I have a couple of questions about this interesting initiative.
Is this blog going to focus on ALL immigrants to Canada, that is, those who came 50 years ago (or more), as well as those who came in the last 20 years?
Unless we are members of Canada’s First Nations, aren’t we all immigrants?
I came to Canada nearly 50 years ago, but usually don’t feel that I am included as a legitimate member of the “immigrant” group.
Perhaps I’m wrong about this.
Can you help by clarifying what is meant by “immigrant”.
Incidentally, I have just finished watching a very moving TV program on WNED/PBS (Buffalo), which told the stories of 400 years of Jewish immigrants to the USA. This (his)story is related to my own family’s story of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe to England, and then my own immigration to the USA and, thus, to Canada.
Good question, Michael.
yes, indeed. Apart from our First Nations community, Canada is a nation of immigrants. The fundamental problem, however, is that previous cohorts of immigrants from dominant backgrounds not just almost obliterated our First Nations community but also view and treat current cohorts of immigrants (majority of who are from non dominant backgrounds) in very instrumentalist ways. At the heart of the problem lies the persistence of colonial ideology as well as historical amnesia within previous cohorts of immigrants and their Canadian-born off springs about their immigrant heritage and about the hardships they or their parents/grandparents may have experienced. Otherwise we would not be treating current cohorts of immigrants in such discriminatory and exclusionary ways. There was racism and exclusionary practices in the past as well against different immigrant groups (Jewish immigrants, Japanese internment camps, Chinese head tax etc). But the structures of discrimination and exclusion have greatly worsened over time and current generations of immigrants are doing far worse than previous generations. For a nation revolved around immigration/immigrants, this seems highly problematic. So yes, it would be very beneficial if previous cohorts of immigrants and their off springs reconnected with their immigrant/migration heritage and start creating better opportunities and supports so current cohorts of immigrants/refugees do not have to face similar or worse hardships than their families did. This blog series is about recognizing that all immigrants (not just past cohorts of immigrants from dominant backgrounds) are nation builders, and every immigrant/refugee is reshaping Canada in their own ways. Michael, let us know other concrete steps we can take to get previous generations/cohorts of immigrant groups to start treating current cohorts better. Btw, if you are interested in collaborating with a current immigrant to write a joint blog post reconnecting each others migration history and your respective contributions as nation builders, that will be great. Do let me know. It will make for a inspiring post.
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