The Spatiality of Occupation in a Migration Context: Exploring French-speaking Immigrants’ Occupational Engagement in Francophone Community Sites in Metro Vancouver

Canadian federal policies currently prioritize Francophone immigration to support the vitality of Francophone minority communities outside Quebec. This research explores French-speaking immigrants’ experiences of participation in Francophone community sites in Metro Vancouver. Partnerships were established with three sites: a provincial organization, a community association and a church. This critical ethnography included (1) personal in-depth interviews and (2) optional participatory interviews with fifteen French-speaking immigrants (five immigrants recruited in each site), as well as (3) key informant interviews with a representative of each partner site. The findings highlight (1) the meaning of using French in immigrants’ occupations while in an Anglo-dominant environment, (2) the fluidity of occupational engagement in French over spaces and (3) the production of Francophone community spaces through their conception by their leadership, immigrants’ perceptions and lived experiences. Francophone community spaces are important for French-speaking immigrants’ integration but they need to be more inclusive to diversity.

Name: Anne-Cécile Delaisse
Degree: Master of Science
Status: Completed (July 2020)
Supervisor: Dr Suzanne Huot
Department and University: Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia
Link to completed thesis