About Immigration Research West

Immigration Research West (IRW), is a new research group that has received four years of funding through  two contribution agreements from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The purpose of IRW is to enhance research capacity of faculty and students and to work with service providers and government offices to enhance our knowledge of the settlement experiences and outcomes of newcomers to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories. Research activities undertaken by IRW focus on citizenship, immigration, settlement and cohesion between immigrants and Canadians who have settled in the west and north of Canada. Formerly named the Western Consortium for Integration, Citizenship and Social Cohesion (WCICC), IRW was initially housed at Faculté Saint-Jean at the University of Alberta under the direction of Dr. Marc Arnal. Upon Dr. Arnal’s retirement, the office of IRW was moved to the University of Manitoba and is currently under the direction of Dr. Lori Wilkinson.

In its first year the following three major activities were completed:

  • A Western Canada survey of settlement outcome
  • Case studies on the settlement realignment experiences in British Columbia and Manitoba
  • A major conference in Calgary in March 2013.
The outcomes of our research will be used to assist service providers in developing new programs to assist immigrants as they settle. They will also be used by governments to create new policies to enhance settlement experiences. Researchers and students will benefit from a cohesive network of immigration experts and with venues for knowledge dissemination beyond academic publishing. Much like the former Metropolis structure, IRW stakeholders include academics, students, immigrant service provider organizations and all levels of government. The Board of Governors includes representatives from the academy, service providers, and federal and provincial governments and we plan on including municipal representatives in the future (see "Members" page for a listing of members of the Board).

We have started work on some projects already, but welcome additional affiliates to work with us. The funding we have received is directed at several pre-defined research projects and activities, which currently include:

  • Hosting a national conference in Vancouver
  • 33 community consultations in the four Western provinces and three territories, under the direction of Dr. Bill Ashton, Rural Development Institute, Brandon University
  • Four special studies on immigration and integration (call for proposals to come shortly)
  • GIS mapping project on immigration in Canada’s north and west
  • Two case studies of British Columbia and Manitoba on changes to settlement funding  

We are now reaching out to you to join us in this exciting endeavour. We are currently accepting applications of affiliation for community service providers, government agencies (municipal, provincial and federal) and academics (researchers, professors and graduate students).

Please complete the membership application and send your resume or CV to irw@umanitoba.ca


IRCC logo

IRW Logo

Photographs courtesy of 
Library and Archives Canada

Berlin Pier
Arrival of the SS Berlin at Pier 21 April 20, 1957
(LAC, PA-187858)


Dutch Immigrants with Luggage Quebec
Dutch Immigrants with Luggage Quebec 1947
(LAC, PA-a129829)


Englsih Immigrants 1908
English Immigrants at Quebec 1908
(LAC, c014658)