Projects Funded Through 2016 National Call for Proposals

Theme: Social and Cultural Integration of Immigrants in Canada

Title: An Examination of Racial Micro-aggressions among Refugee Youth in Two Canadian Cities

Researcher: James Baker, McMaster University

This project aims to assess the prevalence and effects of racial “micro-aggressions,” defined as brief, daily, verbal or non-verbal exchanges that communicate negative views, ideas, or beliefs to people of colour because they belong to a racial minority group. The study will involve a community sample of about 30 to 40 young refugees, aged 14-25, who have resettled in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and Hamilton, Ontario. In comparison to St. John’s, which receives relatively few refugees, Hamilton, as a significant refugee receiving city, may provide these youths with more formal and informal networks to mediate, make sense of, and manage micro-aggressions. Thus, the research will compare young refugees’ experiences in these two cities in order to explore the ways in which local context shapes the experiences of, and responses to, racism.


Title: Exploring Immigrant and Refugee Students’ Experiences of Belonging: The Open Studio Project

Research Team: Heather McLeod, Leah Lewis, and Xuemei Li, Memorial University

This project takes a collaborative community arts based participatory action approach, using the Open Studio process as its central framework. It will engage immigrant and refugee students in an after-school Open Studio group process, where themes of inclusion and belonging will be explored. Outcomes will be presented in the form of a student-curated art exhibition. The research component will include an initial needs assessment, two focus groups: the first at the start and the second towards the end of the Open Studio process, and semi-structured interviews of the participants. The project will be conducted in collaboration with a local St. John’s high school, Holy Heart of Mary Regional High, currently hosting a sizeable representation of immigrant and refugee students.

Click here for a presentation


Theme: At-Risk Immigrant Populations

Title: Examination of Older Immigrants’ Contributions to Canadian Society: A Pilot Mixed Method Study

Research Team: Ping Zou, Nipissing University; and Tony Fang, Memorial University

This study examines older immigrants’ contributions and strengths, which are important but often neglected components of their integration process. The findings of this study will help older immigrants to better integrate into Canadian society through a better recognition of their important roles, promotion of respectful social environments, and reduction of discrimination. The study will also explore new strategies and services for older immigrants, including the benefits of switching from problem-based interventions to strength-based approaches. The sample will consist of 100 immigrants, aged 65 years or older, and living permanently in Canada. They will be recruited from diverse immigrant communities in the Greater Toronto area. Quantitative data will be collected and analyzed; then qualitative data will be obtained to extend, expand and facilitate the interpretation of the quantitative results.

Click here for the full report.