Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
Oral Presentation Session
In Manitoba’s central-west, narratives of local history are often framed by the trials and tribulations of early European settlement. These narratives are, of course, partial. Still, given their near-ubiquity, they represent a regime of understanding and feeling that underpins what it means to belong to the place. This paper draws on multi-sited ethnographic research conducted in Asessippi-Parkland with the region’s newest immigrants. In 2009, a local hotel began recruiting temporary foreign labour. The predominantly Filipino workers recruited by the hotel have brought with them protracted histories of labour migration. These histories are the outcome of an enduring strategy of labour export embarked upon by the Philippine state since the 1960s. As such, even as they differ one to the next in detail, similar scripts are drawn on to make sense of them. Obligation, reciprocity, a commitment to kin and to the Philippine nation—such are the parametres of Philippine labour migration internalized. For those at the centre of this work, these parametres have expanded to include the foundational narrative central to rural regional identity. With a view to the arm-long of capitalist political economy, this paper explores the ways in which distinct histories of migration and settlement intersect in the creation of "productive" immigrant subjectivities overtime, and the ways in the right to belong is often generated and reproduced according to the logics, and in the service, of globalized capitalism.