Fall 2017

Understanding What Immigrants Learn/Know about Indigenous Communities, Histories and Contexts in Scarborough 

One of the Truth and Reconciliation commission (TRC) Calls to Action states:

93. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with the national Aboriginal

organizations, to revise the information kit for newcomers to Canada and its citizenship

test to reflect a more inclusive history of the diverse Aboriginal peoples of Canada, including information about the Treaties

and the history of residentialschools.


Given this call to action, students in this course conducted research related to what and how immigrants learn about Canada’s colonial context and the current struggles of Indigenous communities. The framing questions that guided the course were:

1. What information do immigrants to Canada learn about Indigenous communities.

2. Where and how do they learn such information?

3. Does this process influence immigrant incorporation in Scarborough?

As students research findings demonstrate, im/migrants often do not have access to adequate information about Indigenous communities, histories and contexts.  Their experience as im/migrants also affects their abilty to seek out that information, coupled with internalizations of negative stereotypes associated with Indigenous peoples.  Students therefore recommend more institutional support in making connections between Indigenous peoples and im/migrants (both at UTSC and other institutions organizations).