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Institutional Change: Building an inclusive OCASI network and enhancing the participation of African and Haitian Canadian Francophone Communities

Sponsored by the Department of Canadian Heritage, this project aimed to provide black French-speaking African and Haitian immigrants in Ontario, as well as the Francophone organizations that serve those communities, an opportunity to define their needs and develop strategies to address those needs within the OCASI (Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants) network and within other settlement, integration, and community groups. The research methods included a review of existing literature, surveys among target communities, and focus group discussions in Toronto, Sudbury, London, Ottawa and Windsor. Approximately 190 respondents (francophone newcomers, service providers, and third party and community informants) from different backgrounds participated in this study. For Francophone newcomers from Africa and Haiti, there are many problems related to integration in Canadian society, partly due to the difficulties of learning English and the fact that emerging Francophone communities are themselves a minority group within the Franco-Ontarian community, which considers itself a minority in Ontario. The report highlights 73 findings and recommendations on problems faced by Francophone newcomers. Results indicate that available services are under-utilized by the Francophone public and that OCASI should give information in French to Francophone newcomers from Africa and Haiti. Focus group discussions generated more than 50 recommendations about access to employment, accreditation and training; access to information in French; and financial support for effective grassroots settlement agencies. The report advises OCASI to better reach the emerging Francophone communities and learn the specific challenges faced by Francophone ethno-specific organizations. They can thus better advocate for change and be more inclusive in effort to improve the conditions of newcomers.

Author: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
Title of Work: Institutional Change: Building an inclusive OCASI network and enhancing the participation of African and Haitian Canadian Francophone Communities
Date: 2004
Organization: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
URL: Click here http://atwork.settlement.org/downloads/atwork/Building_Inclusive_OCASI_Network_Enhancing_Participation_of_Racialized_Francophones_english.pdf
Topic: Immigrant and refugee communities
Location of Authoring Organization by Country: Canada
Location of Authoring Organization by Province/ State (unless national entity): Ontario
Availability: Full report online
Language: English