August 2017
In This Issue
Read the Immigrant and Refugee Children: The Early Years Cultures West 

Moving to a foreign country can be difficult for newcomer families. When it includes young children, the journey can be met with other challenges including conflict in parenting styles and coping with trauma. 

The Immigrant and Refugee Children: The Early Years edition of Cultures West explores Early Childhood Education, resources for families, and themes of trauma, poverty, parenting and more. 

Click here to read the newest edition!
Stay tuned for our next edition of Cultures West on Literacy!

Want to receive the next editions of Cultures West by CanadaPost? Click here to subscribe.

Register for Safe Harbour: Respect for All Diversity and Inclusion etraining!

Broaden your understanding of diversity and inclusion. AMSSA's Safe Harbour online training is great for individuals wanting a self-paced learning experience or as an introductory course on diversity and inclusion. 

The eLearning online course is also an excellent way for employers to educate staff on important concepts, and create opportunities for follow-up discussion, to support inclusive workplaces.

Learn more about Safe Harbour and sign up for training by clicking here.

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.


Create your Own Online Learning or Meeting!

Did you know? AMSSA can support you and your organization to host training or meetings online to better reach your audience. We can help you live broadcast your meeting, or create a custom webinar! 

Interested in learning more about how we can support your online learning or meeting? Contact us at

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

Buy your 2018 Multifaith Calendars!

The 2018 Multifaith Calendars are now available. Displaying art from local artists, the vibrant wall calendar adds beauty and interest to any office or home.

The Multifaith Calendar is a unique resource which provides information on 14 world religions, spiritual paths as well as other festivities.

Purchase your calendars today, click here to learn more, or contact us at

Featured Members: AMSSA's Diversity Awards Recognize Excellence in Program and Service Delivery

AMSSA happily announces the recipients of the 2017 Diversity Awards. An independent Awards Committee selected the following organization and individual for recognition. 

Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award - Welcome Centre, ISSofBC

ISSofBC Welcome Centre opened in June 2016 as a fully-integrated services facility addressing the immediate needs of immigrants and refugee newcomers in Metro Vancouver. The Welcome Centre serves as ISSofBC's flagship facility, providing a full range of essential services for newcomers.

Services at the Welcome Centre are delivered by ISSofBC and five partner organizations located in the facility. The Centre's unique reputation as the first purpose-built facility of its kind in the world drew significant international attention.

Service Recognition Staff Award - Amea Wilbur, Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (PIRS)

Amea Wilbur, Manager of Programs at Pacific Immigrant Resources Society has worked in the settlement sector for 20 years. She completed her doctorate at UBC with research that looked at how government-funded language learning can be more inclusive for adults particularly for newcomers to Canada who have experienced trauma. 

Amea helped to develop several programs for newcomers such as LISTN's Beyond Trauma: Language Learning Strategies for New Canadians Living with Trauma, and PIRS's trauma-informed English as an Additional Language (EAL) program for refugee women. 

Congratulations to the recipients of this year's awards! Awards will be presented at AMSSA's Annual General Meeting on September 22.


We would also like to recognize and congratulate the nominees for the 2017 AMSSA Diversity Awards.

Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award Nominees:
  • ASPIRE Program, Muslim Food Bank and Community Services Society
  • REACH Program, Pacific Community Resources Society 
  • Language Program for Refugee Women, Pacific Immigrant Resources Society
  • Entry to Hospitality Careers for Women, Pacific Immigrant Resources Society
Service Recognition Staff Award Nominees:
  • Michelle Redfern, Cowichan Intercultural Society
  • Rosmary Raygada Watanabe, Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society
  • Sharon Pannu, Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society

Special Thank You to the Diversity Awards Selection Committee:
  • Lily Chen, AMSSA 2nd Vice President
  • Renee Black, PeaceGeeks
  • Khim Tan, Options Community Services
  • Lynn Weaver, Cowichan Intercultural Society 
The 2017 Diversity Awards were sponsored by:
Feature 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 AMSSA's 40th Anniversary!

AMSSA's 40th Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday, September 22, 2017 from 3:30pm - 6:30pm. Networking and refreshments begin at 5:30pm.
The AGM will be hosted at the Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, BC in the Multipurpose room 4. 
Highlights of the event include: Diversity Awards Presentation, live music by the Vancouver Pursuing Dreams Orchestra, photobooth from Imagecube as well as appetizers and refreshments from Friendship Foods and Catering. We will also be screening AMSSA's 40th anniversary video.

RSVP by September 18, 2017 by clicking here!

Thank you to our event sponsors:

Check out three new editions of our Migration Matters Info Sheet Series

AMSSA's Migration Matters info sheet series gives you a two page overview of an important topic in settlement and migration. We recently published info sheets on the following topics:

The latest edition of AMSSA's Migration Matters info sheet series focuses on supports and challenges for newcomer seniors in BC. Explore newcomer seniors' challenges, barriers and needs and learn about community-based senior services and the principles of positive aging. And don't miss our useful chart on pensions and benefits for newcomer seniors.

The  Newcomer Literacy Info Sheet presents statistics on the literacy levels of newcomers to BC. It explores useful terms such as ESL Literacy Learners, how the Canadian Language Benchmarks incorporate literacy, best practices, workplace literacy as well as some resources available to BC settlement service providers.

Integration Outcomes of Resettled Refugees in Canada 
BC receives approximately 11% of all government-assisted refugees coming to Canada and 7% of privately sponsored refugees. AMSSA's Migration Matters info sheet #38 provides information on the economic and social integration of refugees in Canada, and explores some of the factors affecting integration for both privately sponsored and government-assisted refugees. 
See all info sheets here

Learn more about the Experience of Newcomer Parents and the Support Services Available

The Parenting in a New Country E-Symposium explores parenting from a newcomer perspective, shares settlement service supports, and touches on the role that educators, childminders and settlement staff play in supporting newcomer parents and families. 

Click here to watch the recording of the E-Symposium. 

View the latest Webinar on connecting with Private Sponsors of Refugees

The Connecting Refugee Private Sponsor Groups with Settlement Service Providers webinar equips managers, LINC instructors and frontline staff with how to support privately sponsored refugees and how to work collaboratively with sponsorship groups.

Click here to view the recording of the webinar.

Stay tuned for our upcoming Webinar on Supporting Clients with Disabilities!