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Activism at the grassroutes: Working for change with migrant agricultural labourers in Canada




Maya Shapiro


Over the course of the four decades that the Seasonal Agricultural Workers' Program has operated as an international labour recruitment initiative for Canadian farmers, a variety of community groups, churches, and non-profit organizations have mobilized around the causes of the Mexican and Caribbean migrant workers who call rural Canada their temporary home. This paper explores and analyzes the activities of one urban-based social justice collective dedicated to building a politicized movement that is driven by migrant workers themselves, and that brings together individuals from various sending countries. From internal ideological struggles to large-scale structural barriers, the collective as a whole and its individual members must grapple with a range of challenges. These challenges and the strategies employed to overcome them demonstrate the complexities of civil society organizing and political activism in the context of one of Canada's most infamous managed migration programs.


York University (Canada)

Place published


File Attachments

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Content types

Support initiatives

Target groups

NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses

United States, Other provinces, America - South, Colombia, Equator, Peru, and Regional relevance