October 31st, 2020

U of L research chair heading refugee study


By Nick Kuhl on May 18, 2019.

Dave Mabell


Lethbridge Herald


dmabell@lethbridgeherald.com


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 
the 1980s.
“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 
migration.
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 refugee@gmailo.com
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