Integration Experiences of Newcomers Across the Prairies: Untangling Perceived Dichotomy Between Immigrants and New-to-Towns

Despite the lack of a shared definition of integration, this concept word addresses the physical, psychological, and social progress of newcomers, and more. Newcomers are both immigrants and new-to-town individuals, meaning those who have relocated within Canada from other provinces or regions. By exploring literature and lived experiences, this research examines how accurately models of integration reflect and represent the views and experiences of newcomers. Our qualitative case study uses thematic coding of in-depth interviews with newcomers and settlement organizations. Results suggest that models and factors of integration do not fully or effectively reflect the process and desires of newcomers. Though new-to-town individuals possess advantages in their relocation process (e.g., not having to learn a new language or build a cultural foundation in their new location), they do not meet nor do they aspire to meet all the various factors and considerations of integration included in the models. Newcomers seek first to meet their own core needs followed by self-directed needs. In this article, an acculturation model is put forward that encompasses dynamics of individual newcomers’ peculiarities of circumstances. The conclusion is two-fold: Newcomers place priority on immediate core needs and strive to meet other needs leading to place attachment; and their sense of belonging can be brought into question with experiences of discrimination and racism.
Authors: Alexandra Mackay-Brown,Ashton Ashton Publication Date: 1/1/2021

Publication Type: Journal Article