Identity

ABC books for children

immigrantchildren.ca has highlighted International Literacy Day (Sept 8th) and Family Literacy Day (Jan 9th) by posting lists of children’s book about immigration in the past. See, for example Children’s books about immigration.
This year, I present a compilation of lines from four of my favourite ABC books for children – all with a decidedly Canadian theme (Sources listed at the end of the post). This is part of a larger piece I wrote entitled “Landscapes and Ethnoscapes in Children’s Books: The Picture Book as Immigrant Literature”. (These are all in print and available from your local public library and local independent bookshops).

A is for Autumn, often called fall. A is for Alberta, hear the rodeo call? (Pachter)
B is for two Bobbys, with last names of Hull and Orr (Napier & Rose)
C is for the Canadian Shield that stretches far and wide. Rivers, forests, and tundra cover most of our countryside (Gorman & Rose)
D is for Ducks, swimming in style, and D is for Dock, a place to sit for a while (Pachter)
E is for “Eh”, our national obsession for ending each sentence, not with a period, but a question. It’s a Canadian habit, as polite as you please, to give every listener the change to agree (Ulmer & Rose)
Old Fort William is for F. Journey back into the day when traders met to swap their goods near a place called Thunder Bay (Gorman & Rose)
G stands for Grain and the valleys of wheat that ripple through the prairies in the dry, summer heat. Our western-grown bounty is a gift to the globe, for the bread of the world comes from seed that we’ve sown (Ulmer & Rose)
H is for Hockey, the game that we play from summer’s last whisper to snow’s melting away. We may never grow to be NHL starts but it’s something we care for; it’ll always be ours (Ulmer & Rose)
I is for Identity and Igloo and such. Canada is cool, I love it so much (Pachter)
Take a unique adventure and discover the choice for J. The Polar Bear Express will take you to Ontario’s north: James Bay (Gorman & Rose)
K is for Klondike and the hunger for gold that drew thousands of miners to the northerly cold. The men made their journey by mule, foot, and teams to pan for their fortunes in the cold running streams (Ulmer & Rose)
L is for Louisbourg and the garrison that stands as evidence of France colonizing this land. Royal Navy cannons dealt a final defeat; you can still hear their echo in the shops and the street (Ulmer & Rose)
M is for Sir John A. Macdonald from Kingston, we can boast. The first prime minister of our country uniting us from coast to coast (Gorman & Rose)
N is for Northern, the great Northern Lights, those mystery visions that light u our nights. The Innu believed that the lights showed a game being played by the Sky People in their heavenly domain (Ulmer & Rose)
O is for Ojibwa, just one of the tribes that spanned this vast country before settlers arrived. We’re Canadians all, but we must never forget that our land was their land and we owe them a debt (Ulmer & Rose)
P is for Peterson and in jazz or in swing, he is musical royalty, the piano’s grand king. He played with the greatest on stages world ’round, yet no one could copy his magical sound (Ulmer & Rose)
Quebec is where I always go to ski in “neige” – that’s French for snow. Oh pity the countries who must make do with just one language instead of two (Ulmer & Rose)
R is for Red Barn Reflected, what beautiful colours the artist collected (Pachter)
S is for our heroine – Laura Secord is her name. It was the braveness of her actions that brought her glory and fame (Gorman & Rose)
T means Toronto, a place where they say you can spend a year doing something different each day (Gorman & Rose)
U is for Upper Canada, a British Colony way back when. In 1867 it became Ontario, one province out of ten (Gorman & Rose)
Victoria in Canada is the most common name for cities and roads all named in her reign (Ulmer & Rose)
W is for Winter, look at that snow! (Pachter)
X marked the spot where the Last Spike was driven; it was done with a hammer, not the cut of a ribbon. And with the last spike we could finally proclaim that we were a nation united by train (Ulmer & Rose)
Y is for two glorious Canadian years – the Summit Series and Salt Lake Games (Napier & Rose)
Z is for Zenith, the highest and best. A good place to end, and a good time to rest (Pachter).

Sources:
A is for Algonquin: An Ontario Alphabet, written by Lovenia Gorman. Illustrated by Melanie Rose. 2005. Sleeping Bear Press.
M is for Moose: A Charles Pachter Alphabet, written and illustrated by Charles Pachter. 2008. Cormorant Books Inc.
M is for Maple: A Canadian Alphabet, written by Mike Ulmer. Illustrated by Melanie Rose. 2001. Sleeping Bear Press.
Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet, written by Matt Napier. Illustrated by Melanie Rose. 2001. Sleeping Bear Press.

Teaching to difference, a call for papers

From the NAME listserv (National Association for Multicultural Education), a call for papers for an edited volume, entitled Teaching to Difference. The collection will examine pedagogical issues in the classroom across ethnicities. Chapters are to be based on experiential (point of view) analysis.  Topics may include, but are not limited to the following questions:

  1. How do you connect the (national/state) curriculum to the lived experiences of your students?
  2. If you as the teacher are the minority in your classroom (e.g., white teacher teaching predominantly racial/ethnic minority students or you are a racial/ethnic minority teaching to white students) how do you connect to students?
  3. What are the challenges and opportunities of diversity in the classroom in terms of the way you teach?
  4. How do you reconcile or navigate the gap/imbalance between diversity and multicultural public discourse from school and classroom practices?
  5. Pedagogically, how do you deal with the normalised practice of streaming minority students into special education, alternative schools and behavioural management programs?

Abstracts of less than 250 words and a brief bio of max 100 words to Nicole E. Johnson nejohnrob@yahoo.com by August 7, 2011 with Teaching to Difference in the subject line. (Final papers, if selected, are due Oct 31, 2011).

Children on the move: The impact of voluntary and involuntary migration on the lives of children

A special issue of Global Studies of Childhood (Vol 1, No 2, 2011) on the impact of migration on the lives of children has been released. Edited by Ada Lai and Rupert MacLean, the issue includes the following articles:

Ravinder Sidhu, Sandra Taylor & Pam Christie. Schooling and Refugees: Engaging with the complex trajectories of globalisation.
Su-Ann Oh. Rice, Slippers, Bananas and Caneball: Children’s narratives of internal displacement and forced migration from Burma.
Rajeshwari Asokaraj. Resisting Bare Life: Children’s reproduction of quotidian culture in a Sri Lankan camp.
Antonina Tereshchenko & Helena C. Araujo. Stories of Belonging: Ukrainian immigrant children’s experiences of Portugal.
Celeste Y.M. Yuen & Rosalind Wu. New Schooling and New Identities: Chinese immigrant students’ perspectives.

For information on the journal, see the Global Studies of Childhood website.

Immigrant children, youth and families: A Qualitative analysis of the challenges of integration

This spring, the Social Planning Council of Ottawa concluded work on “Immigrant children, youth and families: A Qualitative analysis of the challenges of integration”, as part of their Families in Community project.
The report addresses the disconnect when newcomer families feel their parenting and child-rearing methods are not acknowledged/respected and the tension service providers feel about some newcomers who they perceive demonstrate a lack of commitment to early child development.
Next stages in the SPCO Families in Community project will result in:

An analysis of best/good practices for culturally-based family supports by ethno-cultural organizations.
Supports to good/best practices within 8 pilot projects with small ethno-cultural organizations.
A resource kit for mainstream family services based on good practices serving new immigrant families.

The report will be launched at the annual Social Planning Council of Ottawa AGM, May 26, 2011 in Ottawa. For information, contact Helene by May 15 at 613-236-9300 ext. 300 office@spcottawa.on.ca.  Free admission, but donations are welcome.

Papers: Stories of undocumented youth

Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth tells the story of the approximately 2 million children in the United States who are living “without legal status”, i.e., without “papers”.
These children arrive on American shores not by choice, but because their parents take them there for what they hope will be a better future. Many arrive as babies and small children and do not realize they are living precariously until they turn 18 and attempt to join the labour force, attend college or university or get a driver’s license – all of which require a social security card, an ID reserved for US citizens. These children, many who know no other country and often, language, are educated in US schools, hold US values and face a perilous future without “papers”.
My thanks to Graham Street Productions, for sending me a copy of the DVD  to review.
Papers follows five undocumented youth and tells their stories with the backdrop of the DREAM Act movement. The DREAM Act, a bipartisan initiative developed by Sen. Orin Hatch [R-UT] and Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL], is a progressive policy response to the issue – with one caveat for the use of the word ‘alien’ in the acronym DREAM – ‘Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act’. The DREAM Act would provide “qualifying undocumented youth” eligibility to enter into a conditional path to full citizenship (for example, requiring youth to complete a college degree or give two years of military service prior to applying for citizenship).
Graham Street Productions, who worked with El Grupo Juvenil (the “Papers” youth crew) produced this inspiring documentary. It opens with a montage of demonstrations, both for and against immigration. There are some beautiful moments of peaceful marching and some harsh displays of hatred. Immigration – legal and otherwise – is a hotly debated issue in the US as it is here in Canada.
The documentary includes commentary from civil rights leaders, politicians, academics and researchers.  A unique parallel story links the LGBTQ movement with the immigration rights movement. One of the youth, Jorge, is both gay and undocumented. From the press release:

They realize that there is extraordinary power in their stories and in telling the truth. The boldness of it inspires us. By coming out as undocumented, they risk arrest, detention, and deportation. By coming out as queer, they risk being ostracized from their families, their churches, their cultures of origin and their communities. But in talking with these courageous young people, it is obvious that they are not going to stop being public about who they are. In some ways the most vulnerable, they are also the most brave. They, more than anyone, know the power of “coming out” and recognize that going public is the way to changes peoples’ hearts and minds.

It is a moving and compelling documentary that has been received with much acclaim. Watch the trailer here. Follow Papersthemovie on twitter at @papersthemovie. Order a copy of the DVD here.

Call for papers, no. 1: Harvard Educational Review special edition: Diverse experiences of immigrant children and youth in education

The US-based Harvard Educational Review (HER) has issued a call for papers for a special issue on “Diverse Experiences of Immigrant Children and Youth In Education”.

Diverse Experiences of Immigrant Children and Youth in Education is seeking to publish an issue on experiences of immigrant children and youth in the formal educational arena. From the call (Source: nameorg.org listerv):

“In order to extend and reframe the dialogue on immigration issues in the United States by bringing multiple voices and perspectives of researchers, practitioners, families, and students in conversation. We envision a vigorous generation of unconventional intellectual exchange that will illuminate rich portraits of diverse immigrant children?
“In PreK-12 pipeline, who are too often characterized as “disadvantaged” and even culturally deprived. We further hope that a collection of these voices will celebrate the strengths, resilience, contributions, and humanity of a population often characterized as a threatening nuisance in U.S. society.
“While the topic of immigration is always relevant, the recent enactment of new immigration laws in Arizona and the surrounding protests, debates, and legal battles, have once again thrust this ongoing theme into the forefront of our collective consciousness. Unfortunately, the discourses surrounding this and other immigration-related news stories tend towards simplified understandings of immigration and the immigrant experience, and often portray immigrants and their children as a national crisis, or burden that must be managed, rather than as a complex, rich, and growing part of our national fabric. Contrary to such ideological approaches, we as the editorial board of HER summon other immigrant stories left untold, and at times, silenced.
“As the tenth anniversary of our 2001 special issue on immigration and education, the scope of this new issue will encompass the complexities of navigation pathways and social processes within and across multiple linguistic and cultural contexts that shape the lived experiences of immigrant children and adolescents. Within this framework, we aim to explore multiple contexts of immigrant childhood and adolescence, parents, families, schools, neighborhoods, ethnic community centers, weekend language schools, churches, and civic institutions that collectively present support and challenges and how these students draw upon their experiences in these complex environments to thrive in the current education system.
“We encourage authors to consider, when relevant, cross-cultural perspectives across immigrant groups and highlight processes and mechanisms by which different authors to consider, when relevant, cross-cultural perspectives across immigrant groups and highlight processes and mechanisms by which different immigrant groups build bridges across cultural contexts. In particular, we encourage proposals for manuscript that address one or more of these following contextual themes”:

  1. Children in Immigrant Homes (e.g., family dynamic, parenting role, documentation status, family literacy practice, concept of home, role of siblings)
  2. Children in Ethnic Communities or Immigrant Neighborhoods (e.g., language schools, cultural education centers, informal childcare, relative support, housing, playground, park)
  3. Children of Immigrants in Schools, Community-Based, Religious, and/or Civic Institutions (e.g., youth culture, peer relationships, ESL tracking, faith-based institutions and community organizing institutions serving immigrant groups, health care centers, workplace).

“HER invites authors to submit proposals for manuscripts that address the educational experiences of immigrant children and youth, from early childhood through late adolescence, Pre-K through 12th grade.
“HER has historically defined “educationbroadly, as education takes place in many locations other than schools.We are looking for three types of manuscripts:

  1. Scholarly articles from researchers including, but not limited to, original research, theoretical manuscripts, and essays.
  2. Reflective essays and narratives from practitioners (teachers, teacher educators, school leaders, program directors, community organizers, religious leaders, coaches, etc.).
  3. Stories from children, and youth who are growing up in immigrant homes and communities. (We have a separate process for this type of manuscript. If you know young people who might be interested, please contact us).

For information about the types of manuscripts accepted by HER, please visit the Guidelines for Authors page or contact 617-495-3432.
Proposals due by Sept 15, 2010 to the following email address: her_si_submissions@gse.harvard.edu

Call for papers, part 2: Harvard wants to hear from immigrant children and youth

The 2nd call from the Harvard Educational Review, HER (see above), is specifically made to immigrant children and youth (Source nameorg.org listserv):

How has my family, school, and/or communities impacted my educational goals and experiences in the United States? To All Children & Youth Growing Up in Immigrant Homes and Communities

“Dear teachers and students, The Harvard Educational Review (HER) is planning to publish a special issue on Diverse Experiences of Immigrant Children and Youth in Education in order to extend and reframe the dialogue on immigration issues in the United States by bringing multiple voices and perspectives of researchers, practitioners, families, and students in conversation.
“As part of this project, we are looking for personal essays, stories, and visual art from children and youth who have been directly shaped by immigration experience.
“Student writers could be a child of immigrant parents or have immigrated to the U.S. with or without their families. We are interested in publishing stories related to children and youths’ educational experiences, and in particular, how these experiences are shaped by their families, communities, religious institutions, community organizations, or society at large.
“While the topic of immigration is always relevant, the recent enactment of new immigration laws in Arizona and the surrounding protests, debates, and legal battles, have once again thrust this ongoing theme into the forefront of our collective consciousness. Unfortunately, the discussions surrounding this and other immigration-related news stories tend towards simplified understandings of immigration and the immigrant experience, and often portray immigrants and their children as a national crisis, or burden that must be managed, rather than as a complex, rich, and growing part of our national fabric. Equally important, the voices of immigrants, and immigrant youth especially, are too often excluded from mainstream media, policy, and academic outlets even in discussions of education, where youth experience is central. Contrary to such approaches, we as the editorial board of HER summon other immigrant stories left untold, and at times, silenced by seeking the direct involvement of young people as authors and experts on their lives and
educations”.
Proposal submission information:
“We are accepting submissions from PreK-12 students whose lives have been touched and shaped by immigration experience anywhere in the U.S. We are particularly interested in stories related to educational experience, but we realize that “educational experiences” can occur in many locations besides schools.  We are open to receiving multiple types of personal stories about growing up in immigrant homes and communities. However, we are not looking for an overall generic essay about your entire life. Rather, we are looking for specific in-depth stories you choose to tell with illuminating details and rich descriptions”.
For submissions and questions, e-mail HER at the following address: HER_youth_submissions@gse.harvard.edu
Proposal Submission Deadline: December 15, 2010.

Conference call: Migration and the global city, Toronto

It looks like Ryerson University is working to launch a research institute devoted to immigration and settlement issues. Good luck to them. As part of this initiative, they are calling for proposals for a conference entitled “Migration and the Global City”. The conference, a launch to the proposed research centre, tentatively called the Ryerson Institute on Immigration and Settlement (RISS), will be held on the Ryerson campus from October 29-31, 2010.
A call for papers has been released here. Of particular interest to immigrantchildren.ca, conference themes include; Children and Youth; Citizenship, Migration and Identity; Precarious and Temporary Status; and Settlement Services.
The conference will feature a range of activities, including day-trips to local immigrant/settlement locations, a film-documentary screening and art-show, and a possible “CIHR-funded pre-conference on immigrant and refugee children and youth” (Source: Ryerson website). Ryerson – do let us know at immigrantchildren.ca how we can support this important inclusion!
Deadline for abstract submission is June 15, 2010.

Call for proposals: "Ethnicity, governance and social justice: Linking Canada to the world"

The Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) and the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association (CESA) announces a call for papers for their joint annual conference to be held Nov 5-6, 2010  in Toronto (Airport Holiday Inn). The theme of the 2010 conference is “Ethnicity, Governance and Social Justice: Linking Canada to the World”.
From the call: “Conference organizers welcome proposals for papers, sessions, panels, roundtables, and poster presentations that address the topics of ethnicity, immigration, diversity, and multiculturalism in Canada, particularly in relation to social justice and governance. Organizers invite submissions from a variety of perspectives, academic disciplines, and areas of study, including the humanities and the social sciences”.
Selected papers from the 2010 conference will be published in a special issue of the Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal.
Abstracts should be 250 words or less. Deadline for submissions is Sept 15, 2010. For more information, contact James Ondrick, ACS at: james.ondrick@acs-aec.ca and visit both the ACS and CESA websites.

FRP Perspectives in Family Support (Spring 2010) special issue on immigrant families

The Canadian Association of Family Resource Centres (FRP Canada) has released a special edition of their journal, Perspectives in Family Support with a focus on immigrant families:
In “The Participation of Immigrant Families in the Activities of Family Resource Programs”, Marie Rhéaume reports on a research study conducted in Québéc that examined the issues and “distances” between immigrant mothers and Québécois mothers and found that, overall, family resource centres because of the “values that underlie the work of these community-based organizations, particularly the climate of respect, help build bridges between the two groups”. For more on the study, see here.
In “Taking an Advocacy With Approach”, as opposed to an advocacy for approach, Lianne Fisher argues for the importance of self-reflection of family resource practitioners who work with newcomers to recognize and resolve possible stigmatizing and marginalizing that may occur when practitioners seek to help newcomers.
An excerpt of “Phase 2 of FRP Canada’s Welcome Here Project: A Summary Report of Lessons Learned”, also available on the FRP Canada website welcomehere.ca.
The issue of cultural adaptation and/or interpretation v. simple translation is covered by Betsy Mann in “Reflecting on Issues of Translation and Interpretation”.
Researcher Dr. Judith K. Bernhard writes on “What are the Essential Elements of Valid Research? The Problem of ‘Data’ and their Collection in Cross-Cultural Contexts” from a personal viewpoint as both an immigrant to Canada and now a practicing academic in immigrant-family related studies.