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December 2016
In This Issue
Get Ready for 2017 with a Multifaith Calendar!

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. The Multifaith Calendar will make a great gift during the festive season!
Learn more about the calendars and how to purchase them by clicking here

Order your calendars by December 19, 2016 to ensure that they arrive by Christmas and the New Year!
Have questions about the Multifaith Calendar? Contact us at

Sign-up for Settlement Net and Receive News and Resources 

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.


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

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

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

For more information about the Prep Kits visit our website or contact us at

Staff Movement 

AMSSA would like to extend a heart felt thank you to Kat Cureton, Safe Harbour Coordinator who left in October to pursue an opportunity at UBC's Community Engagement department. Good Luck Kat!


Please note that the AMSSA office will be closed from December 23, 2016 to January 2, 2017. The office will re-open on January 3, 2017.

Leadership Changes: Looking Forward to the New Year 

AMSSA's Executive Director Katie Rosenberger will be taking her maternity leave starting late January. In her absence, Tracy Wideman current Program Director will be assuming the Executive Director responsibilities. Congratulations to Katie - wishing you and your family all the best!

We are happy to announce that Farah Kotadia will assume the Program Director position for one year starting in mid-January 2017. 

Farah is a seasoned human resources and communications professional with extensive experience in leadership, strategic planning, operations and event management. For over nine years, Farah has worked and volunteered in newcomer settlement, multicultural, and non-profit organizations. Volunteering is a passion of Farah's, she currently volunteers in a number of capacities, and has also dedicated nine years as an AMSSA Board Director holding the positions of 1st Vice President, President, and Past President.

Welcome to the team Farah and congratulations to Tracy on the Acting Executive Director role! We're looking forward to the year to come. 

Watch the new AMSSA video: Settlement in Smaller Centres

AMSSA's latest video highlights the challenges and strengths of settlement in smaller centres. In 2003, 10% of newcomers to British Columbia settled outside of Metro Vancouver. By 2013, that number grew to 14%. Newcomers in smaller centres face several key challenges, including employment, transportation, housing, and community integration. At the same time, newcomers in smaller centres are more likely to feel a strong sense of belonging. This video explores how three settlement agencies are supporting newcomers  to thrive in smaller centres in BC's Interior and North, as well as on Vancouver Island. 

View the video by clicking here.

Access Online Resources for Settlement and Language Service Providers

Get resources through AMSSA's Quick Links & Resource pages
The latest resource page has online resources on media relations to accompany AMSSA's virtual training on the same topic. A short video of the virtual training will be posted soon on our online videos section of the AMSSA website.

We also recently released a resource page on newcomer families which includes resources in many different languages!

Access all the resource pages which are organized by categories by clicking here.

Watch Presentations on Supporting Newcomer Children and Youth who Experience Trauma

Newcomer children and youth who experience trauma require ongoing support and care. To address this, AMSSA hosted a meeting for Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) that included several informational presentations. The following presentations were recorded for service providers to use as resources:
  • Neurobiological Perspectives in Trauma-Informed Care, Ally Jamieson, MSW, PhD (ABD)
  • Duty to Report: Responding to Child Welfare Concerns, Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), Province of BC
  • Engaging in Diverse Communities, Sergeant Paul Hayes, NCO I/C Diversity and Community Engagement, Surrey RCMP
View the videos by clicking here.

View our latest Webinar: Innovative Practices in Employment Language Training for Low Level English Learners

Employment is a key aspect of settlement and integration for newcomers to Canada; however, a lack of language skills often serves as a barrier to gaining meaningful employment in a relevant field. This issue has become even more pronounced given the recent influx of refugees with low levels of English proficiency in British Columbia. With the changing demographic in language training classrooms, it is an opportune time to discuss best practices in employment language training for low level English speakers to better support this emerging client base. 

This webinar answers three key questions related to low level English speakers, specifically for the BC context:
  • What are the primary concerns and issues that need to be addressed in employment language training for low level English speakers?
  • What are the key drivers for success in current program delivery models in BC?
  • What are best practices in employment language training for low level English speakers?
View the AMSSA webinar by clicking here and share it with your networks!