Fostering Diverse Communities Canada

Fostering Diverse Communities Conference
April 30 & May 1, 2015 at the Stonebridge Hotel, Grande Prairie
Conference Agenda
Day One, Thursday, April 30, 2015



MC: Dr. Alan Segal

8:00 - 8:30 am Registration and Breakfast

8:30 - 9:00 am Opening Ceremonies, Welcome from City of Grande Prairie, Recognition of Aboriginal Territory, and Aboriginal Blessing

9:00 - 10:00 am Zarqa Nawaz, Creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie - Keynote Speaker

10:00 - 10:15 am Coffee Break

10:15 - 11:00 am Panel Discussion: Newcomer Stories (Panelists: Nevin Bakir, Augustine Ebinu, Michelle Margarit, & Zarqa Nawaz)

11: 00 - 12:00 pm Wisdom Circles – Sharing Our Own Experiences and Best Practices (Facilitated by City of Grande Prairie and Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Committee Members)

12:00 - 1:00 pm Lunch with Entertainment by Metis Jigger, Roy Pogorzelski

1:00 - 2:00 pm Breakout Session* (First Set) See Breakout Session Descriptions Below

2:00 - 2:15 pm Coffee Break

2:15 - 3:15 pm Breakout Session* (Second Set) See Breakout Session Descriptions Below

3:15 - 3:30 pm Coffee Break

3:30 - 4:00 pm Collectively Building a Welcoming Grande Prairie - Community, Arts-Based Research (Presenter: Tymmarah Zehr, MA)

4:30 - 6:00 pm Tradeshow & Wine and Cheese (Sponsored by the Stonebridge Hotel Liquor Store) with "Shadows and Light - An Interactive Wall Art Experience" by Ada Lovmo

*Day One Breakout Sessions (Delegates will attend 2 of these 3)

Aboriginal Cultural Practices – Learn about Aboriginal Traditional Culture (Dennis Whitford)

The session will increase participants’ knowledge of indigenous ways of helping, and open the door to indigenous practice. It will also increase understanding of the fit of prayer, song, story, and ritual to Aboriginal values, attitudes, beliefs, ideals, insights, concepts. The presentation will incorporate a half-circle seating arrangement, prayer and medicines including: tobacco, sage burning and sharing circle, to contribute to an experiential learning opportunity.

NOTE: This session may not be suitable for those with allergies or sensitivities to smoke as there will be a smudge outdoors.

Youth Experience - Increasing Successful Integration of Newcomer Youth (Angela Sutherland and Solomon Okhifoh from Grande Prairie Crime Prevention's Cultural Integration Academy, and Giselle General from John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights PeaceBuilders Program)

Learn about programs that work towards successful integration of newcomer youth. Angela Sutherland and Solomon Okhifoh from Grande Prairie Crime Prevention’s new Cultural Integration Academy will discuss the program’s mandate, successes and next steps. Giselle General will be speaking about the John Humphrey Centre PeaceBuilders Program and how programs like these can help individuals gain awareness, skills and connections to help embrace themselves and others living in a diverse society.  She will also speak about her personal experience adjusting to life in Canada as a youth up to her current young adult years, identifying opportunities that encourage belonging, empowerment, and successful integration to the ever-changing Canadian and global society.

Temporary Foreign Workers - Misconceptions and Challenges

Shawna Miller and Temporary Foreign Worker (TBA)

Information about the Temporary Foreign Worker program will be presented though the perspectives of a local business owner and temporary foreign worker. This session will draw awareness to the program, how it affects businesses involved and how it affects the workers themselves.