Allied Interpreters: Exploring the Role Perception and Ethics of Uncertified Interpreters Supporting Migrant Agricultural Workers in British Columbia
Uncertified interpreters enable migrant agricultural workers in Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program to access key resources and connect with community. Through providing a range of services, including support work and advocacy, interpreters assist migrant workers at risk of exploitation and injury in Canada. This article explores how uncertified interpreters navigate the power dynamics between migrant workers, interpreters, and other actors. Moreover, this article investigates how uncertified interpreters perceive their role and the ethical values that guide their communicative methods. This study’s research findings show that interpreters may adopt a pro-worker role perception as they gain knowledge of the disempowerment experienced by migrant workers. Arising from this role perception, interpreters may also adopt pro-worker ethical values that renounce interpreter neutrality in favour of accessibility and an explanatory communication style. Ultimately, this article contends that uncertified interpreters may reject some traditional interpretation guidelines to adopt a role perception, ethical framework, and communicative style perceived to be more well-suited to supporting migrant farm workers in British Columbia.
Álvaro Aranda, C., Gutiérrez, R. L., & Li, S. (2021). Towards a collaborative structure of interpreter-mediated medical consultations: Complementing functions between healthcare interpreters and providers. Social Science & Medicine, 269, 113529–113529. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113529
André, I. (1990). The genesis and persistence of the Commonwealth Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program in Canada. Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 28(2), 243. https://digitalcommons.osgoode.yorku.ca/ohlj/vol28/iss2/1
Basok, T. (2009). Counter-hegemonic human rights discourses and migrant rights activism in the US and Canada. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 50(2), 183–205. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020715208100970
Basok, T. (2010). Post-national citizenship, social exclusion and migrant rights: Mexican seasonal workers in Canada. Citizenship Studies, 8(1), 47–64. https://doi.org/10.1080/1362102042000178409
Bhuyan, R., Valmadrid, L., Panlaqui, E. L., Pendon, N. L., & Juan, P. (2018). Responding to the structural violence of migrant domestic work: Insights from participatory action research with migrant caregivers in Canada. Journal of Family Violence, 33(8), 613–627. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-018-9988-x
Binford, A. L. (2019). Assessing temporary foreign worker programs through the prism of Canada’s seasonal agricultural worker program: Can they be reformed or should they be eliminated? Dialectical Anthropology, 43(4), 347–366. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10624-019-09553-6
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
Bravo, E. A. F. (2019). Interpreter role (self-)perception: A model and an assessment tool. Revista De Llengua i Dret, 71, 62–72. https://doi.org/10.2436/rld.i71.2019.3258
Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2019) Social research methods. Oxford University Press.
Caxaj, C. S. (2021). Relentless border walls: Challenges of providing services and supports to migrant agricultural workers in British Columbia. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 53(2), 41–67. https://doi.org/10.1353/ces.2021.0010
Caxaj, C. S., & Cohen, A. (2019). “I will not leave my body here”: Migrant farmworkers’ health and safety amidst a climate of coercion. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(15), 2643. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152643
Cole, D. C., McLaughlin, J. E., Hennebry, J. L., & Tew, M. A. (2019). Precarious patients: Health professionals’ perspectives on providing care to Mexican and Jamaican migrants in Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. Rural and Remote Health, 19(4), 5313–5313. https://doi.org/10.22605/RRH5313
Cortina-Castro, M. E., Kobayashi, K. (2020). Temporary workers, (im)permanent labour: Exploring the lived experiences of Mexican Seasonal Agricultural Workers in British Columbia. The Arbutus Review, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.18357/tar112202019604
Drugan, J. (2017). Ethics and social responsibility in practice: Interpreters and interpreters engaging with and beyond the professions. Interpreter, 23(2), 126–142. https://doi.org/10.1080/13556509.2017.1281204
Edmiston, J. (2020). Migrant workers in Canada face unsafe working, living conditions: Report. Financial Post. https://financialpost.com/news/migrant-workers-facing-unsafe-working-living-conditions-report?msclkid=095cad20b23f11ec9247afc14cba9df1&adlt=strict&toWww=1&redig=60E10B4316B04AECB5B152E2E23DF259
Erhardt, M. (2021). Migrant farm workers in the Okanagan struggle in extreme heat. Kelowna Capital News. https://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/339139/Migrant-farms-workers-in-the-Okanagan-struggle-in-extreme-heat - 339139
Horgan, M., & Liinamaa, S. (2017). The social quarantining of migrant labour: Everyday effects of temporary foreign worker regulation in Canada. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43(5), 713–730. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2016.1202752
Hsieh, E. (2006). Conflicts in how interpreters manage their roles in provider-patient interactions. Social Science & Medicine, 62(3), 721–730. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.06.029
Hsieh, E. (2008). “I am not a robot!” Interpreters’ views of their roles in health care settings. Qualitative Health Research, 18(10), 1367–1383. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732308323840
International Medical Interpreters Association. (2007). Medical interpreting standards of practice. https://www.imiaweb.org/uploads/pages/102.pdf
Lee, R. S., Collins, K., & Perez-Brumer, A. (2022). COVID-19 violence and the structural determinants of death: Canada’s seasonal agricultural worker programme. Global Public Health, 17(5), 784–793. https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2022.2053735
Morning Star Staff (2021, July 5). Heat wave: Okanagan group concerned about ‘miserable’ conditions for migrant workers. Salmon Arm Observer. https://www.saobserver.net/news/heat-wave-okanagan-group-concerned-about-miserable-conditions-for-migrant-workers/
Mysyk, A., England, M., & Avila Gallegos, J. A. (2009). A case for certified interpreters for participants in the Canada/Mexico seasonal agricultural workers program. Human Organization, 68(3), 318–327. https://doi.org/10.17730/humo.68.3.6g012756050r04h8
New York State Psychiatric Institute Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence. (n.d.). Do’s and don’ts: Guidelines for clinicians working with interpreters in mental health. http://nyculturalcompetence.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/DosANDDonts_V5_4-22-14.pdf
Polanco, G., & Zell, S. (2017). English as a border-drawing matter: Language and the regulation of migrant service worker mobility in international labor markets. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 18(1), 267–289. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-016-0478-9
Preibisch, K. L. (2004). Migrant agricultural workers and processes of social inclusion in rural Canada: Encuentros and desencuentros. Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 29(57/58), 203–239. https://doi.org/10.1080/08263663.2004.10816857
Prokopenko, E., & Hou, F. (2018). How temporary were Canada's temporary foreign workers? Population and Development Review, 44(2), 257–280. https://doi.org/10.1111/padr.12138
Prunč, E., & Setton, R. (2015). Neutrality. In Franz Pöchhacker (Ed.), Routledge encyclopedia of interpreting studies (pp. 273–276). Routledge.
Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., Elam, G., Tennant, R., & Rahim, N. (2013). Designing and selecting samples. In J. Ritchie, J. Lewis, C. M. Nicholls, & R. Ormston (Eds.), Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers (pp. 111–145). Sage.
Robillard, McLaughlin, J., Cole, D. C., Vasilevska, B., & Gendron, R. (2018). “Caught in the same webs”: Service providers’ insights on gender-based and structural violence among female temporary foreign workers in Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 19(3), 583–606. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-018-0563-3
Strauss, K., & McGrath, S. (2017). Temporary migration, precarious employment, and unfree labour relations: Exploring the ‘continuum of exploitation’ in Canada’s temporary foreign worker program. Geoforum, 78, 199–208. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.01.008
Copyright (c) 2022 Arista Marthyman
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to the Artbutus Review agree to release their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 Unported license. This licence allows anyone to share their work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it for non-commercial purposes provided that appropriate attribution is given, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license are made clear.
Authors retain copyright of their work and grant the journal right of first publication.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.