receiving multiple types of personal stories about growing up in immigrant homes and communities. However, we are not looking for an overall generic essay about your entire life. Rather, we are looking for specific in-depth stories you choose to tell with illuminating details and rich descriptions”.

For submissions and questions, e-mail HER at the following address: HER_youth_submissions@gse.harvard.edu

Proposal Submission Deadline: December 15, 2010.

“Coming to Canada: The price that children pay”

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

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 immigrantchildren.ca is pleased to see children and youth issues highlighted by Fatah today.

Call for proposals: CIC & Multiculturalism

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Inter-Action is the new Multiculturalism Grants program, administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

From the latest funding call:

“The Program supports CIC’s mandate and the Canadian Multiculturalism Act by assisting the socio-economic integration of individuals and communities and their contributions to building an integrated and socially cohesive society”.

“Priority areas under consideration for this call are: Youth, including youth at risk; Faith communities and organizations; Immigrants. Themes focus on: Citizenship rights and responsibilities; Facilitating positive interaction among different cultural, ethnic and religious communities in Canada”.

For more information, including application forms and details on applying, see the CIC site and the Settlement At Work site.

Deadline for applications is Oct 15, 2010.