Characteristics of a Welcoming Community

This report, commissioned by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Integration Branch, provides a review of the current state of knowledge concerning welcoming communities. In order to prepare the description of key characteristics of a welcoming community and indicators of these characteristics, we conducted an extensive survey of the relevant scholarly literature and government (federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal) and community reports, and examined descriptions of best practices and case examples from the public and private sectors. It is important to note, however, that there are many gaps in this literature that need filling, and we have not attempted to speculate on these issues in this review. Instead, we describe the current consensus regarding characteristics and indicators of a welcoming community based on the current state of knowledge in this area, while acknowledging the many gaps in supporting evidence. Then, in the concluding section on Policy Implications, we propose a strategy for filling these gaps by using the indicators described in this report to develop baseline snapshots of communities, and to implement and conduct research to evaluate targeted programs and policies that build on these indicators. In this way, we can systematically and efficiently work toward developing truly welcoming communities.  […]