Conference Presentations

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PLENARY SESSIONS

Plenary #1

Settlement Workers in Schools: Performance Measurement and Evaluation. Speaker: John Biles

John Biles is currently the Assistant Director of Integration, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, a position he’s held for almost three years. He has been involved with immigration programming since 1996.  John has published seven books, including edited volumes exploring integration and inclusion across Canada.  His research interests include the political participation of newcomers and minorities, and integration policy and programming in communities across Canada.

Plenary #2

Working with Immigrant and Racialized Youth with Complex Needs. Speaker: Dr. Hieu van Ngo

Dr. Hieu Van Ngo is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. He is grounded in life experience, professional practice and community leadership. To date, Dr. Ngo has developed and led more than 14 collaborative projects with a total value of $6.4 million. His scholarship and practice have focused on youth gang prevention, diversity and inclusion, non-profit management, community leadership and community-based research.

Plenary #4

Settlement Workers in Schools: Gathering Information - New Version of the Needs Assessment. Speaker: John Biles

John Biles is currently the Assistant Director of Integration, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, a position he’s held for almost three years. He has been involved with immigration programming since 1996.  John has published seven books, including edited volumes exploring integration and inclusion across Canada.  His research interests include the political participation of newcomers and minorities, and integration policy and programming in communities across Canada.

Plenary #6

Moving Forward - Identifying Future Initiatives (Roundtable Discussion). Facilitators: Sarosh Rizvi, Maryam Karimi & Oliver Kamau

Mr. Sarosh Rizvi is a first generation Canadian of Pakistani descent.  He has worked in the settlement field for 10 years in Calgary and is currently the Manager of the largest SWIS program in Western Canada, the In School Settlement Program. Sarosh has been recognized for his contributions with multiple distinctions, including being named Top 40 Under 40 in Alberta and awarded for a ‘Novel Approach to Humanitarian Efforts’ by Canadians for Global Care in 2014.

Mr. Kamau moved to Canada twenty years ago to pursue his graduate studies in the field of education. Currently, he is the Manager at Edmonton Immigrant Services Association (EISA) where he has been overseeing the In-School and Library Settlement Services programs for the past eight years. Prior to joining EISA he worked at the Centre for Race and Culture (CRC), developing programs on anti-racism education, diversity and equity issues.  Oliver sits on community boards and is a past recipient of the RISE award and Medal of Excellence from MacEwan University, Alberta. 

Maryam Karimi has 17 years of experience in the settlement sector.  She has a Law degree from Iran, a Masters of Education from Manchester University, and a Social Work degree from the University of Regina. She has worked in her native Iran, the UK, South Africa, Calgary, Saskatoon and for the last three years in Regina. Her first-hand experience adjusting to life in new surroundings has been instrumental in her current position as Saskatchewan SWIS Coordinator.  

 

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Breakout Session #1

Family Violence: Issues, Prevention and Intervention. Speakers: Salim Ostiso & Lesley Kitsch

Mr. Salim Otiso is originally from Kenya.  He came to Canada in 2000 to attend University.  Salim started working with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services in 2005 after completing his Bachelor of Social Work degree at University of Regina.  Salim has been working in Child and Family Programs for 12 years and is currently the Supervisor for Central Screening for South Saskatchewan at Ministry of Social Services in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Ms. Lesley Kitsch is from rural Saskatchewan.  Lesley started working with the Ministry of Social Services in 2001 after completing her Bachelor of Social Work degree at University of Regina.  Lesley has been working in Child and Family Programs for 16 years and is currently a Supervisor in Child Protection Maintenance.  In 2014, Lesley started supervising a specialized unit focusing on working with newcomer families.

Breakout Session #2

Addressing the Stressors of Syrian Refugees - Challenges, Opportunities and Tools. Speaker: Souheir Jamil

Ms. Souheir Jamil first completed her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Social Psychology in Lebanon, her home country. She went on to obtain her PhD in Psychology, from the University of Lyon II (France) with the highest academic distinction awarded, ‘Very Honorable with Committee Praise.’ She has assisted and participated in many International Psychological Congresses in France, Belgium and Canada.

Breakout Session #3

Thinking Outside of the SWIS Box - Creative Expansions to the SWIS Model. Speaker: Sarosh Rizvi

Mr. Sarosh Rizvi is a first generation Canadian of Pakistani descent.  He has worked in the settlement field for 10 years in Calgary and is currently the Manager of the largest SWIS program in Western Canada, the In School Settlement Program. Sarosh has been recognized for his contributions with multiple distinctions, including being named Top 40 Under 40 in Alberta and awarded for a ‘Novel Approach to Humanitarian Efforts’ by Canadians for Global Care in 2014.

Breakout Session #4

The Journey of Becoming an Indigenous Ally. Speaker: Oliver Kamau

Mr. Oliver moved to Canada twenty years ago to pursue his graduate studies in the field of education. Currently, he is the Manager at Edmonton Immigrant Services Association (EISA) where he has been overseeing the In-School and Library Settlement Services programs for the past eight years. Prior to joining EISA he worked at the Centre for Race and Culture (CRC), developing programs on anti-racism education, diversity and equity issues.  Oliver sits on community boards and is a past recipient of RISE award and Medal of Excellence from MacEwan University, Alberta. 

Breakout Session #5

Effective Methods in Logic Model Development to Track Progress towards Longer Term Outcomes and Impacts. Speaker: Maureen Matthew

Ms. Matthew has worked as a private consultant through her company INNOVA Learning since 1995.  Using her experience in human resource management and adult learning, she has conducted evaluation reviews for a range of projects across Canada including evaluating homelessness programs, developing evaluation training for staff of community-based drug abuse prevention programs, developing an evaluation process for industry safety associations, and evaluating training outcomes for the mining sector in the NWT.  Maureen holds national professional designations as a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), Credentialed Evaluator (CE), and a Master’s degree in Adult Education.

Breakout Session #6

Gender Issues for LGBTQ Newcomer Youth. Speaker: Dr. Hieu van Ngo

Dr Hieu Van Ngo is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. He is grounded in life experience, professional practice and community leadership. To date, Dr. Ngo has developed and led more than 14 collaborative projects with a total value of $6.4 million. His scholarship and practice have focused on youth gang prevention, diversity and inclusion, non-profit management, community leadership and community-based research.

Breakout Session #7

Self-Care: When Caring Hurts: Taking Care of Compassion, Fatigue, Burnout, and Secondary Trauma. Speaker: Dr. Jenny Keller

Dr. Jenny Keller is a registered psychologist and has been working in the mental health field for more than twenty years. She has been with mental health services in Saskatchewan for the past twelve years. Jenny has extensive experience in working with adults, youth, and children with different life context experiences and presenting with a wide range of mental health concerns. She favours a strengths-based and systemic approach to improving adjustment and wellness.

Breakout Session #8

Best Practices: Key Elements for Newcomer Students' Success - Different Perspectives - Power Point Presentation. Facilitators: Amanda Davidson, Elizabeth Geti, Oksana Shulska & Carlos Correa 

Best Practices: Key Elements for Newcomer Students' Success - Different Perspectives - Round-table Prompts. Facilitators: Amanda Davidson, Elizabeth Geti, Oksana Shulska & Carlos Correa

Breakout Session #9

Working with Newcomer Youth, Engaging Youth. Speaker: Winston Blake

Winston Blake BA, MA, C. Med has a reputation for motivating learning, growth and change in individuals. Winston believes in promoting peace, respect, and understanding as a conflict management practitioner, presenter, trainer and father. He holds an Advanced Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Saskatchewan (1995) and a Masters in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University (2015). He also has a certificate in Conflict Management from the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society (1998) and is a Chartered Mediator with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada (1999).  Meeting the needs of youth, families, and the community, is a lifelong commitment and passion for Winston. He is the founder and managing director of the not-for-profit organization, Peer Mediation and Skills Training (PMAST) and the Executive Director of the Restorative Action Program (RAP) in Saskatoon.

Breakout Session #10

Effective Conflict Management - Tools and Techniques. Speaker: Duncan Brawn

Duncan has a Bachelor of Arts (English, Psychology, Anthropology) - University of Regina. He is a qualified mediator and has provided affordable collaborative legal options and contracted negotiation in the form of commercial mediation services.  He has practiced mediated divorces and separations, workplace conflict and neighbour disputes through the facilitation of collaborative discussion and legally binding agreements.

Breakout Session #11 - 1

Peer Mentors: Indispensable Pillars of Support for Newcomer Students. Speakers: Margarita Cameron & Hayder Abed 

Ms. Margarita Cameron is a Settlement Practitioner in the In School and Library Settlement Services programs. She has been working at Edmonton Immigrant Services Association (EISA) since 2011. She focuses on helping newcomers within the country to become more integrated within the Canadian community. Prior to joining EISA she worked at NorQuest College for eleven years in a variety of employment programs. Her education includes a Social Work background, and career and employment training. 

Mr. Hayder Abed arrived in Canada in 2012.  A doctor of Veterinary Medicine, he graduated from the University of Baghdad, Iraq. Shortly after his arrival in Canada he dedicated his time to volunteering.  His first choice of volunteering was at Edmonton ISA, where he devoted his time to learn and develop numerous skills such as interpretations, translations and refugee assistance. Presently he is a Settlement Practitioner at EISA with four years of successful experience helping newcomers to Canada particularly Syrian refugees. 

Breakout Session #11 - 2

ENGLISH: Newcomer Orientation Week in Canadian High Schools. Speaker: George Bahaya

FRENCH: Newcomer Orientation Week in Canadian High Schools. Speaker: George Bahaya

Breakout Session #12

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education: Supporting Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students and Student Support Services. Speakers: Seema Saroj, Jennifer Scullen & Lynn Harper-Harris

Ms.  Seema Saroj works as a consultant in the Student Achievement and Supports Branch of the Ministry of Education.

Ms. Jennifer Scullen works as a consultant in the Student Achievement and Supports Branch of the Ministry of Education.

Ms. Lynn Harper- Harris works as a consultant in the Student Achievement and Supports Branch of the Ministry of Education.  She has over thirty-five years working as a classroom and student support services teacher. 

Breakout Session #13 - 1

Learning from Refugee Families in Early Childhood Settings. Speaker: Dr. Christine Massing 

Dr. Christine Massing is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina. Christine’s primarily researches alongside culturally and linguistically diverse.  Her research interests include professional identity construction, professionalism, teacher beliefs, immigrant/refugee families' engagement in early childhood settings, parent-child interactions, and early literacy. She recently worked with several colleagues to research the barriers that newcomers in Regina experience in accessing education, employment, and child care in collaboration with the Regina Region Local Immigration Partnership. Christine is a former teacher who has lived and worked in Colombia, Japan, Mexico, Guatemala, Egypt, as well as in two First Nations communities in Canada.

Breakout Session #13 - 2

Play and the Unintegrated Child. Speaker: Janine Hart

Ms.  Janine Hart is currently the Executive Director for The Humboldt Regional Newcomer Centre, Saskatchewan. Previous to this she was a regional settlement advisor and Gateway manager, working with clients immigrating to rural communities in north central Saskatchewan. She is a graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University (BA Hons specializing in therapeutic play). Janine immigrated to Humboldt, SK from the north of England in 2007 with her husband and 5 children. She has an extensive background in early childhood development and marginalized groups. She has a particular interest in children/youth who have been separated from their primary care giver through incarceration. She was instrumental in developing and securing funding to open the first therapeutic play facility in a woman’s prison, with a focus on the child’s right to engage in play. Janine’s work with youth in education provided her the opportunity to use the play cycle to allow challenge and choice in their lives. Janine is a play advocate and believes play as the essential core to our very being.

Breakout Session #14 - 1

Chill Out Program (Anger Management Program for Kids). Speakers Gabriel Gabriel, Maricelle Banay, Emmy Bacani-Tipan & Malou Josue

Mr. Gabriel Gabriel started working as a settlement worker in April of 2017. Previously, he volunteered and worked with different newcomer agencies in Winnipeg and has always been passionate in working for the newcomer community. As a newcomer nine years ago, he wants to give back to the community that helped and shaped him to who he is today.

Ms. Maricelle Banay was a volunteer for various non-profit organizations since 2014 but being a volunteer for Norwest Co-op Community Health was her longest volunteer stint. As a volunteer, she worked and interacted with newcomers by sharing her experience and knowledge in settling in Canada. She currently works as a neighborhood immigrant settlement worker allowing her to reach out to other newcomers in a bigger community.    

Ms. Emmy Bacani-Tipan is a registered Social Worker of Manitoba.  She has worked at Norwest Coop Community Health for 9 years and has worked as a NISW for almost 3 years.  She is a counselor for immigrant women who had been impacted with family violence, trauma and abuse. Emmy is part of trauma team of Norwest, and a trainer for PFA-PTSM.

Ms. Malou Josue is a Neighborhood Immigrant Settlement Worker at NorWest Co-op Community Health Since November 2014. She also works as an Intercultural Support Worker for Winnipeg School Division 1. She has been working with newcomers for 4 years. Most of her programs involve working with parents and their children as well as working with youths. As an immigrant herself, her passion is to support and empower newcomers as they face various challenges in settling here in Canada. 

Breakout Session #14 - 2

Working with Syrian Families. Speakers: Erika Frey, Iftu Ibrahim & Molly Dunbar

Ms. Erika’s settlement experience dates back to her own immigration experience, and first interactions with the settlement experience through volunteering and working as a community interpreter. She later became a NISW at the West Central Women’s Resource Centre in September 2015, after several years working in the non-profit security with food security and community economic development initiatives.

Ms. Molly started in the settlement sector when she received the NISW position at the West Central Women’s Resource Centre in January 2016. This came after a number of years of experience and education in non-profit, community economic development and social enterprise work.

Iftu Ibrahim is a Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker at Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg. 

Breakout Session #15 - 1

Differences and Similarities of Providing SWIS Services in Smaller and Urban Centers: Challenges, Trends, Gaps and Successes. Speaker: Dakota Leggott 

Ms. Dakota Leggott has been working with the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council in the Rural/Elementary SWIS position since 2014. Dakota has a Social Work and Early Childhood Education background with a wide range of experience working with children, youth and families in school, home and community settings. She grew up in rural Saskatchewan and spent time working and learning in many small and large city centres in both Saskatchewan and Alberta. Dakota was tasked with creating the rural SWIS position because of the growing needs of the newcomer population in the rural areas surrounding Moose Jaw. She has built the program successfully through partnerships, collaboration and communication with several stakeholders within a large geographical area. 

Breakout Session #15 - 2

SWIS in Rural and Small Centers. Speakers: Tracy Abel & Odessa Sherbaniuk

Ms. Tracy and Ms. Odessa make up the SWIS team at the Humboldt Regional Newcomer Centre. Both were hired summer 2016 and jumped right into the middle of summer programming. It was a great way to get quick, on the job training. Now with a full year of SWIS under their belts, they are increasingly confident and innovative in their programming decisions. While the large rural setting they cover (approximately 150 km radius) presents many challenges, it also provides a wealth of opportunity and room for creativity. The communities they serve are diverse in demographics and varied in their immigration experiences. Tracy and Odessa focus a large portion of their efforts on relationship building – with schools, towns, and families – to ensure that the people who access their services feel confident in doing so. Tracy’s background in education and Odessa’s social work knowledge combine in ways that complement and support each other. 

Breakout Session #16 - 1

Identifying and Addressing the Needs of Syrian Refugee Families. Speaker: Sherry Park

Ms. Sherry Park is a Program Manager at Action for Healthy Communities in Edmonton.  She oversees the New Immigrant and Refugee Youth Camp, the school program, after school program and other youth programs in community.

Breakout Session #16 - 2

Students' Wellbeing (Mental Health and Youth). Speaker: Jennifer Tomsich

Jennifer Tomsich has been providing support and culturally sensitive programming to newcomer youth through her employment at Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services (NEEDS) Inc. since 2009 in a variety of capacities including Psychosocial Educator, Facilitator and currently, the After-School Program Manager. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Social Work and is currently completing her Masters in Social Work at the University of Manitoba.

Breakout Session #17 - 1

Share our World Program. Speakers: Dorin Adenaken, Malou Josue & Mark Bale

Ms. Dorin Adenekan works as a Program Assistant, Neighborhood and Immigrant Settlement (NISW) Program, at Immigrant Center, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has two Bachelors’ degrees, with the most recent in Social Work (honors) from the University of Manitoba. Dorin has more than 8 years professional experience in both North America and Africa with a specialty in the areas of program planning, organizing, training and evaluation, disability support and customer services. She is very passionate and focused on promoting social change for the most vulnerable population in her community.

Ms. Malou Josue is a Neighborhood Immigrant Settlement Worker at NorWest Co-op Community Health Since November 2014. She also works as an Intercultural Support Worker for Winnipeg School Division 1. She has been working with newcomers for 4 years. Most of her programs involve working with parents and their children as well as working with youths. As an immigrant herself, her passion is to support and empower newcomers as they face various challenges in settling here in Canada.

Mr. Mark Bale graduated at the University of Manitoba with a Recreation Management and Community Development degree with the Faculty of Kinesiology & Recreation Management. His previous work experiences revolved around community development, youth programming and now working with newcomer families. He started working as Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Working with Norwest Co-op Community Health since November 2015.

Breakout Session #17 - 2

Community Connections Program. Speaker: Misty Belcourt

Ms. Misty Belcourt has worked in the non-profit sector for over 17 years, creating and implementing a wide variety of programs that engage youth in social justice issues, career exploration and development, experiential learning and leadership. She began her new role as Community Connections Program Manager at N.E.E.D.S Inc. in March 2016. Misty is also an active community member and has participated in several committees and volunteer organizations such as Amnesty International Group 19, Global Justice Film Festival Committee, WUSC and the Newcomer Education Committee. She has also sat as a board member with the Harvest Moon Society and the Métis Cultural Resource Heritage Centre. 

Breakout Session #17 - 3

When the Rubber Hits the Road: SWIS in Action in the Home, Community and School. Speaker: Nenita Anonas

Nenita Anonas is the EAL teacher at Dr. Martin LeBoldus Catholic High School in Regina. She’s a teacher in her country of origin (Philippines) and was an assistant principal prior to immigrating to Regina in 2001. She started her teaching career in Regina as a substitute teacher at Regina Catholic Schools, and obtained her Bachelor of Education (Biology minor) in 2006. She received her TESOL, TESL and TEFL in 2010, through Oxford at the University of Regina.

Breakout Session #18 -1

Newcomer Orientation Week in Canadian High Schools. Speaker: Ruth Gitaka

Ruth Gitaka is a team leader at EISA. She has over eight years of experience helping newcomer children, youth and their families integrate into life and the education system in Canada. She holds a Bachelor degree in Education and has over twelve years of experience as a teacher oversees. Her passion to support newcomers started while in a grade 4 classroom where she supported new students that were facing challenges adjusting into their new school environment.

Breakout Session #18 - 2

Orientation Workshop for Newcomers (OWN) Best Practices. Speaker: Waleed Momani

Mr. Momani was born and raised in small village in Middle East and moved to Canada in 2010. He graduated from high school in Jordan and acquired his BA and Master Degree in Psychology from the University of Jordan (UOJ). Mr. Momani has worked for more 18 years in the field of social work and organizational capacity building. He has worked with non-profits, government organizations (Aqaba special economic zone authority and ministry of labour) and international agencies such as World Bank, CIDA and USIDA. For the past 6 years, he has been working as a Settlement Support Worker in Schools with the Saskatoon Open Door Society. Mr. Momani has attended more than 50 training courses and conferences, delivering over 80 training courses as a consultant.

Breakout Session #19

Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Workers Program (NISW) Model in Manitoba. Speakers: Sandra Hernandez, Dorin Adenakan, Erika Frey, Iftu Ibrahim, Molly Dunbar, Rowena Hernandez & Patricia Eyamba

Ms. Sandra Hernandez is the new Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Coordinator at Immigrant Centre.  She is born in El Salvador and came to Canada in 1993. She worked in El Salvador in Public Relations with the Government but due to the civil war she had to migrate to Canada. She worked with the private sector in Canada but at the same time began doing volunteer work at the Immigrant Centre with the language bank. That relationship with the Immigrant Centre and being able to experience the vibrant of cultures and the diversity made her fall in love with newcomer families. She identifies with the needs and challenges that these families were encountering and shifted her career goal and became a Social Worker. 

Ms. Dorin Adenekan works as a Program Assistant, Neighborhood and Immigrant Settlement (NISW) Programat Immigrant Center, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has 2 Bachelors’ degrees, with the most recent in Social Work (honors) from the University of Manitoba. Dorin has more than 8 years’ professional experience in both North America and Africa with a specialty in the areas of program planning, organizing, training and evaluation, disability support and customer services. She is very passionate and focused on promoting social change for the most vulnerable populations in her community.

Ms. Frey’s settlement experience dates back to her own immigration experience, and first interactions with the settlement experience through volunteering and working as a community interpreter. She later became a NISW at the West Central Women’s Resource Centre in September 2015, after several years working in the non-profit security with food security and community economic development initiatives. 

Ms. Iftu Ibrahim is a Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker at Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg. 

Ms. Dunbar started in the settlement sector when she received the NISW position at the West Central Women’s Resource Centre in January 2016. This came after a number of years of experience and education in non-profit, community economic development and social enterprise work. 

Ms. Patricia Eyamba works with Family Dynamics as Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker.  Her work is founded on deep values of respect, service to humanity and dignity.  She has over 10 years professional experience working in Africa in the areas of Community Development and Program Planning using integral approaches. Patricia has an MBA from FUTO and a certificate in Community Development from Leeds University.

Ms. Rowena Hernandez is a Settlement Worker at Seven Oaks Immigrant Services since 2012. She finished Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Master’s Degree in Management in Concordia College and Philippine Christian University, Philippines. Prior to immigrating to Canada, she worked as Department Head of Social Welfare Office in a local government unit for nine years and spent five years as a Project Development Officer under the Office of the President of the Philippines.

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PNT Region Settlement Services Conference

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