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Dialogues Between First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities in Vancouver April 13, 2010

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Page 1: Dialogues - Vancouver

DialoguesBetween First Nations,

Urban Aboriginal and ImmigrantCommunities in Vancouver

April 13, 2010

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A Message from the Mayor

It is with pleasure that I welcome you to the launch of “Dialogues between First Nations,

Urban Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities in Vancouver”

The City of Vancouver is home to a tremendously diverse population and includes the

traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

In addition to the First Nations, people from other Aboriginal communities and migrants

from around the world have come to call Vancouver home. The Dialogues Project is the

first of its kind initiated by the City to bring together both the Aboriginal and immigrant

communities in an effort to build stronger community bonds.

The Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration recognizes the importance of honouring

and valuing the role of First Nations people as the initial occupants of Canada. It is in

this context that we aim to work with the diverse communities in Vancouver to create an

inclusive city for all.

Yours truly,

Gregor Robertson, Mayor,

City of Vancouver

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Message from the Dialogues Project Chairs

As Chairs of the Dialogues Project Steering Group, we are so pleased to witness the launch of the project. The City of Vancouver had been discussing the project with community partners for quite some time before it came to fruition, so we are happy to see it now being introduced to the public. From the beginning, the Dialogues Project has been strongly supported by stakeholder community members, who see the importance of building stronger inter-cultural relations between Aboriginal and immigrant communities in Vancouver.

Over the next sixteen months there will be a number of initiatives aimed at bringing the communities together, including the dialogue circles, which will be starting shortly. Over one hundred participants from the First Nations, urban Aboriginal and immigrant communities will be engaged to share their stories and perspectives and come up with plans for future collaborative relationships.

On behalf of the Project Steering Group, we’d like to thank you for celebrating the launch of the Dialogues Project with us!

1Dialogues Between Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities

Henry Yu, History Professor,

University of British Columbia

Wade Grant, Musqueam Councillor

Susan TatooshExecutive Director,

Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre

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Program — April 13, 2010

5:30 Introduction and welcome Masters of Ceremonies: Zool Suleman and Kamala Todd

Greetings Welcome from Coast Salish Elder Linc Kesler, Director, UBC First Nations House of Learning Deputy Mayor David Cadman, City of Vancouver Greetings from Musqueam First Nation Greetings from Squamish First Nation Greetings from Tsleil-Waututh First Nation

6:00 Cedar & Bamboo – a special preview Introduced by: Diana Leung, Film Co-Director & Chinese Canadian

Historical Society (CCHS) Board member; Henry Yu, Dialogues Project Chair & CCHS Board member

Voices 4 Ex/Change (Produced by urban ink Production Society) Diane Roberts, Voices 4 Ex/Change Animator; urban ink Artistic Director Pepe Danza, composer/musician; Omari Newton, storyteller; Rupinder

Sidhu, storyteller; Valerie Sing Turner*, storyteller; Quelemia Sparrow, storyteller

*Participating with the special permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

6:30 Warrior Song (based on traditional Lil’wat music) Russell Wallace, Vocalist/Musician

6:35 Introduce Youth Community Developers and Dialogue Circles Susan Tatoosh, Dialogues Project Chair Eric Wong, Lead Facilitator, Dialogue Circles

6:45 Closing Remarks Wade Grant, Dialogues Project Chair

Networking reception Salishan Catering

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About the Dialogues Project

The Dialogues between First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities in Vancouver Project (the Dialogues Project) is a ground-breaking collaboration between the City of Vancouver and more than 20 community partners that aims to build understanding and stronger relationships between local Aboriginal and immigrant communities.

The Dialogues Project consists of five initiatives designed to encourage members of these communities to share their experiences and perceptions and to learn about one-another’s cultures. It commenced in early 2010, and is scheduled to run until mid-2011.

The project has been funded by the Government of Canada and the Government of BC through the Welcome and Inclusive Communities and Workplaces Program. The City’s Social Policy Group provides project oversight and co-ordination.

Through the Dialogues Project, individuals and communities will be able to learn about one another, make new connections, and explore new opportunities to work together. The result will be a City with a richer, stronger cultural tapestry.

The project concentrates around five initiatives:

Dialogue Circles: To foster conversations between Aboriginal and immigrant groups, a series of facilitated discussions will be held. They will focus on remembering history, reflecting on present community assets, and establishing plans for future cross-cultural alliances.

Community Action Research: Interviews and group surveys will be conducted with Aboriginal and immigrant community members about their experiences and perceptions on social inclusion and inter-cultural relations in Vancouver.

Cultural Exchange Visits: First Nations, urban Aboriginal and immigrant groups will host cultural exchanges to give the broader community a chance to learn about and engage with the histories and cultures of the groups hosting the exchanges.

Youth and Elders Program: Youth and elders will be engaged to act as liaisons between communities and as presenters to promote the project and related issues to other interested groups.

Legacy Projects: Funding will be sought to implement two legacy projects which will generate more public awareness and support for the issues raised under the Dialogues initiatives.

The Dialogues Project will be chronicled in a DVD and a Story document, which will include the stories of the communities and will also highlight the key events and achievements of the Project.

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Masters of Ceremonies

Zool Suleman is an immigration lawyer, writer and consultant. Former Chair of the Vancouver Mayor’s Task Force on Immigration, he is a refugee from Uganda with grandparents from Gujarat, India.

Kamala Todd is a filmmaker and community planner who works to raise awareness about the histories and contributions of Aboriginal people in Vancouver.

Cedar & BambooThe preview film, Cedar & Bamboo, was produced by the Chinese Canadian Historical Society (CCHS). CCHS is a non-profit, participatory provincial organization dedicated to broadening our shared understanding of history of the Chinese in British Columbia through research, documentation, preservation and education.

Cedar & Bamboo explores the rich and complex relationships between Aboriginal and Chinese people in British Columbia through the lives of four people who are descended from both cultures. For more information: www.chinese-firstnations-relations.ca/production.html

Cedar & Bamboo Co-Directors

Diana Leung – Cedar & Bamboo Co-DirectorDiana is passionate about storytelling, heritage conservation, urban memory and communities. She has been involved in collaborative video productions with various communities as well as creative projects with dance, puppetry, and sound. Diana has a Masters degree in Community and Regional Planning (UBC). She currently works for the City of Vancouver in the Cultural Services Department.

Kamala Todd – Cedar & Bamboo Co-DirectorKamala is a Métis-Cree/German writer, filmmaker, community planner, educator and Mother. She has a Masters Degree in Urban Geography (UBC) and is creator/director of the Aboriginal multimedia arts project Storyscapes and Indigenous City, a dynamic project seeking to affirm the important place of Aboriginal people in the city. Her film, Indigenous Plant Diva, has recently screened at festivals in Europe and North America.

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urban ink Production Society

urban ink Production Society is a Vancouver-based theatre company known to plant creative roots in far-flung communities across BC. We produce Aboriginal and diverse cultural works and promote multi-disciplinary artists to proudly showcase their talent on stages across Canada. Our quest for authentic expression of historical and current phenomenon while bridging social and ethnic divides is at the heart of our professional and community based activities.

urban ink’s community work is uniquely suited to youth, youth-elder dialogue, community remembering, inter-racial dialogue and a deep exploration of ancestral origins. urban ink is proud to be host organization for the Story Box Project a part of Vancouver’s Great Beginnings, which commemorates the City’s founding communities. Please learn more about us at: www.urbanink.ca

Voices 4 Ex/Change In Voices 4 Ex/Change we enter the circle-----an interplay of music, storytelling and spoken word woven together in the time-honoured tradition of oral exchange that brings us face to face in dialogue. Cathy McDonald, urban ink General ManagerAmita Daniels, Project Manager

Artist Profiles

Omari Newton – StorytellerMontreal-born Omari is a professional actor and writer whose work can be seen on television, film and stage. He is fluently bilingual in French and English and has performed and created works in both languages. His stage work in Québec has earned him a number of awards and recognition. Omari is interested in using the arts to promote social justice.

Craig Marcuk – Technical Director/Stage ManagerA Dark Horse running in the night. Craig has emerged from the Whitehorse scene. An artist, performer, musician, technician, he’s looking forward to continuing to work with the wonderful personalities of urban ink.

Diane Roberts – Voices 4 Ex/Change AnimatorDiane has been urban ink’s Artistic Director since 2007. As director, dramaturge, playwright and cultural animator, Diane has collaborated with theatre and interdisciplinary artists across Canada as well as in Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. Over the past few years her artistic passion has been to articulate and practice Indigenous, African and Afrisporic forms of theatre.

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Rupinder Sidhu – StorytellerRupinder is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. From a young age, diverse music from around the world has inspired and informed his sound: from folk and classical forms of India, to Hip-hop and Reggae, over to West African and Middle Eastern percussion and the list goes on and on…. www.byanydreamsnecessary.com

Quelemia Sparrow – StorytellerQuelemia is an actor/writer with Musqueam First Nation, Scottish and Irish ancestry. She recently represented the Musqueam Nation during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, welcoming the world to Musqueam traditional territory. Quelemia believes that a deep understanding of the history and land of the First Nations People is necessary for the growth and future of all Canadians.

Valerie Sing Turner – StorytellerValerie is an independent professional theatre artist who performs, writes and produces. Her Canadian roots trace back more than a century to when her grandparents emigrated from southern China. Having lived by turns in Victoria; Toronto; and London, UK, Valerie is thrilled that her adopted home of Vancouver is where authentic, respectful and meaningful dialogue is possible.

Russell Wallace – Singer, ComposerRussell (Lil’wat Nation) is a composer, producer and a traditional Lil’wat singer whose music has been part of a number of soundtracks (film, video, television) and theatre/dance productions. Russell has also been active in intercultural collaborations and facilitating collective composition.

Joseph “Pepe” Danza – Composer, MusicianPepe is an electrifying percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, teacher and composer. Originally a native of Montevideo, Uruguay, he has spent his life playing music, and has travelled the world to immerse himself in many traditions. He is especially focused on Afro & Latin drumming traditions, as well as exploring Sound Healing. Pepe is known internationally for his work as a composer, recording artist, band leader, performer and teacher and is the proud recipient of many award nominations. www.pepedanza.com

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Dialogues Project Steering Group


Wade Grant, Musqueam CouncillorWade was born and raised in the Musqueam First Nation, and is currently a Musqueam Councillor. He was the Assistant General Manager of the 2010 Olympic Games Aboriginal Pavilion and was the Assistant to the Minister of Public Safety in Victoria in 2006. He and his wife, Maureen Grant, have a one-year old son, Eli.

Susan Tatoosh, Executive Director, Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship CentreSusan is of Shuswap ancestry, and a member of the Hupacaseth First Nation, of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Territory. Susan is an Elder and has been actively involved in community volunteer work for the past 40 years, both in the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. Her volunteer work has been at the community, municipal, provincial and national levels. She retired from the Federal Public Service, and is presently the Executive Director at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre.

Henry Yu, History Professor, University of British ColumbiaHenry is an Associate Professor in History at UBC, teaching Chinese-Canadian and trans-Pacific migration history. He is involved in the collective effort to re-imagine the history of Vancouver and of British Columbia through the concept of ‘Pacific Canada’, a perspective that focuses on how migrants from Asia, Europe, and other parts of the Americas engaged with each other and with First Nations peoples historically.

Project Steering Group members include representatives from:

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Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA)

City of Vancouver, Hastings Institute

City of Vancouver, Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration

Civic Education Society

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

Immigrant Services Society of BC

Kiwassa Neighbourhood House

Laurier Institution


Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House

Musqueam First Nation

Native Education College

Squamish First Nation


Tsleil-Waututh First Nation

UBC First Nations House of Learning

UBC Department of History

UBC Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

UBC Museum of Anthropology

UBC Office of Community Affairs

UBC School of Social Work

Urban Native Youth Association

Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre

Vancouver Community College

Vancouver Métis Community Association

Vancouver Public Library

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We would like to thank Professor Linc Kesler and his staff for generously providing the Sty-Wet-Tan (Great Hall) for the launch of the Dialogues Project.

Thank you to the Musqueam Nation, Squamish Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation and their staff for their support and advice.

Thank you to the Chinese Canadian Historical Society and the urban ink Production Society for their participation and support.

Thank you to all of the speakers and performers and to Zool and Kamala as the Masters of Ceremonies.

We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the following:

Project Steering Group: Jill Baird, Tung Chan, Nolan Charles, Winnie Cheung, Chris Friesen, Leah George-Wilson, Larry Grant, Wade Grant, Lynda Gray, Jocelyn Hamel, Daniel Hill, Deborah Jacobs, Linc Kesler, Lianna Martin, Melissa McDowell, Nancy McRitchie, Counsellor Geoff Meggs, Laara Mixon, Leslie Murray, Eyob Naizghi, Cecily Nicholson, Simon Neame, Anne Nickerson, Anne Olsen, Farid Rohani, June Scudeler, Susan Tatoosh, Carleen Thomas, Ken Tung, Mabel Tung, Richard Vedan, Patricia Woroch, Henry Yu, Michael Yue.

Immigration and WelcomeBC Branch staff, Province of British Columbia

University of British Columbia: Dr. Anthony Shelton, Sandra Singh, Professor Kwong-leung Tang

City of Vancouver: Colin Fenby, Shelagh Flaherty, Monica Kay, David McLellan, Bruce Quayle, Robin Shantz, Wendy Stewart, Carol Ann Young, MaryClare Zak.

Catering is provided by Salishan Catering.

Program design by Sid Cho.

The Dialogues Project is made possible by funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

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Dialogues Project TeamBaldwin Wong (Social Planner and Project Lead), Karen Fong (Project Coordinator), Lanny Jimenez (Youth Engagement), Kamala Todd (Consultant).

Youth Community DevelopersA team of Youth Community Developers, from both Aboriginal and immigrant backgrounds, will engage with youths and members of diverse communities in promoting the goals of the project and helping foster relationship among all.

Youth Community Developers are: Kevin Abrahams, Heather Forbes, Josiane Houngbo, Margaret Joseph, Nasra Mire, Jorge Salazar, Brad Sparrow, and Herb Varley.

Dialogue Circle FacilitatorsEight Dialogue Circles will be held around the city to bring together people from Aboriginal and immigrant/non-Aboriginal communities for dialogue.

Facilitators are: Kinwa Bluesky, Koyali Burman, Rain Daniels, Parker Johnson, Norma Jean McLaren, Kamala Todd, Richard Vedan, and Eric Wong.

Story GatherersWe will be collecting stories and perspectives from both Aboriginal and immigrant communities.

Story Gatherers are: Kinwa Bluesky, Paromita Naidu, and Kamala Todd.

Dialogues Story DocumentZool Suleman

For more information about the Dialogues Project, please contact Baldwin Wong at 604-871-6637 or [email protected]

or Karen Fong at 604-871-6324 or [email protected]

Printed on recycled paper.

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