Policy Brief: The Role of Domestic In-migrants for the Revitalization of Marginal Island Communities in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-2.pngBy Simona Zollet & Meng Qu
This brief summarizes the preliminary findings of a research project on domestic urban-to-rural migration to the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, Japan. We focus on in-migrants who established small independent businesses on the islands, and particularly those engaged in tourism, creative industries and organic farming. The study explores the motivations, challenges and opportunities associated with living and establishing small businesses in island communities, and the implications for wider processes of revitalization of marginal rural areas. Read more>>

MIRRA Member Mikael Hellstrom presents at International Metropolis Conference 2019

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is MikaelH-300x300.jpegMIRRA’s support allowed Mikael Hellstrom to attend the International Metropolis 2019 conference in Ottawa, June 24th-28th. Hellstrom attended two panels. The first was organized by MIRRA member Michelle Lam and focused on innovative approaches to immigrant retention in remote communities. Hellstrom’s presentation focused on past research on refugee reception in New Brunswick and the conversations and collaborations he had with settlement agencies during that time. Read more>>

Conference support report: International Metropolis 2019 Conference

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Michelle-Lam.jpgMIRRA Supported Michelle Lam
The International Metropolis 2019 Conference met in Ottawa from June 24th to 28th.  The theme of the conference was ‘The Promise of Migration: Inclusion, Economic Growth, and Global Cooperation.’ Meeting within the current context of rising xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment in many parts of the world, this international conference brought together migration scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners to discuss a variety of issues related to migration, focusing on inclusion, cooperation, and the economy. Read more>>

Youth Engagement in Ethnocultural Organizations in Winnipeg Report

Photo from Pixabay

By: Jill Bucklaschuk, Janelle Gobin, and Ray Silvius
The present report completes this research project by providing a more comprehensive account of the types of services, programs, and supports provided by Winnipeg’s ethnocultural community groups to meet the needs of immigrants and refugees. In particular, this report focuses on the scope of immigrant and refugee youth engagement in ethnocultural community groups. Both documents are meant to inform staff at IPW as they develop initiatives to support the work of ethnocultural community groups and organizations and seek to better engage newcomer youth in their activities. Click Here for the full report

Research and Policy Briefs Series: From Immigrant-Friendly to Immigrant-Competent: Improving the Immigrant “Dating Game” of Smaller Communities

By: Marc Valade
This policy brief draws on my doctoral research, which studies how stakeholders in two smaller cities, Brandon, MB and Rimouski, QC, mobilized their capacity to implement immigrant attraction and retention strategies. The case studies build on in-depth interviews, network data, archival sources, and census data. Preliminary findings reveal three intertwined conditions for smaller communities to become more immigrant-competent: Municipal-backed leadership, employer engagement, and a continuum of immigrant-aware services.  Click Here for the material.

Research and Policy Briefs Series:Refugees Discuss their Settlement Experience in New Brunswick

Author: Mikael Hellstrom (MMIRA Network Member)
New Brunswick is the only province in Canada with a declining population. The provincial government considers this demographic issue a primary concern  (Government of New Brunswick, 2014) and sees refugee reception as a potential way to break this trend. This ambition prompted the provincial government to welcome almost 1500 Syrian refugees to Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John beginning in 2015 (Government of Canada, 2017).
However, even the largest population centres of New Brunswick would count as third or fourth tier in terms of national immigrant reception, and thus remote in a Canadian perspective, contending with the gravitational pull of cities like Montreal or Toronto.Previous research shows that immigrants landing in sparsely populated areas often leave within a couple of years to seek residence in major metropolitan areas.
Click Here for details.

Research and Policy Briefs Series:Refugee Mental Health Practice in Rural Communities: Understanding Cross-Cultural Differences

Author: Lavan Kandiah (MIRRA Network Member)
Current Canadian data on Syrian refugee resettlement indicates that while Canada’s major metropolitan areas are hosting the majority of arrivals, smaller and rural communities are also taking in large numbers (Government of Canada, 2017). The availability of settlement services, including mental health treatment and specialized services, is substantially lower in rural areas than in Canada’s larger urban centers (Ashton, Pettigrew, & Galatsanou, 2016; Canadian Mental Health Association, 2009).
Increased migration to rural Canadian communities has already strained existing social services in these areas while the lack of culturally-tailored services has also been highlighted as an issue. This brief seeks to address this service deficiency.
Click Here for the material.

International Migration. The well-being of migrants: by Philomena de Lima(RPLC MIRRA Network Member)

Migration has been a widely debated issue in recent years. Events in Africa and the Arab world have led to migration to the European Union on an unprecedented scale and pushed the subject to the top of the political agenda. Globalization, demographic trends and changing geopolitics provide a backdrop to the current discourses and policies on migration. Humanitarian impulses conflict with public concerns about the ‘welfare burden’ of migrants on host societies. The increase in numbers and diversity of migrants is recognised as posing significant challenges for social and public policies. Simultaneously the policy landscape on migrants’ entitlements to public services, as well as notions of social protection are in a state of flux in the context of the adoption of ‘austerity policies’ across the European Union and beyond. Philomena de Lima provides a contemporary understanding of migrants and migration processes and trends with a particular focus on issues related to the wellbeing of migrants and their access to services. The book will inform and educate social science students, policy-makers and those wrestling on a practical level with the implications of migration. Click Here for more information about the book.

“Enhancing Inclusivity in Rural Canada” Workshop Report : by MIRRA Network

Photo from Pixabay

Photo from Pixabay

The Migration in Remote and Rural Areas (MIRRA) Network and the Rural Policy Learning Commons is pleased to have supported the interdisciplinary workshop entitled “Enhancing Inclusivity in Rural Canada,” which was held at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta on November 1-2, 2018 and involved the participation of 14 scholars from across Canada.
Meeting within the context of both a seeming rise in xenophobic and anti-migrant sentiment across the Western world as well as the recognition that much more work must be done to ensure authentic Reconciliation between settlers and the indigenous peoples of Canada is occurring in rural areas, workshop participants discussed a variety on ongoing research projects that touched on the reality of cultural and religious diversity in rural Canada, with a focus on building more inclusive rural communities.
For full details: Click Here

MIRRA Research/Policy Brief:Newcomer Integration and Educating Canadians

By: Michelle Lam

The first MIRRA Research/Policy Brief is published by Michelle Lam entitled “Newcomer Integration and Educating Canadians”. This research brief provides an in-depth analysis of the recent board game tool entitled Refugee Journeys: Identity, intersectionality and Integration which is a tool that can educate Canadians more specifically about integration experiences.The game was developed with the goal of educating Canadians about newcomer experiences.

The Canadian government defines integration as a “two-way street” which involves change and accommodation from both newcomers and Canadians. But most settlement and integration initiatives work towards educating newcomers about Canada, not the other way around.

For full content of the Brief: CLICK HERE

The Launch of the Community Engaged Research on Immigration (CERI) Network! by Ray Silvius

Ray Silvius announced that a publications tab has been added to the Community Engaged Research on Immigration (CERI) Network webpage. The first two publications have been posted.
Click Here to find the material.

Territorial Cohesion in Rural Europe. The Relational Turn in Rural Development by Andrew K. Copus, Philomena de Lima(RPLC MMIRA Network Member)

This book reflects on how the economies, social characteristics, ways of life and global relationships of rural areas of Europe have changed in recent years. This reveals a need to refresh the concepts we use to understand, measure and describe rural communities and their development potential. This book argues that Europe has ‘outgrown’ many of the stereotypes usually associated with it, with substantial implications for European Rural Policy.
Rural structural change and its evolving geography are portrayed through regional typologies and the concept of the New Rural Economy. Demographic change, migration, business networks and agricultural restructuring are each explored in greater detail. Implications for equality and social exclusion, and recent developments in the field of governance are also considered. Despite being a subject of active debate, interventions in the fields of rural and regional development have failed to adapt to changing realities and have become increasingly polarized.
This book argues that rural/regional policy needs to evolve in order to address the current complex reality, partially reformulating territorial or place-based approaches, and the New Rural Paradigm, following a set of principles termed ‘Rural Cohesion Policy’
Click Here for more information about the book.

Global Report on trafficking in Persons, UNODC

The first UNODC Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants shows that migrant smuggling routes affect every part of the world. The study is based on an extensive review of existing data and literature. It presents detailed information about key smuggling routes, such as the magnitude, the profiles of smugglers and smuggled migrants, the modus operandi of smugglers and the risks that smuggled migrants face. It shows that smugglers use land, air and sea routes – and combinations of those – in their quest to profit from people’s desire to improve their lives. Smugglers also expose migrants to a range of risks; violence, theft, exploitation, sexual violence, kidnapping and even death along many routes.
Learn more: Full report

Now available from – NEW BOOK from Nathan Kerrigan (member of RPLC MIRRA Network), titled, “A Threatened Rural Idyll: Informal social control, exclusion and the resistance to change in the English Countyside.”

About the Author:
Nathan Aaron Kerrigan is a research assistant within the Violence Prevention, Resilience and Justice (VPRJ) research group within the Centre for Behavioural Science at Coventry University in the UK. With a PhD in Social and Community Studies, his research interests centre around rurality and the countryside, globalisation and social change, race, racism and ethnicity, social exclusion, spaces of governance, territorial politics, political governance and informal social control. He has various publications on these issues and has also published a Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) evidence report, which explores the impact of tourism on the perceived erosion of English rural identity, as part of the 2016 inquiry on rural tourism in England.  
Book Summary
“Issues concerning globalisation, protection of identity and resistance to change at the national level (e.g., Brexit) have been the cause of much public and scholarly debate. With this in mind, this book demonstrates how these national, and indeed global narratives, have impacted on and are influenced by ‘going-ons’ in local contexts. By situating these national narratives within a rural context, Kerrigan expertly explores, through ethnographic research, how similar consequences of informal social control and exclusion are maintained in rural England in order to protect rural identity from social and infrastructural change.
Drawing on observation, participant observation, and in-depth interviews, ‘A Threatened Rural Idyll’ illustrates how residents from a small but developing rural town in the South of England perceived changes associated with globalisation, such as population growth, inappropriate building developments, and the influx of service industries. For many of the residents, particularly those of middle-class status and long-standing in the town, these changes were seen as a direct threat to the rural character of the town. The investigation highlights how community dynamics and socio-spatial organisation of daily life work to protect the rural traditions inherent in the social and spatial landscape of the town and to maintain the dominance of its largely white, middle-class character. As a result, Kerrigan contends that the resistance to change has the consequence of constructing a social identity that attempts to reinforce the notions of a rural idyll to the exclusion of processes and people seen as representing different values and ideals.”
*Bio and Summary available from


Recordings of all of our webinars can be found on the RPLC YouTube channel.  Visit the site to see all of the rural related webinars or check out some of the MIRRA related webinars below.


For more episodes on a variety of rural issues, please visit:
Rural Routes is a Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development and Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation initiative. This show is supported through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Connection grant.