Pathways to Prosperity 2016 National Conference – Poster Presentations

1. Ravini Abeywickrama & Simon Laham, The University of Melbourne
Ingroup Morality Threat Drives Positive Behaviours Toward Refugees and Asylum-Seekers
Prejudice towards outgroups has different behavioural consequences depending on the specific affective basis of that prejudice. In a sample of students (N = 114), we demonstrate distinct threat, emotion and behaviour profiles for attitudes towards economic migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. Perceived threat to material resources predicted fear, and thus avoidance, of economic migrants. However, perceived threat to in-group moral image predicted pity and guilt toward refugees and asylum-seekers respectively, subsequently eliciting greater support for acceptance-related policies (e.g. provision of subsidies). These findings suggest that
strategies aimed at modifying attitudes and behaviours towards different migrant groups should target specific threat perceptions and emotions.


2. Awish Aslam, Western University
“Don’t Worry You’ll Find Something”: Emotional Support as Social Capital in the School–Work Transition of Second-Generation Immigrants
Drawing from wider findings of a study examining the school–work transitions of 27 second-generation immigrants, the role of social capital was found to be particularly significant. While participants identified their lack of access to career-related social capital as a key challenge in their transitions, the emotional support they received from their parents was considered to be an extremely valuable form of social capital. Considering that young second-generation immigrants face a number of disadvantages in the labour market, it is important to illuminate their experiences and shed light on the strategies that help to ease this transition.


3. Mikaela Burgos, University of Alberta, Mohamed Al-Adeimi, South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre & Jason Brown, Western University
Family Life as a Contributor to the Well-Being of Immigrant Youth in Canada
The identification of strengths inherent in a newcomer youth’s environment can provide youth with assistance in overcoming systemic and psychosocial challenges in the resettlement phase. This study explores factors of family life that serve as sources of resilience for newcomer adolescents. Group interviews were conducted with newcomer youth (N = 12; 15-18 years old) who migrated to Canada within the last two years. Results displayed themes of security, bonding, and feelings of support. Results also illustrated youths’ appreciation of expectations and autonomy in the home. Implications are discussed regarding the provision of mental health services for newcomer youth in Canada.


4. Claude Charpentier, Bishop’s University, Dale Stout, Bishop’s University & Gabriela loachim, Queen’s University
Evaluative Perceptions of Self and Others: Immigration Needs and Preoccupations in the Estrie Region
Of the 258,057 immigrants admitted in Quebec between 2011 and 2015, 5228 came to the Estrie region. Recording immigrant attitudes towards the host majority culture and other ethnic minorities, 217 Estrie immigrants were surveyed on demographic, sociocultural, and psychological characteristics. Results show that immigrants’ perception of ethnoreligious groups, their view of native Quebecers’ tolerance and acceptance of them, their take on religious/cultural diversity and cultural threat, their self-rated physical health and life overall, their cultural identity, their collective self-esteem, and their openness to change vary as a function of region of origin and/or primary official language used. Implications for immigrant integration and retention are discussed.


5. Caitlin Downie, Tinna Ezekiel & Linda Thompson-Brown, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
Wood Buffalo in Recovery: (Re)Building a Welcoming and Inclusive Community
As part of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is committed to building a more welcoming and inclusive community. For many years, employment prospects have attracted people from across Alberta, Canada and the world, resulting in a vibrantly diverse community. However, plummeting oil prices and the recent wildfire have hit the Wood Buffalo region hard, resulting in increased pressures on the residents of the region. Learnings from past disasters indicate that enhanced cultural sensitivity and community connectedness are key to successful recovery. A community-wide Diversity Plan is a central part of the Wood Buffalo recovery plan to (re)build a welcoming and inclusive community.


6. Julie Drolet, University of Calgary, Lisa Elford, HABITUS Consulting Collective, Gayatri Moorthi, HABITUS Consulting Collective, Amanda Weightman, HABITUS Consulting Collective & Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA)
The Alberta Syrian Refugee Resettlement Experience Study
The Alberta Syrian Refugee Resettlement Experience Study aims to enhance knowledge about the resettlement experiences of Syrian refugees arriving in Alberta during 2015 and 2016. The goal of the study is to develop knowledge on the unique needs, barriers and reflections of Syrian refugees in order to better understand their settlement experiences within the first 6-18 months of arrival. The research questions, methods (first language survey, interviews, ethnographic case study, and community forum), and ethics will be featured. This study with recently settled Syrian refugees in small- and mid-sized cities in Alberta and with practitioners working with Syrian refugees will be discussed.


7. Zohra Faize, University of Ottawa
Migration and Detention Experiences of Asylum Seeking Children and Youth in Canada
Globalization has shrunk the globe and expanded the mobility privileges of certain populations while simultaneously the movements of other populations, such as those in the Global South, have been restricted. Global South communities, which are predominantly racialized and economically disadvantaged, are subject to strict border control policies resulting in their marginalization and criminalization when trying to cross international borders. Using Canada as a case study, this research explored migration experiences of asylum seeking youth and children to Canada and their immigration detention experience in Canada. In particular, participants were asked about the effectiveness of immigration detention as a deterrence policy and their perspectives on alternatives to detention.


8. Anahit Falihi, Saskatoon Open Door Society
Cultural Bridging: Learning from the Past and a Vision for the Future
Social Inclusion has been identified as a crucial component of successful settlement. Success is defined through indicators such as feelings of belonging, integration, understanding, acceptance, and cultural accommodation. Saskatoon Open Door Society’s settlement and support programs play a key role in actuating an increase of these indicators by facilitating a deeper understanding between newcomer immigrants and refugees, the broader Saskatoon community, and service providers, both in the public and private sectors. Family Bridging, Enhanced Cultural Responsiveness, and Creating Youth Culture are core initiatives in the delivery of Cultural Bridging programming with the express goal of contributing to inclusive and healthy communities.


9. Elmira Galiyeva & Tahir Khan, Toronto North Local Immigration Partnership
Pop-up Hub: Service Coordination Model to Improve Accessibility for Newcomers in Precarious Situations
“Pop-up Hub” is a service coordination model developed by the Toronto North Local Immigration Partnership to address the issue of service accessibility for newcomers who are not able to avail community services during regular business hours due to precarious employment situations. This model also tackles the accessibility issue for newcomers who are not familiar with newcomer services or experience barriers (language, transportation cost, etc.) in accessing these services. The poster presentation describes the planning process (including outreach and needs assessment), implementation, evaluation, and some coordination challenges.


10. Caroline Hemstock, Deniz Erkmen, Kylee van der Poorten, Stephanie Kot & William Mansfield, Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies
Temporary Foreign Workers and International Students: Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program Environmental Scan
Bilateral agreements between federal and provincial governments, known as Provincial Nominee Programs, have allowed provinces to play a more active role in the attraction and retention of newcomers. Within a changing policy environment, the effect of these programs on provincial migration requires analysis and evaluation. The objective of the Pathways to Prosperity funded Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program project was to address this gap in knowledge, while creating the basis for a deeper understanding of the impact of Canada’s federal policy changes. Findings from the project will be presented in relation to how they affect applicants such as Temporary Foreign Workers and International Students.


11. Huda Hussein, Access to Health Interpretation Working Group, Health and Well-Being Sub-council, London and Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership Council (LMLIP)
Speaking Freely: Professional Health Interpretation in London, Ontario
Professional health interpretation improves patients’ understanding of information, increases ability to describe symptoms, and contributes to better safety and quality of care. Providers have improved ability regarding informed consent, increased ability to diagnose and treat, and better clinical outcomes. Often providers overlook the need for professional interpreters during their contacts with patients. Moreover, patients may be embarrassed or unaware of their rights to request an interpreter. Even when the need for an interpreter is identified, there are limited funds to support the work. The London and Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership Council sponsored Speaking Freely, a paper highlighting best practices, gaps, needs, and endorsed recommendations, including advocacy with policymakers, tools/training for providers, and an awareness campaign for patients.


12. Patrick F. Kotzur, Nora Forsbach & Ulrich Wagner, Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany)
“When I Think of Refugees, I Think of…“ On Stereotypes, Emotional Reactions, and Action Tendencies towards Refugees as a Function of Group Label and Motivation to Leave the Country
In light of growing resentment towards refugees, we applied a factorial survey to investigate the content and emotional and behavioural consequences of the social perception of refugees as a function of their label (“refugees” vs. “asylum seekers”) and refugees’ motives to leave their country (war vs. economic hardship). Participants were 389 German university students. Results indicate that the choice of label and the specification of a flight motive had an impact on the associated characteristics. Moreover, stereotypes, emotions, and action tendencies towards the groups differed, such that economic refugees were evaluated more negatively than the remaining refugee groups.


13. Eugena Kwon, Western University & Health Awareness Canada (HAC)
Connect and Change the Community (C.C.C.) Project
Health Awareness Canada (H.A.C.) is a registered nonprofit organization with a mission of helping newcomers (e.g., immigrants and refugees) to maintain a healthy lifestyle in Canada by raising awareness of the importance of food literacy. Our first project, “3C Project – Connect and Change the Community,” aims to achieve synergies between different stakeholders. As good health is a key outcome of successful immigrant integration and settlement, this project seeks to bridge the gap between the researchers, immigrant service providers and community health organizations so that more collaborative efforts can be made in providing newcomers with culturally appropriate health interventions. (


14. Beth Martin, Ryerson University
Adding Rungs to the Bottom of the Ladder? Transparency and Communication with Family Class Applicants
This poster will explore one of the key themes in the findings of a larger project examining the lived experiences of families who applied to reunite in Canada through Family Class programs. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative data collected from 150 applicant families and 100 key informants, I describe (a) applicants’ experiences of communicating with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (as it was known at the time) both inside and outside Canada, and (b) the implications of these experiences for the application process. I discuss ways in which applicants worked to overcome barriers to communication and conclude with suggestions for improvement.


15. Cavita Meetun, Western University
Immigrant Financial Security: An Analysis of Differential Savings Patterns
This research project looks at the economic integration of immigrants in Canada, specifically their saving and investment behaviour. This study extends the concept of saving to include homeownership and adds a cultural dimension to understand whether the beliefs and motives of immigrants influence how or why they save. Understanding how and why immigrants save money will shed light on the long-term effects of migration on saving behaviour in Canada and help us to understand how migration might affect retirement planning.


16. Georgette Morris, York University
Jamaican Canadian Experience Live in Caregiver Program 1973
This paper queries discrimination faced by women emigrating from Jamaica, West Indies, to Canada after the 1973 Employment Temporary Authorization changes. Having no landed status, coupled with limited ability to access the legitimate job market, kept several women captive and subject to precarious employment in undesirable areas of work. The Live in Caregiver Program is a highly contested form of employment as it capitalizes on cheap labour and, arguably, imperialism. This unnecessarily complicates these women’s ability to mobilize in regards to social and financial issues in comparison to peers. Migration for labour continues to be an issue of strategic development in managing Canada’s growth.


17. Gwynne Ng, Western University
Accessing Preventative Healthcare: Influences on Utilization Among Asian Immigrant Women
This study explores the social and cultural processes involved in the participation of Asian immigrant women in preventative health services. Using in-depth interviews, Asian immigrant women share their experiences in the healthcare system as well as their opinions about the accessibility of health services in Canada. This research aims to expose the challenges and difficulties limiting the use of healthcare services by immigrant women. Investigating the experiences of these women can shed light on how the Canadian healthcare system currently addresses their needs, and findings can inform policies and practices that foster immigrant women’s health.


18. Jean-Marie Nkongolo-Bakenda, University of Regina & Elie Chrysostome, State University of New York
International Business between Canada and Diasporan Countries of Origin as an Alternative to the Integration of Immigrants: In Search of Determinants
Scholars and practitioners have often claimed that international business activities could bypass labour market constraints and nativist prejudice and offer an alternative to the integration of immigrants. Theories from entrepreneurship, international entrepreneurship, and business internationalization support this claim. However, only a few empirical studies have been carried out on the topic. This study examines 60 Canadian diasporan entrepreneurs doing business between Canada and their home countries. Individual attributes, organizational capabilities and business contexts in home and host countries are analyzed using the PLS-SEM technique to identify the determinants of success. Suggestions for future research and recommendations to policymakers will be advanced.


19. Stefania Paolini & Samineh Sanatkar, The University of Newcastle (Australia)
Identity Complexity and Inclusiveness Encourage EU Citizens’ Interests in EU-Wide Behaviours by Reducing Concerns over Immigration and Increasing General Life Optimism
Concerns over immigration have dominated the political and media discourse over Europe’s effectiveness at safeguarding its social fabric and long-term prosperity. 2014 Eurobarometer data from the 28 EU member states (N = 15,744 European adult citizens) were analyzed with bootstrapped mediation techniques. Results indicate that the complexity and inclusiveness of national and European identity had a unique role at propelling individuals’ interest in EU-wide behaviours by reducing migration and intergroup concerns about Europe and increasing individuals’ general optimism about their future within the EU. Implications for intergroup psychology and social integration interventions in increasingly diverse societies are discussed.


20. Janki Shankar, University of Calgary, Julie Drolet, University of Calgary, Daniel Lai, University of Calgary, Rick Enns, University of Calgary, Lili Liu, University of Alberta & Shaniff Esmail, University of Alberta
Occupational Safety and Recent Immigrant Workers
Recent immigrants, especially linguistic and visible minorities, are over-represented in jobs and workplaces that are harmful to their safety and well-being. Yet little research has examined their perspectives on occupational safety and workplace conditions that lead to illness/injury. This SSHRC-funded study uses a grounded theory approach to examine occupational safety, injury/illness prevention, and post-injury workplace integration from the perspective of recent immigrant employees, service providers, and employers. The findings will advance our understanding of the difficulties immigrant employees face relative to Canadian-born employees and the ways in which these can be addressed by service providers, employers and researchers.


21. Edward Shizha, Wilfrid Laurier University & Lydia Awuah-Mensah, YMCA
Challenges Faced by Male African Immigrant Youth in Accessing Post-secondary Education in Southern Ontario
This poster is on a participatory research study aimed at better understanding the role played by acculturation, cultural capital, and masculinity in first generation male African immigrant youth’s efforts to access post-secondary education. Phase 1 of the study consisted of interviews and focus groups with 40 young men who immigrated to Canada from Africa as dependents of economic immigrants or refugees. The young men graduated from high school in Southern Ontario and have continued on through postsecondary education. This presentation will highlight findings from phase 1 of our study. Although asked primarily about their post-secondary education decisions, the young men revealed general themes on their gradual adjustment to life in Canada, giving us a good idea of their evolving relationships with parents, school authorities, and peers in home, school, and neighbourhood contexts. More specifically, they discussed the theme of belonging, and the meaning of being young Black men in a society where in their words: “a standard exists for people who are Black and that standard is not very high.”


22. Shelley K. Taylor & Lina Dallal-Bachi, Western University
Refugees are Immigrants at Risk
Refugees’ desires to start over frequently conflict with their desires to preserve the past. This is especially true of traumatized Syrian refugee youths. Socioemotional needs (e.g., negotiating multiple identities) equal their need to learn a new language to succeed academically. This poster highlights the urgency of their L2 learning needs while underscoring the impact socioemotional needs have on learning, and outlines how providing literacy instruction that draws on these youths’ lived experiences meets OHCHR (1989) goals of reducing attrition and preparing students to lead successful lives.