Strengthening Resilience & Supporting Migrant Capabilities

Based on the KW Local Immigrant Partnership Community Action Plan, this study examines newcomers and immigrant service providers (IPS) strategies and programs, which have the potential to respond to the three core areas identified in the Community Action Plan: settle, work, belong.

This study will involve newcomers to Canada who are in the process OR have acquired their permanent residence and/or citizenship within the last 5 years. Included in the study are the newcomer categories of International Students, Temporary Foreign Workers in the Live-in Caregiver program, High Skill and Low Skill temporary workers, Government-Assisted Refugees, Privately Sponsored Refugees and Refugee Claimants. Migrants have access to different packages of rights based on their category of temporary residence and many migrants shift between categories in their migration journeys. This has implications for migrant resilience in settlement processes even after the migrant obtains permanent status. Examining the experiences of different categories of newcomers provides a broad understanding of how migrants, the KW community and ISPs cope with migration related shocks, strains, and shifts. The study will contribute to identifying effective settlement services and strategies, and gaps in these, and contribute to maintaining and developing responsive settlement programs and strategies that effectively serve all members, new and old, of the KW community.

Knowledge mobilization, Community outreach (throughout)

  • Community outreach will be enhanced by posting information/updates on team activities through project website and social media.
  • Findings will be shared through various (in)formal meetings and presentations to local communities, governments, stakeholders and public at large (organized in collaboration with community partners; starting March 2018).
  • Technical reports (April-June 2018): At least 2 technical reports useful to all Partnership team members and made available to the public on project website:
    1. Report presenting policy discourse analysis;
    2. Report presenting governance structures analysis.
  • Policy briefs (April-June 2018): One or more policy briefs to be posted on project website.
  • Academic conferences (March-Dec 2018): Presentations at local/national conferences throughout spring, summer and fall 2018, including:
    • Congress of FHSS
    • Annual meetings of Canadian Political Studies Association
    • Canadian Sociologists Society
    • Canadian Association of Geographers
    • Metropolis 2018
    • ACFAS 2018 among others.
  • Peer-reviewed publications (summer-fall 2018): We anticipate at least 2 peer-reviewed articles:
    1. Article with findings of policy discourse analysis;
    2. Article with findings of governance structures analysis; more are foreseeable.

Principal Investigators:

  • Jenna L. Hennebry,
  • M. Walton-Roberts (IMRC-WLU) (Co-investigator)
  • M. Skuterud (UW) (Collaborator)
  • A. Ferrer (UW) (Collaborator)
Community Partners:
  • Tara Bedard (LIP) (Community Co-Chair)
  • Lucia Harrison & Ana Luz Martinez (KW Multicultural Centre)
  • Shelly Campagnola (MCRS)

What is our approach?

We adopt a gender, precarity and resilience perspective (both individual and institutional) to explore how newcomers to KW cope with settlement and change. This project will examine the resilience of ISPs, immigrants themselves and KW communities, and consider the impacts of gender, levels of precarity and category of entry. We will examine which strategies, resources, networks (online and offline), motivations and obstacles contribute to, or impede resilience. Gender is an important cross-cutting factor for resilience as it has structural, community and cultural implications (Hennebry et al., 2017). The concept of precarity is useful for understanding structural barriers that limit coping and adaptability for newcomers and ISPs.