By Nick Kuhl on May 18, 2019.
Refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti will be the focus of a
new study led by a University of Lethbridge research chair.
Geography faculty member Julie Young, a Canada Research Chair in
Critical Border Studies, is heading “Remembering Refuge: Between
Sanctuary and Solidarity.”
The oral history project, to be conducted over the summer, will
involve refugees from those three nations who crossed into Canada at
the busy Detroit-Windsor and Plattsburgh-Lacolle ports of entry.
Researchers are seeking refugees from those nations who arrived since
“At a time when the public is inundated with a ‘crisis’ narrative
about migration and borders, the oral histories in Remembering Refuge
remind us that it is urgent to step outside this story of
‘crisis’,’ says Young.
Instead, Canadians should “focus on the experiences of people wo have
been displaced multiple times, who now face being stranded by shifting
policies between Canada and the U.S.”
The oral histories shared by those who participate should shed light
on those dynamics.
Supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society, the study
will be conducted by Young and two research assistants in eastern
Canada. The three — Johanna Reynolds, Grace Wu and Young — have
previously worked on a number of projects related to borders and
Through oral history recordings, educational modules and “digital
storytelling” initiatives, Young says the study hopes to illuminate
the experiences of people who haven’t been heard. The goal is “to
foster critical thinking and engagement on how borders are constructed
through politics, history, infrastructure and our imaginations.”
“This project looks at how ‘unofficial’ archives reveal that
communities have aways contested borders and the ways they are
enforced,” says Young.
If interested in taking part, Canadian residents who arrived from
those three nations since the 1980s are asked to contact remembering firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow @DMabellHerald on Twitter