There is a lack of literature surrounding long-term resettlement and adaptation experiences of Vietnamese refugees that arrived in Canada between 1979 and 1989. This study asks, “What do the stories of Vietnamese refugees reveal about their experiences of adapting to the Canadian host culture? Using narrative inquiry, seven participants were interviewed about their pre-migratory, initial, and long-term settlement. This research sought to understand challenges of settlement in the context of locale. Thematic analysis revealed this group made meaning of their experiences of adaptation by engaging in actions to achieve belonging within the Canadian host culture. Bhatia’s dialogical model of acculturation is used to explain Vietnamese refugees’ process of acculturation. Establishing trust and validating Vietnamese refugees’ resilience and individual coping strategies are essential to work with this group. Counselling implications include understanding Vietnamese help-seeking, collaboration with settlement workers, providing education on counselling services, and facilitating their connection to the host locale.
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Thesis advisor: Keats, Patrice
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