Experiences of Racial Minorities in Rural Communities and Small Towns

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Experiences of Racial Minorities in Rural Communities and Small Towns

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1. Experiences of Racial Minorities in Rural Communities and Small Towns Dr. Daniel Lai Faculty of Social Work University of Calgary

2. Racism Exists Education Employment Social Services Health Care

3. Urban and Rural Preponderance of Research Erroneous Assumption Current research in small towns

4. Research Question What are the lived experiences of racial minorities in small towns and rural settings?

6. Methods Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews Interviews performed in English Interviews taped and transcribed Participants recruited by networking and snowball sampling 19 visible minorities Thematic analysis

7. Participants 19 visible minorities Small rural communities in Alberta Varied ethnic background (e.g. China, Columbia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Africa, Malaysia, the Philippines, Chile, Singapore etc) 12 females, 7 males Ages varied between 20 and 60 2 Canadian born, 17 immigrants in Canada for a few months to 45 years Post-secondary education or higher

8. English: Crazy Language “English is a really crazy language, difficult and crazy” (unidentified) “there are barrier…The doors are all right there but they’re all locked…” (female, visible minority, 34 years in Canada)

9. Only ‘Canadian’ Experience Counts “…nobody wanted to give him a job the first time, they always asked for Canadian experience…[and] the credentials, it’s unbelievable…because their degrees are not recognized at all..” (female, visible minority, 34 years in Canada) “…if they would just accept people for their abilities and education…if someone has the education, give them an opportunity.” (male, visible minority)

10. Only ‘Canadian Education’ Counts “I have a big disadvantage over here (being in a small community)…I accept that they will not accept my education…I want to go…I will move to another town like Calgary or Edmonton, and I’d want to go only for education…no other reason” (male, visible minority, 2 years in Canada) “I have to go back to school…it will take three years…it’s just to upgrade…(male, visible minority, 10 years in Canada)

11. ‘You, Immigrant’ “wherever you go you will even encounter them…’you immigrant, go home’…when we’re a group they always say, ‘Immigrant! Go to your home by boat’.” (female, visible minority, 15 years in Canada) ‘we have foreigners as supervisors. That’s the last! That is the highest you can go.” (male, visible minority, 10 years in Canada)

12. ‘You, Immigrant’ Big City Small Town “I was more visible in a way…here, people see, can see much more…when I moved to that smaller town…I find that everybody knew me.”(female, visible minority, 34 years in Canada) “I like the peace and quiet environment…It’s good because we all know each other.” (male, visible minority, 10 years in Canada)

13. Generation Issues “we are adapting, we are learning all the time and our childhood was there, you know, so we learned certain ways. Sometimes it’s hard to change certain things.” (female, visible minority, 34 years) “…believe it would be easier to keep up the cultural perspective if there were more people around.” (male, visible minority, 2 years in Canada)

14. “I think especially going away to school and university, meeting other people that were second or first generation or even just being around other cultures than…Caucasian. It’s just a healthier place….” (female, visible minority, born in Canada)

15. Conclusions Good and Bad Visibility Diplomatic Explanations Gentle Approach for Harsh Reality

16. Policy Implications Cultural awareness in smaller communities Support for immigrant and ethnic minorities in smaller communities Protection Advancement

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