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August 2016
In This Issue

Introducing AMSSA's 

On July 11, 2016, AMSSA was thrilled to welcome new Executive Director, Katie Rosenberger.

Many of you know Katie through her previous role as the Program Director at AMSSA where she played an integral role in AMSSA's programming and management. In conjunction with her knowledge of the settlement and diversity sector in BC, Katie also has many years of not-for-profit senior management experience. Congratulations to Katie on her appointment to the Executive Director position.

We are also very pleased to announce that Tracy Wideman will be joining AMSSA as the new Program Director on September 6, 2016.

Tracy has over 15 years of experience in program management and community development. Prior to coming to AMSSA, Tracy worked at the Province of BC, Abbotsford Community Services, and internationally.

With Katie and Tracy at the helm, AMSSA will be in very capable hands. We look forward to continuing AMSSA's growth and providing quality services and support to the settlement, language, and diversity sectors in BC.

Safe Harbour Diversity and Inclusion Training for Individuals Available!

Newly launched! Safe Harbour now offers training for individuals to build their awareness of diversity, to consider the implications of diversity and to learn skills to foster inclusion in workplace settings with co-workers and the people they may serve. The individual program is an excellent option for previously Certified Locations who have new team members whom they want to receive training as part of their orientation. It's also a great program for individuals seeking professional development opportunities.

Connect with us by e-mail at, or 1-888-355-5560, 604-718-2780. Visit our website at

Mark Your Calendars!

AMSSA's 39th Annual General Meeting will be taking place on September 23, 2016. 

When: September 23, 2016 
Time: 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Where: John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse, 7277 River Road, Richmond, BC V6X 1X5

Highlights Include: 
  • Traditional First Nations welcome
  • 2016 Diversity Awards presentation
  • Keynote speech by Catherine Dauvergne, Dean and Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law, UBC
Registration is required. 

Contact us at for more information.

Receive Settlement News and Resources with Settlement Net 

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


Receive an e-update every Tuesday with new resources and media clippings.


Register for Settlement Net by clicking here.


2017 Multifaith Calendars Available Now!

Containing original artwork, the Multifaith Calendar is a practical tool with visual impact. The Multifaith Calendar provides 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 dates.

Learn more about the calendars and how to purchase them by clicking here.

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.

Featured Members: Recognizing Dedication to Building Welcoming, Inclusive Communities

AMSSA is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2016 Diversity Awards. An independent Awards Committee reviewed the nomination submissions and selected the following organization and individuals for recognition:

Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award - DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society 
DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, the largest immigrant serving agency in Surrey offers numerous programs to newcomers to Canada. In particular, DIVERSEcity was nominated as a result of their work to support vulnerable immigrant and refugee newcomers through programs and services such as the Moving Ahead Program, First Steps Early Years Refugee Program, Invitation to Know Each Other Program, as well as campaigns such as the Refugee Support Fund and Bundle Up. Through these programs and services, DIVERSEcity has provided significant leadership and promoted innovation within the settlement and diversity sectors in BC.

Service Recognition Staff Award - Bayron Figueroa, Settlement Orientation Services (SOS)
Bayron Figueroa has worked with Settlement Orientation Services (SOS) for 22 years providing Latin-American refugees and refugee claimants support. Bayron helped design and run several HIV education programs aimed at the Latin-American LGBTQ population and also created a peer navigator program for Latin-American refugee claimants - the mentorship model was later adapted to support immigrants. Through his amazing contributions to the sector and SOS, Bayron has truly become a leader in building welcoming inclusive communities.

Service Recognition Volunteer Award - Margot and Denny Brunt, Multicultural &  Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island (MISA)
Husband and wife team Margot and Denny Brunt have worked together in providing MISA with strategic leadership and grassroots support for over 8 years. Both Margot and Denny have contributed to MISA and its clients in many ways through numerous programs, services and events. A recent program they created, SAGE (Seniors, Aspiring, Gathering, and Enabling), has become a key driver to establishing community connections. SAGE provides seniors with the opportunity to learn about technology and use technology to build community and social connections. Through their hard work and dedication at MISA, Margot and Denny have fostered and continue to lead in creating inclusive and collaborative communities.

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

Access Online Resources for Settlement and Language Providers

Get the resources you need from AMSSA's Quick Links & Resource pages! Our Quick Links and Resources section of the AMSSA website has undergone a transformation making the information more accessible and easier to navigate! 

We would love to get your feedback on this page and you can do so easily by completing our short online survey. Click here to provide your feedback.

The latest resource page has curated online resources focusing on working with interpreters which was created to accompany the webinar recently held on the same subject. Click here to find resources for working with an interpreter.

We also recently released a Newcomer Housing resource page that compliments the recently released Migration Matters Info Sheet Newcomer Housing: Barriers, needs and experiences on the same topic.

Did you have the opportunity to watch our webinar on Diversifying your Funding? We have created an online resource page to share the reports and online resources that were discussed during the webinar.

Click here to access the resource pages.

Check Out the New Language Quick Links & Resources Section

Along with the new look, the Quick Links & Resources section of the AMSSA website now includes language resources! This page includes resources on a broad range of language-specific topics aimed at administrators, staff, and instructors in the settlement language field. 

The resource page is divided into two sections, one section is for administrators and staff, and the other section is for language instructors. In the Administrators and Staff section, LINC program providers can find resources for waitlist management, operational guidelines, and program development. There is also a section for childminding, with links to helpful resources for both managers and staff. In the Instructors section, LINC instructors can find background information, best practices, and pre-made lessons on specific topics related to settlement language. These resources are curated especially to help with special issues that come up in the LINC classroom. 

AMSSA is excited to offer this service to language providers across the province to help build capacity for program delivery and instruction. We hope that you find the resources useful, and welcome feedback on future improvements to the page. If you have any comments or suggestions, you can contact Jennifer Cummins, AMSSA's Settlement Language Coordinator, at

Access the language resource page by clicking here.

Learn More About Newcomer Housing, Family and Migration, and Local Immigration Partnerships

AMSSA's Migration Matters info sheet series gives a concise overview of topics relevant to the settlement sector. Recent info sheets have covered:
  • Newcomer Housing, which focuses on the definition of acceptable housing in the Canadian context and identifies the types of barriers that newcomers may face in securing acceptable housing. It gives an overview of some of the key issues related to housing for newcomers in British Columbia.
  • Family, Migration, and Settlement, which examines how family impacts migration and how immigration policy impacts families. It explores the interdependent relationship between family and settlement.
  • Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs), which introduces the concept of LIPs and provides an update on priorities and activities from each LIP across the province. 

View Our Latest Webinar: Connecting Languages & Cultures through Interpretation

Professionals working with newcomers rely on verbal and nonverbal communication as the primary tool for forming relationships with newcomers as well as obtaining information from them. However, language and cultural barriers can lead to miscommunication, which can further lead to frustration and act as an additional barrier to accessing needed and appropriate services. Using a professional interpreter can be essential to bridging the divide between communication barriers and interacting effectively with newcomers.

Not every interaction involving an interpreter is the same. The role of the individual utilizing the interpreter can vary depending on the setting (in-person, telephone, and group), language (spoken or signed language) and context of the interpretation.

View the AMSSA webinar Connecting Languages & Cultures through Interpretation online by clicking here and share it with your networks!

View Our Latest E-Symposium: Interfaith Bridging: Building Connections. Building Community.

A truly welcoming society is one where everyone feels that they can bring their "whole self" to the community and their workplace and where differences are respected and valued. In Canada, religious diversity is growing with the number of people having a non-Christian religion expected to double to 14% of the population by 2031; about half of the non-Christian population would be Muslim. What does respect look or feel like in a society of people with various faith, religious & spiritual beliefs, values & observances?

AMSSA's latest E-Symposium focused on exploring innovative approaches to interfaith bridging focusing on collaboration and communication between the settlement service provider agencies, faith organizations, academia and newcomers themselves.

View the E-Symposium here.

Thank you and Good Luck!

Lynn's Retirement

Thank you Lynn for over sixteen years of leadership as AMSSA's Executive Director. The AMSSA Board, staff, and members wish you all the best in your retirement.