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Special Issue: Indigenous Peoples and Refugees 
This special edition of the ImmPress newsletter marks two significant occasions taking place this weekend: World Refugee Day (June 20) and National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21). Both landmark dates are noteworthy for HIPC. We remain intentional about fostering community connections with our Indigenous Peoples and equally embracing newcomer refugees to Hamilton. Our vision is crystal clear: a Hamilton for everyone. 

Canada is considered to be a country of immigration, but Indigenous Peoples lived in this land long before the arrival of the first European settlers. The earliest immigrants were actually colonizers who sought to dominate rather than to connect with and learn from the Indigenous Peoples.

In contrast, those who arrive in Canada today must be granted permission to live here before they can settle permanently. Refugees in particular ask to be admitted to Canada for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. These are power dynamics that must be recognized to better understand Canada's past and present. In coming together, we are reminded of our shared humanity and also our distinct stories, struggles and privileges. 

In a recent podcast interview, community advocate and builder Mia Birdsong reminds us that "community is a verb that requires us to act like we are beautifully, inextricably tied." In this spirit, we must each do our part to learn about each other's significant journeys. We invite you to come alongside us in participating, reflecting and connecting with each other in order to build a Hamilton for All. 
Land Acknowledgement 
A land acknowledgement recognizes indigenous inhabitants of the land at the start of an event or meeting. It is one small action in the process of decolonization. For Indigenous groups, the relationship to land is intimate and connected to their spiritual, cultural, social well-being. This way of knowing the land creates a sense of responsibility for taking care of it, and also for considering how the land can own its inhabitants. All those who engage with land experience a dynamic relationship. Therefore, the land acknowledgement shows respect for the Indigenous relationship with land and should come with a commitment to reflect on your relationship with the land.

We invite you to watch, share, and use the City of Hamilton's Land Acknowledgement and to learn more about the City's Urban Indigenous Strategy here. This reference guide is helpful for those  wanting to create their own land acknowledgement. 
One per cent of the world’s population is now forcibly displaced

On the eve of World Refugee Day, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) has released Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2019. It shows that the number of persons forcibly displaced “as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order” has doubled over the past decade.

More than half of the 79.5 million persons in these alarming figures are forcibly displaced within their own countries, and 26 million are refugees, defined as someone displaced from their country. More than 40% are children. Two-thirds of those displaced across borders come from only 5 countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.

A much smaller number, 4.2 million, is able to travel abroad to seek asylum in further countries. Canada, for example, received just under 30,000 refugee claims in 2019, and just under half of them are likely to be accepted based on recent trends. Between persons who made successful refugee claims from within Canada and those who were resettled from refugee camps abroad, Canada welcomed 30,082 refugees in 2019.

On this 70th anniversary of UNHCR, a special resource page focused on refugees in Canada has been created. You are invited to connect with fellow Canadians and refugees and to learn about their stories, families, favourite home-cooked meals, traditions, and more.

Canada is a world leader in refugee welcome, and our country has been changed by refugees. Both of these are worth celebrating.

Recommended by HIPC 

Ahead of two significant dates this weekend, here are a few HIPC recommendations to read, watch, or attend to mark these occasions.  

To Watch: 


To Read: 


To observe: 

We Welcome Your Submissions
ImmPress offers space to highlight the work of HIPC partners, share upcoming events, opportunities, and stories of impact. During this time of uncertainty due to COVID-19, we hope to keep our community connected and informed. ImmPress is normally released every second Thursday.

If you would like your work to be featured and shared with the community, please email us your events, community announcements, and upcoming activities at immigration.partnership@hamilton.ca. We look forward to supporting you. 
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Issue #43

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Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council
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Hamilton, ON L8P 4Y5

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