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November 2014
In This Issue
The Fall 2014 Cultures West is Available Now!
Sign up for SettlementNet
Upcoming Events
Congratulations Cowichan Intercultural Society!
Join Us at AMSSA's Safe Harbour Champions' Breakfast
About the BC/Yukon Immigrant Integration Summit
About AMSSA's Regional Meetings
Webinar: How to Leverage Technology and Connect Your Clients
New! AMSSA Webcast Series
New Edition of AMSSA's Migration Matters Info Sheet Series is Available
AMSSA Announces the Recipients of the 2014 Diversity Awards
Domestic Violence Against Immigrant and Refugee Women Cultures West is Available


The Fall 2014 edition of
Cultures West with the theme of domestic violence against newcomer women. 



Read this edition and other editions of Cultures West online

If you would like to receive a hard copy of the next Cultures West magazine, please e-mail us at It's free to subscribe!  

Sign up for SettlementNet 
& Receive up-to-date Information on Immigration & Settlement 


Did you know that AMSSA maintains a Settlement focused Database called Settlement Net? 


This database is full of resources, events, news articles relevant to the Settlement Sector. Each Tuesday an update of resources and news articles is sent via email to all those registered. All staff (managers and frontline staff) of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) contribution agreement holder agencies are able to register. 


To register send an email to and we will gladly sign you up. 


Upcoming Events

The Inclusion Caf´┐Ż

series continues to draw capacity crowds. Look out for the next Inclusion Cafe!

Where: Burnaby Public Library

When: October 30th, 2014 

at 6:30 pm  

Keynote speaker will be RCMP Constable Albertina Yap.  Albertina will speak about the importance of community building and share her experiences working with Burnaby South Secondary School.  Her speech will be followed by interactive discussions as guests share their visions for their communities.   

Registration:  Call 604-436-5400 to register your seat; seating is limited.

This is a free event sponsored by AMSSA, Burnaby Family Life, Burnaby Neighbourhood House, and Burnaby Public Library.  




AMSSA will be providing a free Respect for All workshop!


Where: Vancouver Public Library 

When: November 24th at 10:30 am.  

This workshop will focus on Respect for All in the context of businesses and the responsibility of both business and staff to create respectful workplaces that reduce incidents of workplace violence, harassment, and bullying.  

Registration: Seats are limited, please call 604-331-3603 to register.

Congratulations Cowichan Intercultural Society!


We would like to extend a congratulations to AMSSA member Cowichan Intercultural Society whose Compassionate Leaders Program will be receiving an Award of Excellence in the youth category from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation


The Canadian Race Relations Foundation's Symposium and Awards of Excellence ceremony will be held in Ottawa, Ontario at the Canadian Museum of Nature on November 18, 2014.


Staff Movement


Welcome to two new members of AMSSA's Settlement and Integration team: Bahar Taheri, Settlement Support Coordinator, and Marion Kao, Settlement Events Coordinator.


Bahar and Marion started their work at AMSSA in September. 


We would also like to extend a warm welcome to Stefanie Johnston, Safe Harbour Champions' Breakfast Assistant. Stefanie has been a great help with organizing the Safe Harbour Champions' Breakfast.


Welcome to the AMSSA team!


 Quick Links



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Stay in touch with AMSSA and sign-up for AMSSA e-communications.


Want to learn more about AMSSA events, resources and programs?


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Join us in Supporting Diversity and Inclusion at the AMSSA Safe Harbour Champions' Breakfast
Champions' Breakfast 2014
This year's AMSSA Safe Harbour Champions' Breakfast will be held on November 6th  from 7:30am to 9:30am. We are pleased to announce the keynote address will be given by Nick Noorani, Canada's Leading Immigrant Champion. AMSSA's annual Safe Harbour fundraiser is an opportunity to recognize diversity champions in British Columbia.


Please purchase tickets online, or contact us at 604-718-2780. Show your support and join us in celebrating diversity!


Most people don't know what to do when they witness acts of discrimination. AMSSA's Safe Harbour: Respect for All workshops have been a catalyst for social change, helping organizations and communities build welcoming and inclusive environments that respect us all. 


Learn more about the Safe Harbour: Respect for All program at

Be sure to subscribe to the Safe Harbour: Respect for All e-newsletter, follow @SafeHarbourCdn on Twitter and like Safe Harbour: Respect for All on Facebook.

Bringing Together BC and Yukon to Discuss the Needs of Newcomers at the Immigrant Integration Summit in Richmond, BC


The BC/Yukon Immigrant Integration Summit will take place on November 4 & 5, 2014 at the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre in Richmond, BC. 200 participants are expected to be in attendance at this invitation-only event. 



 The 9 breakout sessions will be covering the main themes of welcoming society, core settlement services, language needs, and labour market participation. 


Panelist on day one and two are from a variety of backgrounds including federal, provincial and municipal government, researchers, post-secondary institutions, community agencies, immigrant serving agencies, employers, and associations. Topics covered include welcoming communities, employment options for low-skilled immigrants, inclusive workplaces, francophone services, vulnerable groups, child and youth issues, language for the workplace and many more. 


The Summit website has been launched in both English and French and will be updated on a daily basis.


Connect with us using the hashtag: #BCYIntegrationSummit.


BC's Settlement Service Providers Identify Best Practices and Service Gaps at AMSSA's Regional Meetings


AMSSA organized four regional meetings this fall. These meetings included representatives from all of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) funded service provider organizations (SPOs). 

These meetings resulted in representatives from each region having the opportunity to ask specific questions of the Province of BC and CIC and to voice concerns about current and future settlement service gaps in each region. The following were main points raised at the meetings:

  • Funding needed to provide services for CIC ineligible clients, mainly Naturalized Citizens and temporary foreign workers (TFWs);
  • Service gaps were identified in the following main areas: Seniors, youth, single mothers, refugees, and refugees claimants;
  • The large increase in CIC ineligible clients for settlement workers in schools (SWIS) is challenging.

These meetings were an excellent opportunity for service providers to network with colleagues, share best practices and identify service gaps to the funders. 


Learn How to Leverage Technology and Connect with Your Clients through AMSSA's Webinar - Now Available Online!


AMSSA held its second webinar on Tuesday, September 23. The webinar, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), was facilitated by Jim Brennan from the Multicultural and Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island. 
Connecting with Clients: Leveraging Technology in BC's Settlement Services aimed to provide insight to the following questions:
  • How does one use technology in client centred service delivery? In other words, what should a model that focuses on human development and utilizes technology as a tool look like?
  • What tools and resources exist that Settlement Service providers can use to engage and connect with new immigrants?  
  • How connecting online is a core competency that is needed to keep connected, overcome isolation, and to become settled in Canada.

View and share the webinar which is available online.


AMSSA's New Web Video Series -  First Video Aims to Educate on Suicide Prevention and Awareness


Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), AMSSA has created a webcast series of videos which aim to support BC's settlement service providers.


AMSSA's first web video titled Suicide Prevention and Awareness for Settlement Workers in BC, aimed to provide settlement workers with information and tips on suicide, and what to do when suicide is a possibility. Anna Dos Santos, Clinical Supervisor at DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society was interviewed for the video.


 View the video online and share it with your networks!

Look out for the next video in AMSSA's webcast series titled Facilitation Skills for Settlement Workers which will be released soon.


AMSSA's Info Sheet Series has a new Name: Migration Matters; and a New Edition about Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) underwent significant change as a result of recent changes. On June 20, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced a series of changes to the program following the release of data from Employment and Skills Development Canada, which suggested that the TFWP was not being used to fill 'immediate and acute' skills and labour shortages as intended.


AMSSA has prepared a new edition of Migration Matters to review the recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and how these changes might impact British Columbia.


Read and share all the editions of AMSSA's Migration Matters Info Sheets, they are available on AMSSA's website.


Recognizing Leaders who Strengthen BC's Diverse Landscape through the AMSSA Diversity Awards


Congratulations to the recipients of the 2014 AMSSA Diversity Awards:


Organization Category. The AMSSA Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award recognizes an AMSSA member organization for innovative programming which supports diversity and promotes integration.

 Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award Nominees:

  • Multicultural & Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island (MISA) - Mythbusters program
Individual Category. The AMSSA Service Recognition Awards recognizes a member organization's staff member or volunteer for their significant contributions to further the vision and goals of the member organization and also strengthen diversity in BC.


Service Recognition Staff Award Nominees:

  • Sasa Loggin, Skeena Diversity Society

Service Recognition Volunteer Award Nominees:

  • Resham (Paul) Dosanjh, Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) 
Diversity Awards 2014 
(Sasa Loggin, Skeena Diversity Society; Rachel Blaney, MISA; Patricia Gagnon, MISA; Fazal Khan; Resham Dosanjh; Asif Khan; Farooq Khan; Berta Lopera, AMSSA Board Member; Haroon Khan.)

Learn more about the nominees and award recipients here.