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Saskatchewan attraction and retention of immigrants (SARI)

Aerial of village with houses and fields in Saskatchewan

This research project, conducted in partnership with the Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies, external link (SAISIA), will identify the factors influencing newcomer integration and retention in the small centres of rural Saskatchewan and, in particular, the impact of settlement service provider organizations on the newcomer’s experience. The project aims to produce knowledge that can be used to improve the integration and retention of newcomers outside major urban areas across Canada.  

  1. How do communities in rural Saskatchewan welcome and support newcomers?
  2. What could be done to further support newcomers as they settle and integrate into Saskatchewan’s rural communities?
  3. What factors make the Saskatchewan context unique and to what extent are the findings of this research applicable to other rural contexts?

International migrants are seen as important contributors to local and regional economies, and help to boost population numbers in areas experiencing demographic decline. Attracting migrants to these areas, however, is not enough to ensure that they will successfully integrate and stay.

Efforts have been made to provide migrants with settlement and integration supports regardless of their location in Canada. Small rural centres, however, struggle to provide the same range of services and supports as larger urban areas. Rural communities may also have difficulty offering migrants meaningful and stable employment opportunities, access to a wide range of amenities, and connections to ethno-specific networks and services, all of which have been recognized as important factors in encouraging newcomer attraction and retention. There is, therefore, a need to better understand how settlement and integration occurs in rural communities and what can be done to better support newcomers in these places.

This project will adopt a mixed-methods design. Key informant interviews with stakeholders engaged in the field of settlement and integration will be conducted online. Simultaneously, settlement service workers employed by one of SAISIA’s member organizations will be invited to complete an online survey. Finally, online focus groups with newcomers will be conducted.

Fieldwork for this project will begin in July 2021. 

January 2022

CERC Migration

settlement service provider organizations, settlement services and supports, regionalization, newcomers, migrants, integration, retention, rural communities, small cities, Saskatchewan