Four questions for … social worker, facilitator and diversity consultant Ilaneet Goren

I asked social worker, facilitator and diversity consultant Ilaneet Goren:

What’s the effect of racism, discrimination, and stereotyping on newcomer children (birth to age eight)?

I am part of a team of equity educators who facilitate diversity programs for children and youth in school boards across Ontario. While every school and community is unique in terms of their experience with immigration, when it comes to inclusion and well-being, the barriers newcomer children face are similar across the board. Even in communities where resources and supports are readily available, there is no immunity to implicit bias, prejudice, and anti-immigrant sentiments in the current political climate that emboldens hateful nationalist ideologies. Children learn and absorb messages from the adult world around them and, when anti-immigrant attitudes become the norm, it teaches all children that taunting someone for having an accent or for wearing a hijab is ‘okay’.

In my experience as a social worker – and speaking as a two-time immigrant who first emigrated at the age of 10 – newcomer children want to belong, more than anything else. They want to feel a part of their school community. They want to be and feel Canadian. While they are aware of their differences in terms of ethnicity, language, culture, or faith, they are more interested in the commonalities that help them connect to their classmates and identify them as friends. In fact, the speed with which newcomer children adapt to their new environment and culture never ceases to amaze us: it is a testament to their amazing resiliency and potential which we, as educators, must nurture.

Inside the school as outside of it, prejudice, bias and discrimination are most often expressed in implicit and unspoken ways. Negative and belittling attitudes, deficit-based thinking, or a lack of understanding that equity doesn’t mean equality and that some newcomer children may need specific supports in order to integrate into school are commonplace in all environments. Biased thinking occurs when newcomer children are automatically placed in a lower grade, or when students facing language barriers are not afforded the extra time they need to complete an assignment because ‘everyone needs to be treated equally.’

When we talk to students about their school climate the conversation often reveals the lack of safety experienced by students who are on the receiving end of bullying and stereotyping because of their identity. The bystander effect is also revealed: their peers are unwilling to intervene when they witness bullying. These conversations can be challenging for newcomer students who may not have the confidence or the language to talk about their experiences of exclusion, or may not know about – or trust – the supports available to them.

When students don’t feel safe, they can’t learn. A lack of safety affects their stress levels and well-being. While student mental health is now part of the conversation in many schools, there is still much work to be done to address the link between bullying, racism, and student mental health and well-being.

Rather than expecting that students affected by racism and discrimination reach out for support, educators and administrators need to be proactive and engage the students directly, while addressing and interrupting bullying every single time they witness it.

There’s much discussion on integration of immigrants. What kinds of services or supports do newcomer children need to successfully integrate in Canada?

Newcomer parents need support in navigating the education system and in advocating for their rights and the rights of their children in that system. Currently, this support is spotty and fragmented: some areas have it or some form of it, though many don’t. Even in areas where schools have settlement workers, these workers may be over-stretched, trying to meet growing needs with shrinking resources. When it comes to institutionalized racism, settlement workers are not equipped with the tools, nor are they encouraged or funded, to engage in advocacy for systemic change.

Before talking about services though, it’s important to remember that safety, followed by love and belonging, is among the first three most basic human needs, according to Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs. From an equity perspective, emphasizing and actively supporting a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for children where they live, learn and play is fundamental to their healthy development. For newcomer children, safety and belonging are especially important factors that shape their experience with immigration. This is the philosophy that we want to see permeate every facet of our society, not just within settlement services.

I’d like to see more discussion about safeguarding services against operating like a machine devoid of a human heart. Sometimes services are well-intentioned and look good on the books but fall short when it comes to authentic human connection and genuine expressions of care, empathy and compassion. I say this as both a service provider and as a youth who once received these services. Restricting the length of time people can stay connected to their case workers, for example, or requiring certain documents in order to be connected to services, are just two examples of administrative practices that create barriers and reproduce oppression.

To continue to meet the challenges brought about by global migration, Canada needs to re-think its approach to newcomer support in many areas and re-design our system and the ways in which resources are allocated. Services need to be more integrated, holistic, comprehensive and consistent, taking into account the unique needs of each geographical immigrant area. The examples are too many to list here, but an illustration is evident in the ways in which refugee families from Syria have been treated, with different types of sponsorship revealing major gaps in how services are coordinated and funds are allocated.

If you could influence the federal minister of citizenship, refugees, and immigration to do one thing for newcomer children, what would it be?

Support newcomer families.

Newcomer children do well when their families do well and their basic needs are met. The effects of social and economic inequality on newcomers are imprinted on their children. Too often, newcomer children carry the burden and stress of their parents because of the barriers they face, be it unemployment, financial struggle, inadequate housing, racism, or a combination of all of these factors. When supporting newcomer children we have to include the whole family unit in our analysis and understand the interconnected nature of forms of inequality and the ways in which they influence one another.

What is one of your favourite children’s books that you would recommend for newcomer children? Why?

I think children’s books offer a lot of insight and wisdom for adults, as well as children! One that I particularly like as a diversity educator is “Why Are All The Taxi Drivers…?” by Canadian educator Christopher D’Souza, with illustrations by Nadia Petkovic.

The little girl in the book, Dakota, is curious and, like many children, she asks her Mom about the things she is noticing – unknowingly uncovering hidden bias and stereotypes embedded in the world around us through the eyes of a child. I like this book because it’s a good entry point to a conversation with a child about the inequality they might be witnessing in the world around them. It validates the stuff many racialized immigrant children already know and feel but may not have the words to describe, and gives ideas about ways to create change.

~

Ilaneet Goren is a social worker, facilitator, and diversity consultant with over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector in Toronto. Committed to equity and social justice, she has worked with immigrants as a counselour, group facilitator, and career mentor. Ilaneet specializes in experiential education and mindfulness techniques with a focus on addressing bias, prejudice, and discrimination. In her current role as manager at Harmony Movement, an equity and diversity education organization, Ilaneet designs and delivers diversity education programs for community organizations and private sector partners. Her early life in Soviet Ukraine and in Israel have given her a unique and intimate perspective on how social and political contexts shape a person’s identity and culture.

~
immigrantchildren.ca is asking Canadian experts and advocates in immigration, settlement, refugees, and newcomers about their views on newcomer children (birth to age eight). For more interviews, see here.

Comic books for children to learn about refugees

Comics for Youth Refugees Incorporated Collective (CYRIC), believes that children can learn from, and refugee children can benefit from a comic book that tells common Syrian folk tales. The comic is called Haawiyat and is written band illustrated by y  a number of international folks. (English version here).

Recently CYRIC gave away copies in  Gaziantep, Turkey and are seeking crowdfunding to produce a second, and bigger, edition. crowdfunding platform Razoo

Source: @TeamRefugees & @robsalk

Top 10 moments for immigrant and refugee children in Canada, 2015

10. Syrian refugee children are welcomed to Canada with a dedicated play area at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. #WelcomeRefugees starts trending! Shared by @viraniarif.

9. The 1000 Schools Challenge rallies Canadian schools to welcome refugee children. Shared by @SetAtWork.

8. StatsCan releases report on immigrant children’s performance in math vs. their Canadian-born peers. Research matters! Shared by @StatCan_eng.

7. Syrian refugee children: A Guide for welcoming young children and their families is released. Shared by @CMASCanada.

6. The UNHCR & COSTI holds a Human Rights Child & Youth Poetry Contest. Art matters! Shared by @marcopolis.

5. The 2015 Prosperity Index names Canada the most tolerant country in the world. Shared by @CGBrandonLee.

4. Forty-six visible minorities are elected in #Elxn42. If they can see it, they can be it! Shared by @Andrew_Griffith.

3. Canada elects a government with a self-proclaimed feminist prime minister, who creates a Cabinet committee on diversity and inclusion, puts refugees in the immigration portfolio, and who returns the multiculturalism file to Canadian Heritage.

2.Trent University recognizes child care champion Martha Friendly with an honourary PhD. Martha is an advocate for inclusive, culturally-appropriate child care and early childhood education for all children in Canada. Shared by @TorontoStar.

1. immigrantchildren.ca shares policy advice with new Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, The Honourable John McCallum. Shared by @immigranttalk. (Shameless self-promotion).

Policy advice for the next/new #cdnimm minister

In a Q & A format, New Canadian Media have published a piece on policy advice for the next/new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, post the Oct 19th federal election. It’s a thoughtful piece by esteemed policy wonks, Andrew Griffith, Robert Vineberg, and Richard Kurland.

I have a few additions to propose. I’ll use the questions that form the NCM piece.

1. What advice would you give an incoming minister of immigration and multiculturalism?

I’m delighted to see the premise of this question because the minister of immigration and citizenship ought to also hold the multiculturalism portfolio.

I support the expert’s advice to update the citizenship guide, Discover Canada, but I’d also propose both child (birth to age eight) and youth (eight to 18) versions. This could be a lot of fun!

2. Would you change the relative proportion of economic, family unification and humanitarian (refugee) migrants arriving in Canada every year?

I agree with Vineberg and would support an increase in family class. See the Canadian Council for Refugees item on family reunification. Policy responses related to transnational families, unaccompanied and undocumented children are also warranted.

3. What’s the ideal number of newcomers (including refugees) that Canada should take in every year (compared to the current average)?

Kurland’s response “No such thing as an ideal number” is valid, but Griffith’s suggestion provides a clearer direction: “Set in place an advisory body, broadly-based, that would review the social and economic integration data, nationally and regionally, to provide recommendations to government for longer-term targets and assess whether current levels and mix are appropriate”. I would hope that such an advisory body would, beyond recommending targets and assessing mix, also examine and recommend ways to support integration for immigrant children and youth.

4. Should multiculturalism be official policy? What needs to change?

As stated, multiculturalism is official policy and entrenched in the Charter. Changes may be warranted and I would propose that early childhood educators and primary school teachers – and parents – be consulted on how the policy can support and promote not only the theory of multiculturalism, but the importance of integration for newcomer children.

5. Should provinces and municipalities have a greater role in immigration? What role should that be?

Yes! Since provinces and municipalities have responsibility for education and health, and these areas impact young children and youth directly, these levels of government must step up their involvement and work to ensure that appropriate policies and programs are in place to support and promote integration, health and well-being of immigrant children and youth.

6. What can a new government do differently to enable “foreign credential recognition”?

The new government must put in place a pan-Canadian child care program that is publicly funded, regulated, accessible, affordable, not-for-profit, and community based. As newcomer parents navigate the foreign credential process (and later, as they enter the workforce), a high-quality child care program is critical. A truly universal child care program would also be culturally relevant and take into consideration the needs of newcomer children and families.

Webinar on mental health of immigrant & refugee children in Canada

Morton Beiser CM, MD, FRCP, Scientist, Keenan Research Centre at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital and Priya Watson, MD, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health present a webinar December 5, 2014, “I May look as if I’m feeling good, but sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not: The Mental health of immigrant and refugee kids in Canada”.

From the announcement:

“The speed with which immigrant kids as a whole learn new languages, their often spectacular school achievements and the apparent ease with which they take on the dress and behaviours of other Canadian kids can give the impression that all is well. That assumption would be a mistake. Although many immigrant kids and youth are probably integrating well, others are not. Some are experiencing difficulty in learning English and/or French, some are falling behind in school and dropping out before they should, some are experiencing problems with their families, some are having trouble deciding whether they are “ethnic”, Canadian or neither, many are facing discrimination, and some are being attracted to gang culture. Resettlement policies and programs for immigrant kids need to take into account the specific problems that these children and youth face that are above and beyond the developmental challenges common to all children. They also need to understand the resilience of immigrant youngsters and where this resilience comes from.

“Even if we had the best policies and programs in place (and we do not), some children and youth in immigrant families would develop mental health problems requiring specialized care. The fact that they are young people who have experienced major life disruptions, that they and their families may have language problems and that their cultural backgrounds likely differ from the health care professionals to whom their care is entrusted create particular issues that have to be resolved.

“In this Fireside Chat (webinar), Dr. Morton Beiser will summarize research and accumulated knowledge about the mental health of immigrant and refugee children and discuss how this information can provide a back-drop for policy and program planning. Dr. Priya Watson will discuss clinical guidelines for assessing and treating children from immigrant and refugee backgrounds”.

For more details, and information on how to register, click here.

Related Resources
Caring for Kids New to Canada
Caring for Kids New to Canada, Mental Health & Development

6th ‘On New Shores’ conference: Immigrant and ethnic minority families ~ Bridging across cultural boundaries

For the 6th time, the University of Guelph is hosting an ‘On New Shores’ conference (search immigrantchildren.ca for information about previous ONS conferences). This year’s theme is Immigrant and ethnic minority families: Bridging across cultural boundaries. The conference will be held in Toronto from October 23 – 24, 2014.

From the call for proposals:

The goal of this conference is to bring together various stakeholders (researchers, community and governmental providers) to collectively examine and discuss issues of children, youth, and families in the context of culture and immigration. Whether individuals and families are new to a country and/or belong to a visible minority group, they share many experiences and challenges.
What lessons can be shared? How can we synergize our efforts to develop more culturally sensitive and culturally appropriate research strategies or programs and services in our respective communities? Discussions of organizational stresses and the strategies used to deal with these issues will also be addressed. Researchers from various disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology, social work, education) are welcomed. Community service providers and governmental agencies are encouraged to present work on research, effective programs, social issues, and challenges.
UPDATE: Proposal submission deadline is March 15, 2014. All proposals must be submitted to Dr. Susan S. Chuang by email (schuang@uoguelph.ca), and must be accompanied by a submission form.

Health promotion and care for newcomer children

The Canadian Paediatric Society, along with partner organizations have developed a comprehensive website with information and resources for health care practitioners on how to support the healthy development of newcomer children in Canada.

Caring for Kids New to Canada makes clear the notion that “Caring for children and youth new to Canada involves more than a history and physical”. The website offers important information in 7 areas:

  • Assessment and screening
  • Medical conditions
  • Mental health and development
  • Health promotion
  • Culture and health
  • Providing care for newcomers
  • Beyond the clinic

The initiative’s vision statement:

“Children and youth new to Canada do not enjoy the same health status as their Canadian-born peers. We want to eliminate health disparities, so that no child is at a disadvantage because of their country of origin or family status. This website is a step in that direction. Our long-term goals are to:

  • Improve the ability of health care providers to deliver services to children and youth new to Canada.
  • Improve the ability of institutions to develop polices, practices and programs that are evidence-based and that meet the needs of newcomers and their families.
  • Improve the long-term health and developmental outcomes for children and youth new to Canada.
  • Reduce—and eventually eliminate—the gaps between the health of children/youth new to Canada and their Canadian-born peers”.

The site supports health care practitioners – and others who care for newcomer children – to learn about resources for immigrant children and families in their communities; how to provide culturally competent care; and how to assess if the patient is adjusting well to Canada.

Mothercraft’s “Caring for Canada’s Children” online training project

Caring for Canada’s Children was an online training event offered by Mothercraft 2009-2010, and can be found archived on the Mothercraft website.

Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Mothercraft offered Caring for Canada’s Children training course for settlement workers and other professionals working with newcomer families and children from birth to age six. The two-year online training program covered many topics, including:

The effects of migration policy on family reorganization

Adaptations to parenting: Healthy family functioning

The Challenges to cultural and geographic dislocation

The global worker: Cultural competence in the settlement sector.

Mothercraft is seeking renewed funding to support updated training to include a training manual and future professional training.

If you participated in Mothercraft’s Caring for Canada’s Children, and have feedback, please respond to the following questions via email to Cindy Kwan at ckwan@mothercraft.org .

1.  Since the Caring for Canada’s Children training, have you found the information useful in your professional work?

2. Would you be interested in a more thorough updated training manual focused on newcomer families: issues for families with infants and young children under six years of age?

3.  Please share a quick comment with us about the Caring for Canada’s Children training and its use in your professional work.

Responses are due by Friday, August 24, 2012

Parenting and discipline across cultures

From the CERIS (Centre of Excellence in Research in Immigration and Settlement) website, a post about parenting across cultures, as discussed in a television show, featuring CERIS Director Dr. Mehru Ali on parenting and discipline across cultures):

“Ali talked to TVO Parents about the cultural aspect of parenting and discipline in a Canadian context. In an expert panel to introduce a new TVO series The Slap, Dr. Ali shared her perspective and research on parenting and the situation that newcomers find themselves in a new society with potentially different norms. She emphasized that cultural norms greatly differ among groups and that we must consider the diversity of parents before judging one type of discipline over another”.

Ali comes in at about six minutes into the video. She addresses the discipline issue of hitting children. Increasingly, physically hitting a child is becoming unacceptable but Ali says we need to “consider” different parenting styles. Ali wavers on whether physical force is ever warranted but says the key principle is to keep the child protected.  My question is how do we reconcile types of discipline, though, with Canadian norms and laws? The host of the show cites that about 20 countries have banned corporal punishment. Canada, as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Article 19 (see below), have a legal obligation to protect children from physical violence, whether it’s from a parent or not.

Article 1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.”

ANCIE Bulletin: Gender roles

The latest e-Bulletin from AMSSA‘s (Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of BC) ANCIE (AMSSA’s Newcomer Child Information Exchange) explores gender roles.

The bulletin discusses sex vs. gender, introduces the concept of gender analysis, and how gender and migration intersect for children and youth and results in inequalities – and offers research on gender inequities in the school system, including these findings from recent research:

Gender construction in schools can create very distinct notions of what it means to be a man and a woman, with polarized attributes for femininity and masculinity;

Across most countries, boys continue to dominate classroom time and space, a practice that seems to create subdued girls and creates perceived differences between men and women;

In many countries academic performance of boys and girls is converging, but when it comes to fields of study and work there is still clustering by gender;

The curriculum, especially sex education, continues to center on biological features and refuses to acknowledge social dimensions of adolescent sexuality;

The peer culture of a classroom contributes powerfully to classroom dynamics and the focus of either gender towards academics;

Most public education policies fail to recognize the socialization role of schools. (Stromquist, 2007).

As in all e-Bulletins, there is a useful list of additional related resources.

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

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.

Building strong refugee families & communities/BRYCS focus on refugee children and youth

February 2012 focus for US-based BRYCS (Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services) is Building Strong Refugee Families & Communities. From the BRYCS e-bulletin:

“Strong families and communities are essential to the long-term success of refugee children…. Having the support and guidance of parents and co-ethnic communities helps refugee children draw healthy values and a positive identity from their ethnic heritage, while both parents and children also adapt to their new lives in the … research-to-practice resources to learn about …child-rearing expectations, develop parent support groups, and to help service providers create effective strengths-based programming. Key BRYCS family strengthening resources include… (all PDFs):

Raising Children in a New Country: An Illustrated Handbook

Toolkit for Working with Newcomer Parents

The BRYCS Brief, Supporting Refugee Families: Adapting Family Strengthening Programs that Build on Assets

For more information, visit BRYCS Family Strengthening page.