2.C Settlement and Integration
C.7 How is cultural orientation treated?
(iii) What resources are available to help orient refugees?
How Canada Does It
Non-profit organizations, including settlement support agencies, provide videos, guidelines and workshops on integration. These resources often outline key considerations for sponsors in terms of interacting with refugees in culturally sensitive ways and providing culturally appropriate support (e.g. providing orientation and information; giving empathy and support; sharing information and cultural practices like foods; traditions; speaking transparently about cross-cultural miscommunications and addressing them collaboratively; connecting with trauma specialists; and being aware of and challenging assumptions).
Canada also provides a number of useful resources for sponsors on orientation for refugees, and funds service providers to offer one-on-one, family, and group orientation sessions to assist permanent residents in all aspects of settling in Canada (e.g. housing, education, health care).
The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) provides a variety of videos, guidelines, and workshops on integration. RSTP trainers are also available to answer sponsors’ questions and help them resolve issues involving cross-cultural miscommunications during the sponsorship period.
Local settlement workers are available to help refugees adapt to all aspects of life in Canada, including language training, housing, education, health care, etc. For example, the Settlement Workers in Schools program places resettlement workers in primary and secondary schools to provide targeted support to newcomer children adjusting to Canada’s educational system (see 2.C.6(viii)).
Local immigration offices are also available to help sponsors and refugees navigate disputes, including ones arising out of cross-cultural miscommunications, and promote two-way orientation (see 2.D.2(ii)).