The eight chapters of this book encapsulate the past, present, and future of Canadian immigration and settlement. The topics, in part, cover the history of immigration to Canada through an objective lens that allows readers to learn what transpired with the settlement of specific ethnic groups, as well as address Canada’s current policies and approaches to immigration. This leads to an exploration of the challenges that newcomers to Canada and the settlement sector are encountering today. Readers and learners of settlement studies will embark on a journey of self-reflection throughout this book as they engage in many activities, quizzes, and interactions which may be self-directed or instructor led.
What are the goals and objectives of this resource?
There are multiple objectives for this OER.
1. The first is to provide students enrolled in NorQuest’s Settlement Studies (SETT) program with a high-quality educational resource, in a way that does not add to the cost of obtaining a post-secondary education at our College.
2. Also, we have a number of experienced subject-matter experts who work as Faculty in the program and are fortunate to have strong connections within Alberta’s settlement sector. This OER leverages this professional and academic knowledge for the benefit of our learners.
3. Finally, while this was designed with students enrolled in NorQuest’s SETT Program in mind, we also recognize that the content of the resource helps add to the existing bodies of knowledge within a number of related disciplines (human service careers, sociology, history, community development, etc.).
4. By making the OER as accessible as possible to internal and external audiences, we hope the research conducted to produce this resource can be used to stimulate discussions in many different corners of the world.
Who would benefit most from using it?
The primary audience for this OER is the student enrolled in NorQuest’s SETT program, but we also believe that individuals currently working in the human services would benefit from reading this resource.
As well, we believe it provides excellent information that could be used in introductory post-secondary classes in the humanities, social sciences, and community/social services. It also provides some important information that could help in the development of future social policy in Canada.
What makes it unique?
Textbooks that focus solely on the field of Settlement Work in Canada are relatively rare. This resource fills a gap in the academic landscape as we see it, as it is written from the perspective of settlement workers, for settlement workers (current and future).
Although settlement work is an interdisciplinary field (including elements of social work, community development, sociology, and immigration consultation), the sum of its constituent parts is something that is unique within the human services.
NorQuest’s SETT program was the first of its kind in Western Canada when it launched in the Fall of 2019, and we believe that the OER we developed in 2021 is a further illustration of NorQuest’s ability to play a leading role in the development of programming that addresses gaps in current labour and academic marketplaces.
Cover design: Rahma Farah, NorQuest Settlement Studies student
Contributed by: Robert Lawson