Preserving our immigration history.

The winners write

Lianne Koren: I am honoured to receive the 2019 Gunn Award for my research on North African Jewish migration to Canada in the 1950s. The history and experiences of Moroccan Jews in Canada are understudied but they are deserving of greater academic attention. I am proud to have been chosen by the IMRC and the CIHS who appreciate the value and importance of this subject. My essay submission to the Gunn Award, “Europeanized” Moroccans: North African Jewish Immigration to Canada, 1955-1960” was expanded upon in my Master’s thesis “North African Jewish Migration to Canada, 1956-1960: A Holocaust Legacy.”

Stephen Fielding: I am very grateful to have been the inaugural recipient of the Gunn Award in 2010. Since that time, I have advanced in the doctoral program in History at the University of Victoria. My research explores larger questions about migration and settlement, diasporic networks, memory, and the making of cosmopolitan cities and Canadian multiculturalism. On these topics, I have published articles in the Urban History Review and edited volumes by Oxford University Press and Palgrave Macmillan, as well as had the privilege to present at conferences in Denmark, Poland, and places closer to home. At present, I am a Graduate Fellow at the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria. My dissertation, to be defended next spring, studies the settlement and community organization of European immigrants in postwar Toronto through the lens of sport participation and fan culture. Looking back, the Gunn Award has been an important step in a long-term and rewarding investigation of the migrant communities, ideas, and policies that have linked Canada and the wider world.

Alyshea Cummins: I am very appreciative of receiving the Gunn Award for my essay on the refugee resettlement of Cambodian Therevada Buddhists and Ugandan Ismaili Muslims into Canadian society. A year after receiving this award I enrolled in the Religious Studies Doctoral program at the University of Ottawa where I have continued my research on the Ismaili Muslim community in Canada. The study of migrant history, re/settlement, and integration is a very important topic for various reasons; one being that it informs us of the greater diversity that exists in our society. Canada is one country that attempts to embrace this diversity through the ethic of pluralism, which acts “to ensure that every person, irrespective of ethnocultural differences, is able to realize his or her full potential as a citizen” (Global Centre for Pluralism, Ottawa). In order for this ethic to manifest, it is important to understand the diverse histories and experiences of our collective and diverse communities. The Gunn award assists in fostering this essential understanding.

Dara Marcus: I have a BA in Spanish from Bard College and an MA in Public and International Affairs from the University of Ottawa, where I specialized in urban agriculture policy. In 2013, a term paper on the Hai Hong that I wrote for a class on refugee policy won the CIHS-Wilfrid Laurier University Gunn Prize. Subsequently I wrote an article , “Saving Lives: Canada and the Hai Hong,” which was published in bout de papier (Vol. 28, No. 1). I am presently project manager of the Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue, a research project housed at the Centre for European Studies (EU Centre of Excellence) at Carleton University.

Geoffrey Cameron: I received the Gunn Award in the first year of my PhD program in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, and it offered a major source of encouragement to pursue my dissertation topic. The Gunn Award encouraged me in a number of respects. First, it was a vote of confidence in the relevance of my research topic from the Canadian Immigration Historical Society, and second, it opened the door to present my paper at a forum created by the International Migration Research Centre at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. My Gunn Award essay examined the policy process that led to Canada’s resettlement of displaced people and refugees after World War Two. I have since expanded this topic with a comparative perspective to examine the role of religious groups in refugee resettlement in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. I hope that my research will contribute to our understanding of the historical sources of refugee policies, and how their humanitarian dimension might be strengthened.