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February 2016
In This Issue

AMSSA's very own Lynn Moran, Executive Director will be receiving the inaugural National Metropolis Service Provider Award.

The National Metropolis Awards were created to establish a benchmark of achievement and excellence as well as to celebrate outstanding contributions to the field of immigration and settlement in Canada.

Awards will be presented at the 18th National Metropolis Conference on March 4, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. Learn more by clicking here.

Congratulations Lynn!

Study on the Go with a Learner's Licence or Citizenship Prep Kit! 

The Prep Kits are sets of study cards that summarize the ICBC Learn to Drive Smart handbook
or the Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship guide

They allow people to effectively determine what information they know and what information they need to study further. The study cards come in a small portable plastic box for studying on-the-go!

For more information about the Prep Kits visit our website or contact us at 
or 1-888-355-5560.

Online Resources for Settlement Providers

Check out our resource pages! 

The latest resource page has curated online resources focused on supporting newcomers with disabilities. The list of resources will be sure to assist organizations with creating inclusive spaces. 

We also recently released a page on refugee resources!

Click here to access the resource pages. 

Sign-Up and Receive Up-To-Date Information on Immigration & Settlement 


AMSSA's Settlement Net database is a one-stop-shop for settlement focused resources, news articles, reports and more!


Each Tuesday weekly update e-mail which includes new resources and media clippings is sent to all those registered. 


Register for Settlement Net and receive up-to-date information on the immigration and settlement field by clicking here.


Purchase a Multifaith Calendar for $10.00!

Containing original artwork, the Multifaith Calendar promotes intercultural understanding by providing insight into important dates and facts from 14 of the world's major religions and spiritual paths, as well as other important Canadian and UN observed days. 

The Multifaith Calendar is  a great resource!

A discounted price of $10 per calendar is available now!

Learn more about the Multifaith Calendar here. 

Staff Movement

AMSSA would like to extend a heart felt thank you and good luck to Claire Palo, Office Coordinator as she has relocated. We will miss you! 
We would like to warmly welcome Lucy-Buchanan Parker, Settlement Information and Research Coordinator as well as Maryam Aini, who volunteered with AMSSA for over 2 years and is now working Part-Time as our Office Coordinator. Both started in January, 2016.
Welcome to the AMSSA team!

Featured Member: Cowichan Intercultural Society Successfully Settles Newcomers with Specialized Services

All newcomers have a place and a unique role to play in enriching Canadian society. By being alongside newcomers to identify their needs, Cowichan Intercultural Society (CIS) works to create and implement innovative solutions to help newcomers settle into the community. The provision of timely and appropriate services and supports makes the daunting transition to a new social and cultural environment easier. 
CIS has helped numerous newcomers over the years. One newcomer, a 31 year old Turkish man, arrived in the Cowichan Valley in 2011 with very low English proficiency. He was a successful self-employed and skilled cabinet maker in Turkey. However, he did not have recognized certification or accreditation in Canada making employment especially challenging to find. With settlement support, employment counselling, and language training, he gained language skills, created a social circle and began to feel comfortable in his new community. With the help of CIS' settlement workers, he successfully found full-time employment in his trade and is currently working towards the challenging Certificate of Qualification in cabinet making and gaining his Red Seal. 

Always client-centred, CIS' specialized settlement program provides services to support vulnerable immigrants and refugees who may be impacted by exceptional immigration experiences, parenting challenges, trauma, abuse, mental and physical health concerns, isolation, poverty, professional accreditation and qualification needs and other barriers. CIS also provides information, programs, referrals and accompaniment, and assists newcomers to access and navigate Canadian support systems such as health, finance, education, employment, justice and English language training. Visit CIS' website to learn more.

Featured Member is a segment in The Insider e-newsletter which profiles AMSSA members. Have a program, service, or announcement you want profiled in the next AMSSA Insider? E-mail us at

Celebrate diversity with us at AMSSA's 7th Annual Safe Harbour Champions Breakfast!

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2016
Time: 7:30am - 9:30am
Venue: Executive Hotel Burnaby 4201 Lougheed Hwy., Burnaby
Keynote: Alden Habacon, Senior Advisor of Intercultural Understanding for UBC
Master of Ceremonies: Tanveer Siddiqui, Multicultural Advisory Council of BC

Tickets: $40 for Buffet-style Breakfast & Keynote Speaker or $300 per table of 8 people
Tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite
Or contact us directly: 604-876-0694 | SafeHarbour[at]

Visit our website at for more information.

Victoria Police Committed to Diversity and Inclusion

Representatives from the Victoria Police Department and Safe Harbour Facilitator, Steven Baileys (far right).

We welcome the Victoria Police Department (Vic PD) as our newest Safe Harbour member. Nine staff participated in the new Safe Harbour training, gaining knowledge and basic tools to improve cross cultural communication, understand the impact of personal bias, and develop actions to make the Vic PD more inclusive.

Following the session, Inspector Penny Durrant of Vic PD commented "The training provided us with a greater understanding of each other, the work we do, and ensures that we consider our actions and the impact on others as we carry out our activities in the diverse communities we serve."
Thank you to Steven Baileys for facilitating an excellent workshop and to Sgt. Greg Holmes for working with the Safe Harbour team to organize the training.

To read the full article visit our website.

Learn how to Support Newcomers 
with Disabilities 

One in seven adults in Canada has a disability that limits their daily activities, and people with disabilities face additional housing and employment barriers in Canada. The newest edition of AMSSA's Migration Matters focuses on supporting newcomers with disabilities.

The "social model of disability" is a term used to reflect the fact that while impairments and conditions are issues of fact, the degree to which an impairment affects an individual's ability to participate in society is highly dependent on social and cultural factors. Impairments or conditions which pose relatively small barriers to full participation in Canada might have posed large barriers in a newcomer's home culture, and vice versa.

Our Info Sheet offers tips on steps that individuals and organizations can take to ease the barriers to accessibility in terms of physical space, technology, information and communication, organizational policies and procedures, and attitudes.

Read the Migrations Matters Info Sheets here.

View Our Latest E-Symposium: Cultural Safety: A Person Centred Approach to Communication and Interaction

Cultural Safety ensures that service providers become respectful of all aspects of culture including history, values, gender, and socioeconomic status. Service providers should also acknowledge that their own cultural beliefs and attitudes have the potential, consciously or unconsciously, to influence the power balance with their clients and each other.

AMSSA's latest E-Symposium focused on providing settlement workers with greater understanding of cultural safety and how to support clients from a person centred approach. View the e-symposium

How to Support Clients who have Experienced Complex Trauma

Individuals who have experienced traumatic events may have challenges in various life domains. Complex trauma can result in elevated risks and increased service needs which are typically crisis and emergency based services. To better understand client needs and provide clients with the most effective care and intervention, front-line workers require an understanding of trauma. 

This webinar explored the impact of trauma and identified how immigrant serving agencies can offer services in a trauma-informed manner, set policies, and encourage interactions with clients that facilitate healing and growth.

Watch the webinar by clicking here and share it with your networks!