Pathways to Prosperity 2018 National Conference – Poster Presentations

Poster Presentations

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1. Kathya Aathavan, University of Western Ontario

Capturing Diversity Within Canadian Families

Mixed unions are partnerships that cross socially constructed differences such as race, ethnicity, or religion. Existing Canadian literature has examined how the rise in mixed race unions between visible minorities and whites may imply integration due to decreased social distance between these groups. However, this research does not focus on whites and overlooks partnerships between individuals of different ethnocultural identities who may belong to the same visible minority group. My research uses recent long-form census data to examine mixed unions based on place of birth of individuals and their parents for a more nuanced examination of diversity within Canadian families.


2. Nassiba Ahadi, University of British Columbia

The Settlement and Integration Experiences of the Middle Eastern Immigrants Residing in the Suburbs of Vancouver (Surrey, Coquitlam, and Burnaby)

A noticeable change in immigrant settlement patterns in Canada since the 1960s has made the suburbs a
“port of entry” for new immigrants. Informal interviews with “key informants” involved in settlement service organizations in the suburbs of Coquitlam, Burnaby, and Surrey, where almost 80% of the recent Middle Eastern immigrants settling in the suburbs of Vancouver live, were conducted. Informants were asked about the major barriers and challenges these immigrants face in the suburbs. Language and housing-related issues were the most common challenge reported. This study points to the need for more comparative studies in the Canadian context to better understand different immigrants’ needs, barriers, and challenges.


3. Nancy Arthur, Christine Walsh, Tanvir Turin Chowdhury, Suzanne Goopy, Mary O’Brien, Brittany Harker-Martin, Xu Zhao, & Lori Wilson, University of Calgary

The Newcomer Research Network: Leadership for Community Engaged Research

UCalgary’s Newcomer Research Network (NRN) was formed to address challenges facing newcomers in settlement, health, and education. The Network is an interdisciplinary community of researchers committed to advancing knowledge and intercultural practices with newcomers, including immigrants, refugees and international students. The Network offers a space where researchers and community groups can connect and explore research ideas and topical issues from multiple perspectives. Our collaborative platform is designed to promote understanding and encourage members to explore and address the complex needs and experiences of newcomers. The poster presentation will outline key activities of the NRN to lead and foster community-engaged research.


4. Nancy Arthur & Xu Zhao, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

International Students in High Schools and their Intercultural Friendships

Growing numbers of younger international students attend Canadian high schools. Making friends with local peers is often the most difficult task in the adaptation process, even though intercultural friendship has been identified as a key indicator of young international students’ successful social integration. Our research considered what supports or impedes the development of intercultural friendships between international students and local students in the school context. In this poster, we introduce an evidence-based conceptual framework that describes the key psychological, interpersonal, and cultural factors that facilitate or hinder intercultural relationships between international students and local students.


5. Natalya Brown & Anahit Armenakyan, Nipissing University

Welcome to the Neighbourhood: The Housing and Neighbouring Experiences of Recent Immigrants to North Bay, Ontario

Access to acceptable housing is necessary for successful integration into any community. To understand the role of neighbourhoods and housing in facilitating or hindering immigrant integration and sense of community, we surveyed and conducted focus groups with recent immigrants, and conducted interviews with key informants in the small city of North Bay (Northeast Ontario). While participants felt safe and comfortable in their neighbourhoods and with their neighbours, their interactions were superficial and did not provide a strong sense of community. Most participants were satisfied with housing suitability and adequacy, but less satisfied with affordability and availability in the community.


6. Abigail Cameron, Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership Manager, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Tri-Cities Newcomer Employment Week: The Role of the Tri-Cities LIP in Fostering Multi-Sectoral Partnerships

Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership collaborated with several multi-sectoral partners to host the first Newcomer Employment Week in the cities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody, BC. The goals of Newcomer Employment Week were: to connect employers with immigrant talent to support workplace diversity, to raise the awareness of immigrants about the various services and resources available to support their employment goals, and to increase networking opportunities between employers, newcomers and service providers. The poster will present on the process of developing and delivering a multi-sectoral initiative, share lessons and successes, and share recommendations for future implementation.


7. Claude Charpentier, Bishop’s University; Dale Stout, Bishop’s University; & Simon Stankovich-Hamel, Bishop’s University

Intercultural Relations, Nationalist Orientation, Collective Threat, and Accommodating Attitudes Toward

Ethnoreligious Diversity in a Sample of Canadian-Born English and French Speakers Residing in Quebec Immigration is changing Quebec’s cultural landscape. An immigration influx results in greater ethnoreligious diversity, challenging Western democracies invested in protecting secular values. Survey responses of 395 Estrie residents revealed that although Francophones perceived ethnic and religious targets as more open to social contact than did Anglophones, they were less accommodating of ethnoreligious diversity. Their accommodating intentions were predictable from their perceptions of religious target openness. In this study, perspectives from acculturation, national identity, and collective threat research help explain, by way of a Quebec-wide sample, French/English differences in accommodating orientations. We explore whether these differences reflect different nationalist orientations.


8. Georgina Chuatico, Western University

Bonding and Bridging Ties among Recent Immigrants

Immigrants of different class backgrounds make social ties either restricted to their ethnic group (bonding), or beyond (bridging). Using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC), I examine recent immigrants’ previous class in their country of origin. I hypothesize that those from a higher class background relative to the group’s class background will make ties beyond their ethnic group (bridge) and those from equal or lower class background will remain within their ethnic group (bond). My findings illustrate Bourdieu’s argument that class is engrained in the way people behave in society, which shapes the social networks they form.


9. Jacob Colby, Natalie Carrion, Katie Lee Bunting, Suzanne Huot, & Susan Forwell, University of British Columbia

Experiences of Internationally Educated Occupational Therapists Transitioning into Canadian Practice

British Columbia (BC) has an increasing demand for Occupational Therapists (OTs) that is being met through the registration of Internationally Educated Occupational Therapists (IEOTs). We aimed to understand the process, barriers, and facilitators for IEOTs registration, and explore their transition experience in Canadian practice. IEOTs were recruited through the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia. An online survey addressed the process, barriers, and facilitators for IEOTs obtaining registration. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the transition experience of IEOTs. Findings address the current knowledge gap in understanding the transition experiences of IEOTs as they become registered OTs in BC.


10. Angela Contreras, University of British Columbia

Public Legal Services for Migrant Workers: Practitioners’ Reflections on Education and Poverty Law

This presentation describes a case study of the provision of public legal services for people with precarious migration and employment status in Canada. The work by a local community legal clinic for low-waged migrant workers, and the concepts of access to justice and poverty law (Canadian Bar Association, 2002; Legal Services Society 2007, 2011) are assessed using the principles of institutional ethnography (Smith, 1987, 2005), critical adult educational (Freire, 1974, 2010; Carpenter et al., 2011), and systems practice (Stroh, 2015). The findings reveal ways in which collaboration between providers of access to justice services and practitioners of critical adult education is effective.


11. Marina M. Doucerain, Université du Québec à Montréal; Andrew G. Ryder, Concordia University & Jewish General Hospital; & Catherine E. Amiot, Université du Québec à Montréal

Acculturation and Adjustment Among Immigrants: Which One Comes First?

The positive association between immigrants’ acculturation (mainstream and heritage) and their adjustment (psychological and sociocultural) is well documented in the extant literature. However, whether acculturation precedes adjustment or vice-versa is an open question. A longitudinal study of international students recently arrived in Montreal (N=278) targets this issue. Using structural equation modelling and latent-class mixed modelling, we find that participants’ adjustment at arrival significantly and positively influences their acculturation trajectory over the following months, especially for mainstream acculturation. We did not find support for the opposite direction, contrary to the regularly assumed notion that acculturation leads to greater adjustment.


12. Setareh Ghahari & Shawna Burnett, Queen’s University

Health Literacy Programs Help Immigrants Access Health Services

The Accessing Canadian Healthcare for Immigrants: Empowerment, Voice & Enablement (ACHIEVE) program is a seven-session program designed to improve immigrants’ skills in accessing/navigating the Canadian healthcare system. We evaluated the effectiveness of the ACHIEVE program using a pre-test post-test design study of immigrants (n=50). Communication self-efficacy, access, and navigation skills were tested before and after the program. Participants had a statistically significant higher level of knowledge and communication self-efficacy after participation in this program. The ACHIEVE program can effectively improve immigrants’ self-efficacy in communicating and knowledge on navigating the healthcare services in Ontario, Canada.


13. Anusha Kassan, Nancy Arthur, Charis Falardeau, & Suzanne Goopy, University of Calgary

School Integration Among Canadian Newcomer Youth: Preliminary Results of an Arts-Based Ethnographic Study

This arts-based ethnographic study centered on the phenomenon of school integration and investigated the following research questions: a) how do newcomer youth experience school? and b) how do these experiences influence their positive integration into the school system? Participants included newcomer youth who were in their first years of university in Canada. Their experiences were elicited through a) cultural probes and associated individual qualitative interviews, and b) focus groups. Preliminary results include the following significant themes: socio-cultural discourses related to migration; identity negotiation; health and well-being; relationships; educational, occupational, and financial transitions; and future plans in Canada.


14. Vibha Kaushik, University of Calgary

Unmet Settlement and Integration Needs of Skilled Immigrants in Calgary

This poster presents a mixed-methods study that examines the unmet settlement and integration needs of skilled immigrants in Calgary. Qualitative data provided an in-depth exploration of the settlement and integration needs of skilled immigrants in Calgary, as understood by immigrant serving agencies. Quantitative data focused on gaining an understanding about the areas of unmet settlement and integration needs as experienced by the skilled immigrants in Calgary. Findings enhance our understanding of challenges faced by skilled immigrants, highlight the availability and effectiveness of existing social services, and inform the development and implementation of effective immigrant settlement programs in Calgary.


15. Xin Ma, Jin Hu, Suzanne Huot, & Susan Forwell, University of British Columbia

Exploring Newcomer Integration into a Canadian Metro City from an Occupational Perspective

Newcomers face numerous challenges throughout their integration into the host society. We completed a five-stage scoping review study (Arksey & O’Malley, 2005) of the literature focused on Metro Vancouver to identify factors that influence immigrants’ and refugees’ engagement in meaningful occupations within a specific local context. Forty-six articles, drawn from varied disciplines, were included in the review. Our synthesis and analysis of the literature identified a range of factors at macro, meso, and micro scales that were categorized according to five themes: systematic barriers, contextual influences, gaps in information and services, change in support circles and roles, and language use.


16. Dragana Mrdjenovic, OCISO Settlement and Integration Program

Welcoming Communities through Peer Support and Friends of the Family

OCISO successfully adopted a Peer Support Model (involving women, youth and families) in a cross-sectoral approach that enables us to provide new opportunities for the large incoming cohort of newcomer and refugee populations. Through implementing a multi-faceted and community-based set of interventions, we seek to achieve: a) improved psychological well-being and b) improved social integration. Our five large-scaled peer support projects benefit from the support of community volunteers who bring the element of authenticity and genuine friendship to the newcomer’s settlement journey. The efficiency of this model is confirmed by the impressive outcomes.


17. Gaspard Mucundanyi & Carolyn Trussell, New Mexico State University

Experiences of Campus-based International Students in Online Courses at a Public Higher Education Institution in the USA

Online education is a growing medium in colleges and universities in the USA. Cultural attributes influence learning in online courses. This poster describes problems with campus-based international students taking online courses including feeling isolated, a lack of experience with technology, and a fear of engaging in discussion boards. International students also benefit from taking online courses by allowing enough time to reflect on posts and the availability of discussion board posts. Finally, this poster shows how online courses use culturally responsive teaching at public higher education that provides an opportunity for international students to feel valuable and engage in learning.


18. Katelin Neufeld, University of Manitoba; Danielle Gaucher, University of Winnipeg; & Justin Friesen, University of Winnipeg

The Effects of Acculturative Framing and Psychological Threat on Support for Settlement Agencies

We explored two potential influences of public support for settlement agencies: framing of acculturative goals, and whether the public feels psychologically threatened. Participants (375 undergraduates, 404 community members) read a neutral article or one about terrorism (to elicit psychological threat). They also learned about settlement agencies’ goals, framed as promoting either integration or assimilation, and reported their support. Overall, participants were more supportive of agencies promoting integration than those promoting assimilation. When participants were psychologically threatened (vs. not), they reported more support for assimilative agencies; threat did not impact support for integrative agencies. Implications for settlement agencies will be discussed.


19. Ghazal Niknazar, Hospitality Workers Training Centre

Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC): An Exemplary Practice in Adaptive Workforce Development Interventions for Newcomers

This poster highlights HWTC’s adaptive, sector-specific workforce development interventions that have demonstrated outstanding outcomes for newcomer job seekers over the past two years. Learnings and best practices that can inform other workforce development efforts across Canada include: intensive community needs and opportunities assessment to inform program planning and adaptability points; occupation-specific, targeted language screening and primer tools; practical, occupation-specific, essential skills training and assessment, directly connected and reflective of accessible employment opportunities and standards; collaborative, coordinated community supports to streamline client access to the range of supports necessary for success; and concurrent employer supports for hiring and retention.


20. Kimberly A. Noels, University of Alberta; Hali Kil, University of Toronto; Dayuma Vargas Lascano, Laval University; & Oliver Schweickart, Princeton University

English Canadians’ Cultural Stereotypes of Ethnic Minority Groups: Implications of Stereotype Content for Immigration and Acculturation Attitudes

English Canadians (N = 129) indicated their stereotypes and immigration attitudes regarding six immigrant and two non-migrant comparison groups. Filipino and Jamaicans were stereotyped as warm but less competent, Chinese as competent but moderately warm (as were French-Canadians), and Pakistanis, East Indians, and Somalis as moderately competent and warm. The Aboriginal group was stereotyped as low in competence and warmth. The more English Canadians perceived immigrant groups to be competent, the more positive were their attitudes towards immigration; the more they perceived them to be competitive, the more negative were their attitudes. English Canadians’ role in immigrants’ adaptation is discussed.


21. Northern Policy Institute and Project Partners: North Superior Workforce Planning Board, La Société Écono-mique de l’Ontario, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, & the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission

Thunder Bay Community Matchmaker

Local partners have launched the Thunder Bay Community Matchmaker project, a program that offers employability and entrepreneurship services for potential immigrants, migrants within Canada, and employers seeking international sources of skilled workers. To maintain current population levels, Ontario’s northern regions need to attract 150,000 people by the year 2041. This project is designed to help northern and rural communities build a skilled workforce and fill recognized labour shortages by helping potential immigrants and international students secure job offers. Securing a job offer expedites the permanent residency process helping newcomers to achieve citizenship, and contribute positively to Northern Ontario.


22. Juliana G. Pontes, Dalhousie University

Halifax as a Welcoming and Unresponsive Community for Youth from Refugee Backgrounds

After examining the experiences of integration and marginalization of six youth from refugee backgrounds living in Halifax, this research reframes and problematizes the concepts of integration, marginalization, and welcoming community, and introduces the notion of unresponsive community. The experiences of the youth were explored in six integration areas: education, official language, employment, health, housing, and social connections. Overall, the youth experienced different degrees of integration and marginalization in each area outlined. Halifax oscillated as a welcoming and an unresponsive community depending on the area of integration, age, country of origin, kind of sponsorship, and educational background of the youth.


23. Hua Que, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Surviving to Thriving: Post-secondary Education for Refugee Youth in Smaller Centers in Canada

There is a dearth of research about the pursuit of post-secondary education among refugee youth in small-sized cities in Canada. This study examines refugee youths’ aspirations for and access to post-secondary education in the capital city of Newfoundland. It reveals that refugee youth are faced with several barriers while pursuing post-secondary education, including insufficient financial resources, inadequate specialized guidance regarding how to access post-secondary education in Canada, and limited availability of adult education programs. Based on the results, it is ecommended that high schools, post-secondary institutions, and community organizations work collaboratively to promote refugee youths’ participation in higher education.


24. Hua Que & Xuemei Li, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Supporting Refugee Students in a Smaller Center in Canada: Achievements and Challenges

This paper comprehensively examines the educational needs of refugee students at the elementary, inter-mediate, and secondary grade levels in a smaller center in Atlantic Canada, as well as how their needs have been addressed. It reveals that to some extent, refugee students’ needs for improving their language proficiency and filling their educational gaps have been met by the ESL program and the academic bridging program, respectively. However, it also highlights the issues that must be considered by policymakers, such as the inadequacy of ESL instructional time and the inaccessibility of the academic bridging program at the elementary level.


25. Siffan Rahman, Somerset West Community Health Centre

Collaborative Care: Creating a Welcoming Space

Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre was implemented out of a unique partnership between a not-for-profit health services agency and a settlement agency. Somerset West Community Health Centre and Catholic Centre for Immigrants have been collaborating for several years to create a welcoming space designed to facilitate refugee settlement and integration by providing services for physical and mental health and well-being through a lens that is focused on social determinants of health. The two agencies work closely to provide health education, system navigation, life-skills support, and referral and interpretation services. This poster will provide a glimpse of the various programs and their outcomes.


26. Sagi Ramaj, University of Toronto

The Homeownership Attainment of LGB Immigrants: The Role of Social Relationships

Using data from the 2008 and 2013 Canadian General Social Survey, I examine the effects of socio-demographic traits, social networks, and neighborhood detachment on homeownership disparities by sexual orientation and nativity status. Gay and bisexual immigrants have lower odds of homeownership compared to heterosexuals and the Canadian-born. Differences in socio-demographic traits (e.g., age) explain the lower homeownership rates for gay immigrants compared to Canadian-born heterosexuals, but only partially do so for bisexual immigrants. Social network characteristics partially explain the low homeownership of bisexual immigrants, but not gay immigrants. Neighborhood detachment explains the homeownership differentials between LGB immigrants and Canadian-born heterosexuals.


27. Monica Schlobach & Danic Ostiguy, Institut de recherche sur l’intégration professionnelle des immigrants, Collège de Maisonneuve

Action-Research as a Source of Innovation for the Interconnection Program

This poster presents the results of a research-action developed between 2015-2017 by the Institute of Research on the Professional Integration of Immigrants (IRIPI), affiliated with the College of Maisonneuve, in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. Having developed the Interconnection program in 2008, the Chamber wanted to know more about the viewpoints of employers participating in the program and to eventually make changes to it according to the unmet needs of employers. This poster will present the different phases of this research as well as the axes followed during the development of new activities and tools.


28. Shenaz Shahban, University of British Columbia

BC’s Implementation of Informal and Formal Well-being Supports to Refugees

Human migration motivated by the search for well-being has been a feature of the human species’ evolution before recorded history and before formal political borders. Today, humans still cross such borders in search of well-being causing both benefits and tensions in receiving communities and for migrants themselves. This study researched the formal (professional/government) and informal (community) well-being services provided to 4,400 refugees who arrived in British Columbia in 2017. This poster presents the well-being services offered to refugees in British Columbia where only 14% of refugees self-reported as being sad or depressed in their first year of settlement.


29. Vanessa C. Wachuku, Ryerson University

Alternatives to Immigration Detention – Adopting a Human Rights-Centered Approach in Canada

Over the years, the politicization of borders and migration has introduced an unwelcoming community for asylum seekers and irregular migrants. Destination nation states respond to irregular movement by adopting restrictive border control measures such as immigration detention as an automatic response to detain and deport these groups of migrants. The United Nations urges nation states to adopt non-custodial alternatives to immigration detention. This paper investigates the typologies of non-custodial alternatives to immigration detention with an aim to inform future policy decisions and provide a better understanding of non-custodial alternatives for asylum seekers and irregular migrants detained for immigration purposes in Canada.


30. Qianyun Wang, University of Calgary; Christine A. Walsh, University of Calgary; & Hongmei Tong, MacEwan University

Exploring Spousal Bereavement Adjustment among Older Chinese Immigrants

Spousal bereavement poses considerable challenges to adults in later life. Spousal bereavement is also culturally embedded as it is related to cultural beliefs and attitudes concerning death and family relationships. However, studies on spousal bereavement or widowhood among older immigrant groups are limited. This study aims to fill the gap by exploring, via a phenomenological approach, the lived experiences of widowed older Chinese immigrants in Calgary. We used in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 12 Cantonese and Mandarin speaking older Chinese immigrants recruited from faith communities, ethno-cultural communities, and service-providing organizations. Findings and implications are discussed.


31. Meghan Wankel, Grace Felix, Diane Stephenson, Nicholas Ghadiri, Joanne Roth, & Ruth Lee, CARE – Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses

Mentoring Internationally Educated Nurses to Successful Integration into the Canadian Health Care System: Partnership Between CARE Centre’s Pre-Arrival Supports and Services Program and the Canadian Nurses Association

In partnership with the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses’ Pre-Arrival Support and Services Program (PASS) facilitates a mentorship program linking Internally Educated Nurses (IENs) pre-arrival to expert/senior nurses in destination provinces. Utilizing a clinical specialty network, the CNA has mobilized and recruited mentors across Canada to provide support for the integration of IENs by sharing education, wisdom, life and career experiences through direct interaction. Matches are based upon each IEN’s intended destination province and clinical background/interests. Connections are designed to prepare overseas IENs for rapid social integration and provide increased access to Canadian health regulatory bodies, agencies and employers. In this poster presentation, we will share the history of the CNA–PASS partnership, feedback received and lessons learned, and additional strategies for supporting IENS upon arrival to Ontario.


32. Peter Wanyenya, University of British Columbia

We in Media: The Role of Digital Storytelling in Refugee, Migrant and Indigenous Youth Experiences of DisPLACEment, Discrimination and Dispossession

This poster reflects a media arts production program created for and produced by refugee, migrant, and Indigenous youth in 2017, that focuses on their experiences of displacement, discrimination, and dispossession. Using creativity, storytelling, and collaboration, the youth explored how films could be successfully produced together as an empowering method to deal with past traumas, and practice creative resilience, with a view to moving forward. In addition, these films attempt to provide perspectives on experiences outside those that are portrayed by the mainstream media. This initiative was made possible by the Access to Media Education Society.


33. Salta Zhumatova, University of British Columbia

Separate Cultures, Separate Lives: Interethnic Interactions in Multicultural Contexts

According to some policy-makers, multiculturalism encourages separate cultures to live separate lives and leads to “parallel societies” (Angela Merkel, David Cameron). This critique has inspired my research question: how do the attitudes of the majority population towards interactions with ethnic and racial minorities vary across countries with different levels of multicultural policy development? Are more expansive multicultural policies associated with higher levels of xenophobia? To answer these questions, I fit a set of multilevel models using individual-level survey data from the European Social Survey matched with country-level information from the annual Multiculturalism Policy Dataset 1960-2011 and OECD database.