NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PROPOSAL
THE SOFT LANDING
Our tiny rural community in Canada has come together to sponsor a refugee family. We want to document the journey.
Canada's unique system of citizen sponsorship is at the forefront of the current global immigration conversation.
The New York Times, Op-Ed / February 4th, 2017
"Canada has a brilliant system of citizen sponsorship. Five or more people can form a group to sponsor a refugee family, and even though this often involves a commitment of thousands of dollars per sponsor, there is a waiting list for getting refugees."
- Our tiny rural community in British Columbia has come together to do just that, sponsor the 'soft landing' of a Syrian refugee family and help them integrate into our extremely remote community.
From the Tatla Communities Website
"Chilcotin landscapes are vast and tranquil, the air is crisp. Nature abounds. The people who live here are a hearty bunch – independent, spirited and adventurous. Some of us are long time residents, and some of us are diving in to a whole new lifestyle, but we all share a sense of community and a deep connection to the Canadian wilderness."
FOR THE FAMILY:
Cultural Isolation. Trauma.
Schooling and Language.
FOR THE COMMUNITY:
Finding accommodation – we have a cabin for them.
Stretched school resources with only 2 teachers.
Islamophobia within our small community.
An extremely tight-knit host community.
Volunteers with diverse skills.
Resident medical and mental health services, pro bono.
A school of only 17 students; the new 4 students will receive lots of attention.
The Unique Elements.
THE TSILHQOT'IN FIRST NATION
The 2014 Supreme Court ruling on Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia has changed the course of First Nations relationships in Canada and perhaps the world. It is a time of great triumph for the Tsilhqot'in people, a turning point in the long journey to establish Aboriginal sovereignty.
Title Fight - The Walrus, 2015
Chief Joe Alphonse has expressed his support of the refugee sponsorship saying:
We have fought many years for our rights to this land... we have compassion for those who have had to flee their homeland... we will do everything we can to support the family.