Working with local communities to build a better future for all – that is the goal of two Trent University-led research projects that together received $50,000 in funding as recipients of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Engage Grants.
“We are thrilled that SSHRC will provide Trent University and two of its outstanding researchers with valued resources to continue their community-based research,” said Dr. Cathy Bruce, acting vice-president Research and Innovation at Trent University. “This is incredibly important work that contributes to understanding the experiences of employment-seeking immigrants in the Durham Region and youth experiences as Junior Canadian Rangers in the Northern Territories.”
Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer, Canada research chair in the Study of the Canadian North and a professor in Trent’s School for the Study of Canada, received $25,000 in funding to support his ongoing research project titled Youth Resilience and Community Resilience in Canada's Northern Territories: Measuring the Success of the Junior Canadian Rangers. Dr. Marina Morgenshtern, assistant professor with Trent’s Social Work program at the Durham Greater Toronto Area campus, received $24,925 for her project, Empowerment and Exclusion in Immigrant Experiences of Securing Professional Employment in the Region of Durham.
Professors Lackenbauer and Morgenshtern’s research projects were among 37 across Canada selected for a Partnership Engage Grant, aimed at supporting partnered research activities that will inform decision-making within organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in Canada.
Impact on youth and community resilience in Northern Territories
Prof. Lackenbauer will use the SSHRC funding to continue his work with the First Canadian Ranger Patrol Group based in Yellowknife to develop formal measures/indicators to evaluate the Junior Canadian Rangers (JCR) program within a Northern Canadian context.
“I have been following this youth program closely since it was created in 1998,” Prof. Lackenbauer explains. “While there is lots of anecdotal evidence pointing to how the program supports the mental and physical well-being of youth in building resiliency, encouraging community involvement, and providing tools to help young people reach their personal goals, there has been no systematic evaluation of it.”
Prof. Lackenbauer is particularly interested in how the JCR program seeks to create and strengthen relationships with northern Indigenous communities, promote Indigenous languages and cultural practices, and foster the sharing and development of other traditional skillsets.
“This partnership project is designed to directly inform and influence the future development of Junior Canadian Ranger program in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon,” Prof. Lackenbauer emphasizes.
Immigrant experiences in securing professional employment
Having lived, studied and worked in various countries, Prof. Morgenshtern is familiar with the challenges faced by many skilled immigrants upon entering the workforce.
Prof. Morgenshtern will be utilizing the funding to continue to work closely with the Regional Municipality of Durham to explore immigrant experiences in securing professional employment in the Durham region to identify possible employment service gaps, improve social services and increase public awareness of immigrant experiences.
“We see this project as a beginning of a long-term collaborative and equitable partnership with the Region of Durham to ensure economic and social growth of the region. In addition, insights gained in this project will be instrumental in building other partnerships to improve immigrant experiences in Canada,” explains Prof. Morgenshtern.
Prof. Morgenshtern will be paying particular attention to the role of social structure in informing immigrant experiences and its potential to shift the discourse from deficit-based view to the one of recognition of immigrants’ strengths.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
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