Immigration has played an important role in Manitoba’s growth and prosperity. Since 2000, Manitoba has welcomed over 150,000 permanent residents from around the world. UWinnipeg’s Dr. Ray Silvius (political science) has been working with organizations serving newcomers to Manitoba and Canada. They recognized the need to coordinate the collaborative activities undertaken by community organizations who work with newcomers, academic researchers, and policy agents. This realization has led to the creation of The Community Engaged Research on Immigration Network (CERI Network).
CERI is dedicated to creating a collaborative, multi-partnered, and responsive forum for knowledge creation and mobilization on matters related to immigration and settlement in Manitoba, Canada, and elsewhere.
“Collectively, we are able to amplify one another’s expertise to better address emerging questions arising from ongoing engagement with newcomer and settlement communities,” said Silvius. “At this time, there is a need to respectfully address challenges faced by newcomers in an era of the increased politicization of the presence, or acceptance, of immigrants and refugees, new forms of displacement and dispossession throughout the world, and religious-based exclusions.”
CERI is multi-disciplinary and crosses sectoral boundaries through collaborative processes centred on research design, execution, and reporting. Community-level activities and research supports can help foster the advancement of newcomer-Indigenous relations in Canada and Treaty 1 Territory; support the activities of ethno-cultural communities; and improve newcomer housing outcomes, amongst other things.
“Research is the guiding force to navigating through the barriers and challenges on the path of resettlement and integration in the field of immigration and working with newcomers. Without it, all efforts in this regard would be scattered, impulsively random, and undocumented work,” said Hani Ataan Al-Ubeady, Community Research Director for the CERI Network.
This collaborative network has immense potential to bring the knowledge of the community to UWinnipeg through sharing opportunities in classrooms and community-based avenues for student engagement. The CERI Network will inform pedagogy and research practices at the University through the development and strengthening of partnerships with people and organizations involved in newcomer settlement.