Feb. 9, 2021 – Starting a Conversation with Kelly Panchyshyn: Can food foraging offer avenues for advancing community cohesion?

Join us on Tuesday, Feb.9, from noon to 1 pm for our next Starting the Conversation discussion. This will be an online Zoom event, so please email to register.

The question for discussion: Can food foraging offer avenues for advancing community cohesion?


The practice of harvesting wild plants and fungi is an integral part of the health, culture and economy of Whitehorse, Yukon. In a 2017 municipal survey of residents, almost 60% of respondents indicated securing a portion of their food from foraged sources (City of Whitehorse 6) . Yet, strategies for the protection of wild harvest are seldom addressed in local food and land planning. Drawing on the methods of community-based research, my project examines the impact of omitting harvest from planning and what it would mean to chart a new course. In partnership with Kwanlin Dün First Nation, I asked: how the regions ongoing legacy of colonization has shaped its resident’s relationship to the practice of wild harvest and to each other, and; what tensions and opportunities exist within the convergence and divergence of Indigenous and non-Indigenous foodways? Our research reveals that decision to exclude harvest not only harms northern and Indigenous food security but exasperates conflicts around wild resources and spaces rooted in colonial and patriarchal power dynamics.  However, it also demonstrated that wild harvest supports have the potential to advance community cohesion. With this, we set out to explore food solutions that better account for the region’s unique geographical, political, historical and cultural landscapes. My presentation will dive into these findings, with the aim of ‘starting a conversation’ around what it means to confront injustice and promote well-being through food and land planning.


Kelly researches within the Traditional Territories of Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and ancestral lands of Tagish Kwáan, in a region known locally as Chu Lin, but widely recognized as Whitehorse, Yukon. To the Indigenous Peoples of the area, she is recognized as Guch’an meaning ‘people of the clouds’, indicating that she is a settler in the region.

In 2017, Kelly received a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies, from UBCO. Following graduation, she successfully applied for the Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship. As a Fellow, her research focused on the ties between food security and regional identity. Her desire to build on this research, led her to pursue a Master’s in Community Engagement, Social Change and Equity. In the spring of 2020, she received an ICER scholarship, along with funding from SSRCH and the NSTP in support of her work.


Jan. 21 Starting a Conversation with Dr. Mary Stockdale: Engaging Okanagan Communities in Climate Action

Join us on Thursday, Jan.21, 2021 from noon to 1 pm for our first Starting the Conversation of the year.  This will be an on-line discussion, so please email to register for a link.

The question for discussion will be: How can we effectively engage our Okanagan communities in climate action?


In order for government at all levels to take the actions needed to address urgent and ambitious climate targets, a broad social mandate is necessary – one that reaches across divides to avoid political polarization. To achieve this mandate, government, civil society, and other actors need to invest in higher quality and quantity of public engagement on climate change. These efforts need to be tailored to the particular community that is being engaged. In this ‘Starting A Conversation’ event, Mary will outline what constitutes effective climate engagement at the community level, drawing from the research evidence base as well as her experience in training and implementing a climate ambassador program in collaboration with the City of Vernon, where over 30 ambassadors were trained to reach out to their particular community networks, ultimately reaching over 1000 people (and counting).


Mary, a Lecturer in Human Geography at UBCO, has made addressing climate change her central concern. She recently returned from living in the UK on sabbatical leave (2019-2020); while there, she volunteered as coordinator of videographers a two week Extinction Rebellion event in London last October, and began her current part-time work at Climate Outreach in Oxford as project manager for an ambitious international project called the Climate Engagement Initiative. Locally, she has acted as Co-Chair for the Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC) of the City of Vernon, who have just released a draft Climate Action Plan for community engagement.

ICER Student Scholarship Deadline extended to Friday Jan.15.21

The ICER Student Scholarship was originally due, Wednesday, Jan.13.21, at midnight; however, we’re extending the intake to Friday, Jan.15 at midnight.

The online application can be found here.

The application asks for contact info for yourself as the student applicant, the community partner, and an academic referee (NB – no reference letter is required ) and the following questions:

  1. Providing the working title for your project.
  2. Briefly summarize your research and your research question. Identify how you intend to collaborate and work with your community partners. (max 250 words)
  3. Describe what research methods you intend to use, and explain why? (max 150 words)
  4. How will you report back the findings of your research to the community? (max 150 words)

There will be 3 scholarships of $1000 each awarded. The scholarships are meant to support students as they conduct their community engaged research (regardless of what discipline or theme they are in).

If you have any questions, please email:

Announcing the inaugural Institute for Community Engaged Research Community Grant

The Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER) is awarding two $2,500 grants in 2021 to encourage community organizations to conduct Community Engaged Research (CER).

The purpose of the grant is to support community organizations to undertake a research project in collaboration with members of ICER. Our hope is that the grant will help to answer questions that are of importance, and build closer ties between the Okanagan community and ICER members.

For the purposes of this grant, CER is understood to be:
– Research that is done collaboratively between community partners and researchers;
– That the research question is of importance to, and impacts the wellbeing of the community; and
– That the research results are shared with the community.

For examples of community engaged research, please visit the ICER website

Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 (midnight)

– Applicants must be a community organization with a bank account in their name;
– They must be based in and do their work in the Okanagan Region;
– Propose a project that aligns with the principles of CER outlined above; and
– Must work with an ICER member or ICER affiliated student (and the commitment to this project must be confirmed by that individual)

Following the completion of their research project, recipients will present at ICER’s lunchtime discussion series to share their research process and findings. The names of the recipients will be published in the ICER newsletter and social media.

The application is online.

Questions may be directed to:

Dec. 2 – Starting a Conversation with Norah Bowman: Mapping Whiteness and White Supremacy on Unceded Syilx Territory in the Central Okanagan.


As a result over a century of colonial policies, laws, and practices, the Okanagan Valley has become a cultural space in which whiteness is associated with regional citizenship. By regional citizenship, I mean the Okanagan associations of valley land-ownership, access to local capital, and participation in leisure and pleasure culture. In my recent research on land use in the valley, I have found repeated examples of the presence of BIPOC in the Okanagan Valley. Farmers, families, and workers from China, Japan, Jamaica and India have been part of Okanagan valley
settler culture for over 100 years. As well, this land is the unceded home of the Syilx Okanagan Indigenous people, whose knowledge and cultural contributions should form the idea of regional

So why do people say “Kelowna is so white”? What is the effect of this kind of statement? And how can we trouble it? One idea I have is mapping the movement, presence, forced relocation, and cultural and economic contributions of BIPOC in this valley, and seeing how Central Okanagan Whiteness is a result of purposeful white supremacist culture. Let’s talk!

Norah Bowman, PhD, is a professor at Okanagan College. She is Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies and teaches English Lit as well as Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies. Norah is a school board trustee in school district 23. Her book of poetry and prose about Okanagan Mountain will be published with Caitlin Press in 2021.

Join us for the next talk in ICER’s Starting a Conversation series on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 from 12 noon to 1pm. This presentation will be via Zoom.
To register, please e-mail: by Dec. 2 at 10 am.

Nov. 15 – Starting a Conversation with Liam King: Digital Wellness Project for Young Indigenous Men

Digital Wellness Project for Young Indigenous Men

The identity of young Indigenous men is extremely important to their ability to live happy and healthy lives. However, little is known about how young Indigenous men use digital media to develop their identity and the impacts this has on health and wellness.

This project seeks to bring together young Indigenous men in a community-based participatory project to understand the ways that digital media may be influencing their identity, health and wellness. We will be co-researching with a small group (~6) of young Indigenous men (<30 years old) who are undergraduates at UBC Okanagan to empower these men to create and answer questions related to their digital media use, identity, and health and wellness. The knowledge created from this project will be used to create future Indigenous Digital Wellness projects that seek to promote the development of positive identities within Indigenous youth.

This is a CIHR-funded project being run in partnership with Aboriginal Programs and Services Center at UBC Okanagan.

Liam R. King, BSc., is a Cree-Metis scholar currently completing his MSc., specializing in Indigenous Health and Wellness. Liam’s research interests include community-based participatory research with young Indigenous people’s and investigating the intersections of digital media, Indigenous identity, gender, health and wellness.

Liam is also one of three recipients of the 2020 Institute for Community Engaged Research Scholarship.

To register, please email: by 11:00 am Nov. 18.

ICER Student Scholarship Deadline Jan.13, 2021

The online application for the Institute for Community Engaged Research is now open.
In recognition of ICER’s commitment to supporting students involved in community engaged research, we are awarding three $1000 scholarships in 2021.

The scholarships offer financial support to current UBC Okanagan graduate, or in exceptional circumstances, undergraduate, students. The recipients should be actively involved in community engaged research projects or activities, and have a community partner.

The purpose of the scholarship is to assist with supporting research and building closer ties with the community.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 (midnight)

• Applicants must be students of UBC Okanagan;
• Graduate, or in exceptional circumstances undergraduate, students; and
• Actively involved in community engaged research.

Following the completion of their research, scholarship recipients are invited to present their research at a ‘Starting the Conversation’ – ICER’s brown bag discussion series. And their names will be published in the ICER newsletter and social media.

To access the scholarship, please click on this link.

March 4, Relax-a-cucha 2020: Literacies Writ Large

Relax-a-cucha 2020: Literacies Writ Large (It’s more than ready & writing!)

Join us for an informative and engaging evening that explores aspects of literacies not often thought about.

The speakers have been asked to present 12 visual slides that highlight an aspect of literacy other than reading and writing. Each speaker will have 7 minutes to speak to their slides as they introduce the audience to new ways of thinking about literacies that help us navigate the world.

This is a free event, however registration is required and will be capped at 100 people. There will be opportunities for socializing and refreshments.


The Art of Visiting
Vanessa Mitchell, Aboriginal Lead & Program Manager of Journey to Aboriginal Cultural Safety Program, Aboriginal Health, Interior Health

Developing Digital Literacy in 2020: Kinetic Learners & the Modern Public Library
Chris Stephenson, Kelowna Head Librarian, Okanagan Regional Library

A Probably Not Boring Introduction to Answering Research Questions with Math
Zakary Draper, MA, PhD student Psychology at UBCO

Over 100 Genders?! Queer & Trans* Literacy
Jey Benoit, Harm Reduction Educator, Living Positive Resource Centre

 How Emojis Make Us Feel
Dr. Christine Schreyer, UBCO

Designing for Accessibility and Inclusion: Presenting for Everyone
Meghan Currie, Inclusive Technology Lab Coordinator at UBCO

Space Matters! Inequality and Spaces of/in the City
Dr. Shelley Cook, Health System Impact Fellow at UBCO

Engaging in Mental Health Literacies
Dennis Jasper, UBCO School of Nursing

Please register for this free event @


Nov. 26, 2019, Got Game(s)? A Knowledge Mobilization Workshop

The next workshop in our Knowledge Mobilization series is: Got Game(s)?
Want to learn how to use games to share your research? Need a fun way to engage new audiences or explore community topics?
Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019

Arts and Science 460

This is an introduction to thinking about how to use games as a knowledge mobilization tool. We are delighted to have four facilitators with various experiences with game theory and development, in both digital games and board games.


Dr. Bowen Hui, Computer Sciences, UBC Okanagan
Dr. Christine Schreyer, Community, Culture and Global Studies, UBC Okanagan
Mr. Jamie Stuart, Okanagan Regional Library – Kelowna
Dr. Miles Thorogood, Creative Studies, UBC Okanagan


9:00 to 9:20 Welcome and ice-breaker
9:20 to 9:35: Dr. Miles Thorogood, Game Theory & Locative Media (digital media applied to real places)
9:35 to 9:50: Dr. Christine Schreyer, Language Learning and Board Games
9:50 to 10:05: Dr. Bowen Hui, Game Structure and Design
10:05 to 10:20: Mr. Jamie Stuart, Narrative and Fun in (Board) Game Design
10:20 to 10:30: Break

After the break, participants will be divided into 4 groups. Each group will have the chance to attend a workshop with each facilitator and have the chance to brainstorm and learn about common challenges of game design. Feel free to bring your own ideas.

Facilitated Workshops:
* How to make locative media games
* Considering space and sequential design in different forms of games
* Role of narrative in game design
* Gamificaiton of research

10:30: to 11:00: Rotation 1
11:00 to 11:30: Rotation 2
11:30 to 12:00 Rotation 3
12:00 to 12:30 Rotation 4
12:30 to 1:00 Lunch provided (Please email with any dietary needs).

This event is free of charge.

The workshop has space for 40 participants with 15 spots reserved for graduate students, 10 spots for community members, and 15 spots for UBC Okanagan faculty and staff.

Workshop participants will also receive a list of resources.

Questions: Please email

Registration is free.

Nov. 5, Starting a Conversation with Zak Draper


Childminders in the Okanagan have expressed concerns about young children’s dependence on, and overuse of, screen-based media including smartphones, tablets, television, and videogames. We attempted to quantify relationships between different types of technology use (i.e., device, amount, weekday and weekend use) and indicators of both parent and child psychological wellbeing.
Participants (N = 456) were Okanagan parents with at least one child between the ages of 2–5. They reported on their technology use as well as the technology use of their young children and responded to measures of psychological wellbeing for both themselves and their children. We will present results showing the self-reported frequency of various types of technology use amongst families with young children, and whether there are benefits to wellbeing for families who impose a “no screen time” rule, or for families who restrict screen time based on Canadian Paediatric Society recommendations.

Zak Draper, MA, is a PhD student in Psychological Science. His research includes the development and testing of statistical procedures used to test hypotheses, with the goal of increasing confidence in statistical inferences; he also examines the role of technology use in families, with the goal of identifying potential harms and benefits of technology use in families with young children. Zak received an Institute of Community Engaged Research in 2019 to support his research.

Arts 368, ICER
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm