AMSSA Insider

June 2012
In This Issue
AMSSA's 35th Anniversary!
Immigrant and Refugee Seniors Cultures West
Provincial E-Symposium on Immigration Statistics
Congratulations SIETAR BC!
Vancouver Diversity Health Fair
Staff Movement
Building Settlement Knowledge: Immigrant and Refugee Children and Youth
WelcomeBC NGO Directors Meeting
Safe Harbour: Respect for All
CISSA ACSEI Incorporated
Multicultural Health
AMSSA's Research Database

Mark Your Calendars!


2012 marks AMSSA's 35th Anniversary! We will be celebrating at AMSSA's AGM on September 28, 2012. The AGM will be hosted at the Van Dusen Gardens, Peggy Gunn Woodland Hall.


More information will be available soon - stay tuned!


Immigrant and Refugee Seniors Cultures West 

Just Released


Just in time for BC Seniors' Week (June 3 - 9), AMSSA released its Summer 2012 edition of the Cultures West magazine themed on Immigrant and Refugee SeniorsView this issue and previous editions of Cultures West here 


Reduce Your Cancer Risk
Click the image to view the Summer 2012 Cultures West



on Immigration Statistics 


On February 22, AMSSA hosted an online symposium on Immigration Statistics: Finding and Using Online Information in Immigrant Settlement


Videos of the two 

presentations and Q&A session are available for viewing on the AMSSA Video Resources page.


Congratulations SIETAR BC!


Please see our website,, for more information. 


SIETAR BC was among the recipients of the 17th annual Cultural DIVERSEcity Awards. SIETAR BC was recognized at the DIVERSEcity Awards held on April 17, 2012 in the not-for profit category.


Congratulations! View the full list of recipients here.


Vancouver Diversity Health Fair a Success!


The Eighth Annual 2012 Vancouver Diversity Health Fair took place on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at the Croatian Cultural Centre. 


Thank you to all those who attended the Fair. Also, a thank you to exhibitors, chefs, performers and volunteers - we couldn't have done it without you!


Visit our website for more information about the Diversity Health Fair as well as photographs of this year's event.


Staff Movement


After working with AMSSA for 11 years Timothy Welsh has accepted a position with the BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation - Immigrant Integration and Multiculturalism Branch as the acting Director of Sector Relations. He will be replacing Alison Dudley while she is on maternity leave. Tim has made a significant contribution to the growth of AMSSA. Tim's last day at AMSSA will be June 15, 2012. 


AMSSA bid farewell to Rishima Bahadoorsingh and Shona Reid at the end of March, both completed their contracts.


On behalf of AMSSA, we wish you all success in the future!


Also, congratulations to Kerstin Walter, AMSSA's Sectoral Support Communications Coordinator who just completed her Masters of Law Degree!


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Building Settlement Knowledge:

Immigrant and Refugee 

Children and Youth


On April 25, AMSSA hosted a themed event that brought together a broad range of WelcomeBC service providers specialized in working with immigrant and refugee children and youth across BC. Our event featured three presentations:

  • Judith A. Colbert, PhD, joined us all the way from Guelph, ON to share her perspectives on Settlement, Culture and Readiness: Three Big Ideas for Serving Newcomer Children and Youth. Discover more about Judith A. Colbert and her work here.
  • Dr. Martin Guhn, Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) at the University of British Columbia, provided an overview of the Early Development Instrument and Middle Years Development Instrument. Learn more about the initiative here. 
  • Mark Gifford, Director, Grants and Community Initiatives, Vancouver Foundation, brought together three Youth Advisory Team members and two project facilitators to share their reflections on the 2011 BC Summit: Fresh Voices from Long Journeys: Insights of Immigrant and Refugee Youth. Read the 2011 BC Summit report here.

Over 100 participants joined us at the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre in Richmond, BC, including representatives from the Immigrant Integration and Multiculturalism Branch, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Ministry of Health, Office of the Representative for Children and Youth, United Way of the Lower Mainland, Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre and Coalition of Child Care Advocates.


AMSSA gratefully acknowledges the Government of Canada and the Province of BC for their financial support, as well as the presenters for sharing their knowledge and expertise.


WelcomeBC NGO Directors Meeting

On March 8, AMSSA hosted a meeting which brought together executive and settlement directors of WelcomeBC-funded, not-for-profit organizations across the province. 


The meeting featured three presentations on the theme of "managing change". Catherine Ludgate, Manager of Community Investment, Vancity spoke about Sustainability in Difficult Economic Times. Denise Lloyd, HR and Management Consultant, Engaged HR, looked at Staff Development and Motivation in a Changing Environment. Larry Axelrod, Dean, Adler School of Professional Psychology, and Director, The Neutral Zone Coaching and Consulting Services, spoke about Succession Planning: How to Build NGO Staff and Leadership Capacity. 


The day ended with a facilitated discussion on the changing environment of BC social services. Jody Johnson of PEERs Employment and Education Resources was contracted to facilitate the event. 


AMSSA gratefully acknowledges the Government of Canada and the Province of BC for their financial support, as well as the presenters for sharing their knowledge and expertise. 


Safe Harbour: Respect for All


Safe Harbour: Respect for All invites businesses and organizations to take practical steps to support and celebrate the diversity that exists in their workplace and community. Our workshops and resources can help owners, managers and staff increase their commitments to equitable treatment and inclusion and earn their organization profile as a leader committed to inclusion and diversity. To give you a better idea of what to expect, please watch our new Promotional Video.


Safe Harbour Decal

AMSSA acknowledges the steps taken by over 1,000 businesses, non-profits, and municipal offices across BC who are participating in our program. From small businesses to libraries and RCMP detachments, Safe Harbour attracts participants from a range of sectors who are looking for ways to actively engage in diversity and build relationships with others in their community who share similar values.


Canada Safeway is proudly displaying the Safe Harbour: Respect for All logo on their checkout screens and 60% of Vancity branches are now certified Safe Harbour locations, thanks to the leadership demonstrated by their Diversity in Action team. Vancity is on track to have 100% of its branches certified across BC by 2014.


30 branches of the Okanagan Regional Library including the headquarters in Kelowna joined us - welcome!  Also, a Residence Manager with the Yukon College participated in a full-day Train-the-Trainer workshop at AMSSA in order to expand the program in Whitehorse.


Stay up-to-date with Safe Harbour by subscribing to our monthly Respect for All e-newsletter (email, following us on Twitter (@SafeHabourCdn) and liking us on Facebook.


Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector

Alliance Incorporated


Canada's alliance of not-for-profit immigrant settlement and integration service providers, CISSA-ACSEI, achieved legal incorporation in April and held its first general meeting in Ottawa.  


AMSSA has been a strong supporter of CISSA-ACSEI, and is very excited about its new formal status. Jean McRae of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria led CISSA-ACSEI's incorporation initiative. With the direct responsibility for BC immigrant settlement and integration programming returning to the federal government in 2014, AMSSA's membership in an effective pan-Canadian settlement body is of increasing importance. 


Currently provincial settlement service provider associations for BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island are CISSA-ACSEI members. CISSA-ACSEI works in close communication with the settlement associations for Ontario and Quebec. 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is expressing its support for CISSA-ACSEI, and is contracting the national body to undertake national research on optional approaches to tendering and contracting immigrant settlement and integration services. In addition, CIC has agreed to fund CISSA-ACSEI to organize a national immigrant settlement conference in 2013 with the working title of Canada 20/20 Immigrant Settlement Sector: Taking Stock - Defining Our Impact - Charting Our Future.  


Multicultural Health

Reduce Your Cancer Risk
Click the image to visit the Cancer Prevention and Early Detection webpage


We invite you to visit the new section on Cancer Prevention and Early Detection that was recently included in AMSSA's Healthy Living Resources website. 

The new section provides access to the Cancer Prevention and Early Detection resource developed by AMSSA to increase awareness on this topic among members of BC ethno-cultural communities as well as multilingual publications.

AMSSA Research Database


AMSSA created an online research database that is updated on a regular basis. 

Take a look at AMSSA's Research Database
Click the Above Image to visit AMSSA's Research Database

The main purpose of this resource is to disseminate research papers and studies focusing on multicultural health as well as issues related to immigrant settlement among staff of our member agencies. 


It intends to become a tool to inform planning, decision-making, program design and preparation for funding applications.