An Inuit-Cal connection; border reopening; renewing US-Canada partnership

An item from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.

Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Former program director Nelson Graburn recalls meeting Mary Simon, Canada’s first Indigenous governor general
  • Canadian immigrants in the US: Older, wealthier, and highly educated?
  • In the News: Canada to re-open to vaccinated US visitors August 9
  • External event: Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership
Former Program Director Nelson Graburn Recalls Meeting Mary Simon, Canada’s First Indigenous Governor General
Earlier this month, the Inuk leader and diplomat Mary Simon was announced as the 30th governor general of Canada. When she officially takes up the position next week, she will be the first Indigenous person to serve in the role. But while her appointment marked Ms. Simon’s introduction to a larger public, for former Canadian Studies Program Nelson Graburn it was more like hearing the name of an old friend.
A trained anthropologist, Dr. Graburn (called ᐊᐱᖁ  ᓂᓕᓯ, “Apirqu Nilisi” in Inuit) is an expert on Inuit culture and conducted his fieldwork in the Canadian Arctic. In the early ’60s, his research took him to Nunavik, the Inuit territory of northern Quebec, where he first met the future governor-general.
“I used to know Mary Simon and her family quite well,” Dr. Graburn explains. “When I lived I Kujjuak (then known as Fort Chimo) from 1963-64, she was a high school student, very bright, rather shy. I employed her as a translator, particularly for the rather long and technical questionnaires on the project for which I was working.”
“Her father was an American entrepreneur and pilot who set up a hunting camp for rich people down the George River, and his HQ was Kujjuak. His clients flew in from Montreal on First Air, and he flew them out to camp and back. He was married to a local Inuk woman and had four children, the oldest of whom I knew best – Johnny May, a tall red-headed boy who was sent out to stay with his uncle in Colorado to earn his pilot’s license. He returned and worked for his father. Later he became a pilot for First Air when it was bought up by Air Inuit with the proceeds of the (CA$83 million) James Bay Treaty,” (which Ms. Simon had helped negotiate.) “When he flew into communities in the North he was cheerily welcomed as the ‘first Inuit pilot’!”
“Since then I have met Mary Simon on many occasions, usually big conferences where we still exchange words (she’s still bilingual). I really admire her career in Canada and internationally.”
Canadian Immigrants in the US: Older, Wealthier, and Highly Educated?
spotlight article published by the Migration Policy Institute last week profiles the Canadian immigrant population in the United States. Based on census and immigration data, US-resident Canadians are both older and more successful on a number of metrics than both native-born US citizens and other immigrant populations. However, do these sources fully capture the diversity of the Canadian community in the United States?
Census data shows that the Canadian-born population in the US tends to be older than other foreign-born populations, and significantly older the US native-born population, with a median age of 54 (compare 46 for other immigrants and 37 for US natives). Contributing to this high average is the presence of a large population of Canadian retirees. These Canadians are also better-educated than both groups, with 51% possessing a bachelor’s degree (18% more than US-born citizens or other immigrants) and 23% possessing a graduate degree (10% more than either group).
These demographics are reflected in the cities with the highest percentages of Canadian-born residents, which include both business centers and known retirement destinations: a quarter live in the five metro areas of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, and Seattle. 16% of all Canadian immigrants to the US live in California. These factors also contribute to Canadians’ high median household income of $89,000, much more than the $66,000 of US-born householders.
However, Canadian Studies Program director Irene Bloemraad, a noted migration research expert, cautions that identifying Canadians in the United States is difficult. The data do not include US-born Canadians, since they are not immigrants. Also, depending on the data source, naturalized Canadians born outside of North America might or might not be counted. Data from the US Census Bureau tend to rely on place of birth to identify immigrants, a strategy that excludes naturalized Canadians like herself. In contrast, data from US Citizenship and Immigration Services, such as the number of Canadians holding H1-B visas, tend to focus on an applicant’s nationality, not birthplace. Bloemraad says, “The actual Canadian immigrant population in the United States is undoubtedly larger and more diverse. We certainly see this on the Berkeley campus among our Canadian international students and faculty.”
Canada to Re-Open to Vaccinated US Visitors Aug. 9
The Canadian government announced today a dramatic scaling back of its COVID travel restrictions – at least for US residents. Beginning August 9, fully-vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents will no longer need to quarantine for two weeks when visiting Canada. The government is also expanding the number of airports authorized to receive international fights. Adults entering the country will need to provide proof of vaccination, and are still required to complete a COVID-test before arriving in Canada.
Restrictions on travellers from all other countries will to continue through September 7.
Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership
July 23 | 1:30 p.m. ET (10:30 a.m. PT) | Webcast | RSVP here
President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau agreed on a “Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership” on February 23, 2021 at their first “virtual bilateral” meeting. The Roadmap includes a range of action items in six broad areas of cooperation including trade, climate change, COVID-19 response and recovery, and global and regional security issues.
In May, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken sent veteran diplomat Ambassador Arnold Chacón to Ottawa to serve as Chargé d’Affaires and lead US efforts to advance the Roadmap. The Wilson Center will host Ambassador Chacón and Canada’s Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman for a conversation about the Roadmap agenda and the route ahead for US-Canada relations. The program will be moderated by Canada Institute director and Canadian Studies Program board member, Christopher Sands.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

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