Immigration Symposium 2015 – Friday Evening

We are pleased to provide a video of Dr. Jeannette Armstrong’s Keynote talk: Immigration in the Okanagan: A Syilx Perspective:



Friday night also featured a performance by Peter Morin and Ayumi Goto: Land Moving.


Immigration Symposium 2015 – Saturday Sold Out

We are pleased to provide the presentation by the Keynote speaker Sandra Hakanson New Rules, New Challenges: Legal Frameworks for Working with Immigrants and Citizenship and Immigration Canada below:



Immigration Symposium 2015

Join us for a discussion on the impact of Canadian policy on immigrants, refugees and temporary foreign workers.

We have identified two key areas of concern, and will look at these through multiple lenses, beginning with Indigenous perspective: 

1) The difficulties in the current system for community groups interested in sponsoring people, and help settle and support refugees, which is creating challenges in achieving refugee resettlement goals and effective outcomes. 

2) The consequences of immigration policies and practices shaped solely by economics – such as the temporary foreign worker program – for achieving social and social justice related goals.

Please Join Us:

Friday, September 25, 2015, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Lecture Theatre (Room S104), Okanagan College 

7:00 – 7:30 Keynote (Jeannette Armstrong): Immigration in the Okanagan: A Syilx Perspective

7:30 – 8:30 Performance (Peter Morin and Ayumi Goto): Land Moving 

8:30 – 9:00 Video Screening (Rishma Johal): Phulkari: Pieces of Our Shared Stories within the Fields

9:00 – 10:00 Reception in the “Pit” (Reflections on Indigenous Displacement Across Borders

A Photo Exhibit curated by Susana Caxaj will be mounted in the pit area) 

*** Please note that the Saturday activities takes place at UBC Okanagan***

Saturday September 26, 2015, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

UNC 200 Ballroom, University Way, The University of British Columbia Okanagan 

9:30 – 9:45 Welcome 

9:45 – 10:30 Keynote (Sandra Hakanson New Rules, New Challenges: Legal Frameworks for Working with Immigrants and Citizenship and Immigration Canada

10:30—10:45: Break

10:45—11:40: Panel 1: Voices 

 Emad Awad; Mohamed Saeed (Immigrated from Syria as a refugee); Luis Diaz (RAMA); Jin Park (Okanagan Korean Culture and Knowledge Society); 

11:45—12:30: Panel 2: Citizenship and Immigration (broad overview of transformation to immigration system) 

Murray Oppertshauser ( ) ; Philipp Reichert (UBCO International Programs and Services); Susana Caxaj (UBCO, RAMA); Katelin Mitchell: Immigrant Services Manager, Kelowna Community Resources; Shirley Chau (UBCO) 

12:30—1:30: Lunch; Shirley Chau will share a photomontage entitled: Becoming and being Canadian: A glimpse from recent immigrants in Kelowna, BC. 

1:30—3:00: Breakout Information and Assessment Sessions

A)     Temporary foreign workers, economic migrants, and the economies of migration.

B)     Other migration streams (e.g. Refugee Sponsorship) and the future of humanitarian elements in Canadian Immigration.

Each group is asked to identify 2 key issues, and possible actions by people in the valley to address these issues. 

 3:00—3:15: Break

 3:15—4:25: Report back; Political advocacy discussion and planning session     

 4:25 – 4:30: Close

Presented by:


Okanagan College 

Okanagan Nation Alliance 

Kelowna Community Resource 

Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture 

Roman Catholic Diocese of Nelson 

South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services 

UBC’s Institute for Community Engaged Research 


This event has been generously sponsored by:

Okanagan Nation Alliance


Kelowna Community Resource

Okanagan College

Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture

Roman Catholic Diocese of Nelson

South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services

Institute for Community Engaged Research (UBC)

Community, Culture and Global Studies (UBC)

History and Sociology (UBC)

Creative Studies (UBC)

Faculty of Health and Social Development (UBC)

International Programs and Services (UBC)

Equity and Diversity (UBC)

Urban Harvest

Okanagan Fruit Tree Project

Photo Credit: Elise Hjalmarson


To Register – Please note we are now sold out for Saturday events. 


Additional Events of interest:


Thursday Sept 24th at 7 pm

Murray Oppertshauser will be speaking in depth about the history of recent refugee crises and Canada- especially the southeast Asian “boat people”. This is a free event held at St. Charles Garnier Church, 3645 Benvoulin Rd. There will be refreshment and music.


Saturday Sept 26th at 7 pm

Yosief Araya, Manager for Refugee Sponsorship Training Program at Citizenship and Immigration Canada will present on the process for sponsoring refugees, and hold a question and answer session about the difficulties that have been experienced to date.

An additional two sessions with the same content will be held on Sunday Sept 27th beginning at 1pm and 3pm will be held at Christ Lutheran, 2091 Gordon Dr. (location to be confirmed!)



Okanagan College parking and room map.Parking rates at Okanagan College are enforced 24-7. 

University of British Columbia Okanagan parking and room map. Parking rates at UBC Okanagan are also enforced 24-7. Please note the closest all day parking lot is H. If you require assistance with handicap parking, please contact and we can assist with locating suitable parking. 


On behalf of the organizers, The Institute for Community Engaged Research will gratefully accept any donations to offset the costs of the Immigration Symposium. Donations can be made online to their Knowledge Dissemination fund