Reciprocal integration: creating socially connected communities to improve the settlement and health of Canada's immigrant populations

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Great social, economic, and health disparities exist between immigrants and non-immigrants. One approach to eliminating these disparities is reciprocal integration whereby the responsibility for settlement is shared among immigrants and communities. I have developed the Reciprocal Integration Model to detail the responsibilities of governments, individuals, and communities in bridging immigrant and non-immigrant populations. Kelowna, British Columbia and Moncton, New Brunswick were examined as case studies of reciprocal integration in action. While both communities addressed key components of the Reciprocal Integration Model, their motivations for improving immigrant settlement influenced the activities conducted and the degree to which reciprocal integration was created. Moncton was driven by economics leading to active immigrant recruitment efforts. Kelowna, however, sought to address racism leading to greater attention on improving the social environment. The Reciprocal Integration Model can serve as a guide for policymakers and community planners on how to create community connectedness and improve immigrant settlement.
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