April 13, 2010
A Message from the Mayor
It is with pleasure that I welcome you to the launch of “Dialogues
between First Nations,
Urban Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities in Vancouver”
The City of Vancouver is home to a tremendously diverse population
and includes the
traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and
Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
In addition to the First Nations, people from other Aboriginal
communities and migrants
from around the world have come to call Vancouver home. The
Dialogues Project is the
first of its kind initiated by the City to bring together both the
Aboriginal and immigrant
communities in an effort to build stronger community bonds.
The Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration recognizes the importance
and valuing the role of First Nations people as the initial
occupants of Canada. It is in
this context that we aim to work with the diverse communities in
Vancouver to create an
inclusive city for all.
Message from the Dialogues Project Chairs
As Chairs of the Dialogues Project Steering Group, we are so
pleased to witness the launch of the project. The City of Vancouver
had been discussing the project with community partners for quite
some time before it came to fruition, so we are happy to see it now
being introduced to the public. From the beginning, the Dialogues
Project has been strongly supported by stakeholder community
members, who see the importance of building stronger inter-cultural
relations between Aboriginal and immigrant communities in
Over the next sixteen months there will be a number of initiatives
aimed at bringing the communities together, including the dialogue
circles, which will be starting shortly. Over one hundred
participants from the First Nations, urban Aboriginal and immigrant
communities will be engaged to share their stories and perspectives
and come up with plans for future collaborative
On behalf of the Project Steering Group, we’d like to thank you for
celebrating the launch of the Dialogues Project with us!
1Dialogues Between Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities
Henry Yu, History Professor,
University of British Columbia
Wade Grant, Musqueam Councillor
Susan Tatoosh Executive Director,
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre
Program — April 13, 2010
5:30 Introduction and welcome Masters of Ceremonies: Zool Suleman
and Kamala Todd
Greetings Welcome from Coast Salish Elder Linc Kesler, Director,
UBC First Nations House of Learning Deputy Mayor David Cadman, City
of Vancouver Greetings from Musqueam First Nation Greetings from
Squamish First Nation Greetings from Tsleil-Waututh First
6:00 Cedar & Bamboo – a special preview Introduced by: Diana
Leung, Film Co-Director & Chinese Canadian
Historical Society (CCHS) Board member; Henry Yu, Dialogues Project
Chair & CCHS Board member
Voices 4 Ex/Change (Produced by urban ink Production Society) Diane
Roberts, Voices 4 Ex/Change Animator; urban ink Artistic Director
Pepe Danza, composer/musician; Omari Newton, storyteller;
Sidhu, storyteller; Valerie Sing Turner*, storyteller; Quelemia
*Participating with the special permission of Canadian Actors’
6:30 Warrior Song (based on traditional Lil’wat music) Russell
6:35 Introduce Youth Community Developers and Dialogue Circles
Susan Tatoosh, Dialogues Project Chair Eric Wong, Lead Facilitator,
6:45 Closing Remarks Wade Grant, Dialogues Project Chair
Networking reception Salishan Catering
About the Dialogues Project
The Dialogues between First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and Immigrant
Communities in Vancouver Project (the Dialogues Project) is a
ground-breaking collaboration between the City of Vancouver and
more than 20 community partners that aims to build understanding
and stronger relationships between local Aboriginal and immigrant
The Dialogues Project consists of five initiatives designed to
encourage members of these communities to share their experiences
and perceptions and to learn about one- another’s cultures. It
commenced in early 2010, and is scheduled to run until
The project has been funded by the Government of Canada and the
Government of BC through the Welcome and Inclusive Communities and
Workplaces Program. The City’s Social Policy Group provides project
oversight and co-ordination.
Through the Dialogues Project, individuals and communities will be
able to learn about one another, make new connections, and explore
new opportunities to work together. The result will be a City with
a richer, stronger cultural tapestry.
The project concentrates around five initiatives:
Dialogue Circles: To foster conversations between Aboriginal and
immigrant groups, a series of facilitated discussions will be held.
They will focus on remembering history, reflecting on present
community assets, and establishing plans for future cross- cultural
Community Action Research: Interviews and group surveys will be
conducted with Aboriginal and immigrant community members about
their experiences and perceptions on social inclusion and
inter-cultural relations in Vancouver.
Cultural Exchange Visits: First Nations, urban Aboriginal and
immigrant groups will host cultural exchanges to give the broader
community a chance to learn about and engage with the histories and
cultures of the groups hosting the exchanges.
Youth and Elders Program: Youth and elders will be engaged to act
as liaisons between communities and as presenters to promote the
project and related issues to other interested groups.
Legacy Projects: Funding will be sought to implement two legacy
projects which will generate more public awareness and support for
the issues raised under the Dialogues initiatives.
The Dialogues Project will be chronicled in a DVD and a Story
document, which will include the stories of the communities and
will also highlight the key events and achievements of the
Masters of Ceremonies
Zool Suleman is an immigration lawyer, writer and consultant.
Former Chair of the Vancouver Mayor’s Task Force on Immigration, he
is a refugee from Uganda with grandparents from Gujarat,
Kamala Todd is a filmmaker and community planner who works to raise
awareness about the histories and contributions of Aboriginal
people in Vancouver.
Cedar & Bamboo The preview film, Cedar & Bamboo, was
produced by the Chinese Canadian Historical Society (CCHS). CCHS is
a non-profit, participatory provincial organization dedicated to
broadening our shared understanding of history of the Chinese in
British Columbia through research, documentation, preservation and
Cedar & Bamboo explores the rich and complex relationships
between Aboriginal and Chinese people in British Columbia through
the lives of four people who are descended from both cultures. For
Cedar & Bamboo Co-Directors
Diana Leung – Cedar & Bamboo Co-Director Diana is passionate
about storytelling, heritage conservation, urban memory and
communities. She has been involved in collaborative video
productions with various communities as well as creative projects
with dance, puppetry, and sound. Diana has a Masters degree in
Community and Regional Planning (UBC). She currently works for the
City of Vancouver in the Cultural Services Department.
Kamala Todd – Cedar & Bamboo Co-Director Kamala is a
Métis-Cree/German writer, filmmaker, community planner, educator
and Mother. She has a Masters Degree in Urban Geography (UBC) and
is creator/director of the Aboriginal multimedia arts project
Storyscapes and Indigenous City, a dynamic project seeking to
affirm the important place of Aboriginal people in the city. Her
film, Indigenous Plant Diva, has recently screened at festivals in
Europe and North America.
4 Dialogues Between Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities
urban ink Production Society
urban ink Production Society is a Vancouver-based theatre company
known to plant creative roots in far-flung communities across BC.
We produce Aboriginal and diverse cultural works and promote
multi-disciplinary artists to proudly showcase their talent on
stages across Canada. Our quest for authentic expression of
historical and current phenomenon while bridging social and ethnic
divides is at the heart of our professional and community based
urban ink’s community work is uniquely suited to youth, youth-elder
dialogue, community remembering, inter-racial dialogue and a deep
exploration of ancestral origins. urban ink is proud to be host
organization for the Story Box Project a part of Vancouver’s Great
Beginnings, which commemorates the City’s founding communities.
Please learn more about us at: www.urbanink.ca
Voices 4 Ex/Change In Voices 4 Ex/Change we enter the circle-----an
interplay of music, storytelling and spoken word woven together in
the time-honoured tradition of oral exchange that brings us face to
face in dialogue. Cathy McDonald, urban ink General Manager Amita
Daniels, Project Manager
Omari Newton – Storyteller Montreal-born Omari is a professional
actor and writer whose work can be seen on television, film and
stage. He is fluently bilingual in French and English and has
performed and created works in both languages. His stage work in
Québec has earned him a number of awards and recognition. Omari is
interested in using the arts to promote social justice.
Craig Marcuk – Technical Director/Stage Manager A Dark Horse
running in the night. Craig has emerged from the Whitehorse scene.
An artist, performer, musician, technician, he’s looking forward to
continuing to work with the wonderful personalities of urban
Diane Roberts – Voices 4 Ex/Change Animator Diane has been urban
ink’s Artistic Director since 2007. As director, dramaturge,
playwright and cultural animator, Diane has collaborated with
theatre and interdisciplinary artists across Canada as well as in
Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. Over the past few years her
artistic passion has been to articulate and practice Indigenous,
African and Afrisporic forms of theatre.
5Dialogues Between Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities
Rupinder Sidhu – Storyteller Rupinder is a multi-instrumentalist
and vocalist. From a young age, diverse music from around the world
has inspired and informed his sound: from folk and classical forms
of India, to Hip-hop and Reggae, over to West African and Middle
Eastern percussion and the list goes on and on….
Quelemia Sparrow – Storyteller Quelemia is an actor/writer with
Musqueam First Nation, Scottish and Irish ancestry. She recently
represented the Musqueam Nation during the Winter Olympics opening
ceremony, welcoming the world to Musqueam traditional territory.
Quelemia believes that a deep understanding of the history and land
of the First Nations People is necessary for the growth and future
of all Canadians.
Valerie Sing Turner – Storyteller Valerie is an independent
professional theatre artist who performs, writes and produces. Her
Canadian roots trace back more than a century to when her
grandparents emigrated from southern China. Having lived by turns
in Victoria; Toronto; and London, UK, Valerie is thrilled that her
adopted home of Vancouver is where authentic, respectful and
meaningful dialogue is possible.
Russell Wallace – Singer, Composer Russell (Lil’wat Nation) is a
composer, producer and a traditional Lil’wat singer whose music has
been part of a number of soundtracks (film, video, television) and
theatre/ dance productions. Russell has also been active in
intercultural collaborations and facilitating collective
Joseph “Pepe” Danza – Composer, Musician Pepe is an electrifying
percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, teacher and composer.
Originally a native of Montevideo, Uruguay, he has spent his life
playing music, and has travelled the world to immerse himself in
many traditions. He is especially focused on Afro & Latin
drumming traditions, as well as exploring Sound Healing. Pepe is
known internationally for his work as a composer, recording artist,
band leader, performer and teacher and is the proud recipient of
many award nominations. www.pepedanza.com
6 Dialogues Between Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities
Dialogues Project Steering Group
Wade Grant, Musqueam Councillor Wade was born and raised in the
Musqueam First Nation, and is currently a Musqueam Councillor. He
was the Assistant General Manager of the 2010 Olympic Games
Aboriginal Pavilion and was the Assistant to the Minister of Public
Safety in Victoria in 2006. He and his wife, Maureen Grant, have a
one-year old son, Eli.
Susan Tatoosh, Executive Director, Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship
Centre Susan is of Shuswap ancestry, and a member of the Hupacaseth
First Nation, of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Territory. Susan is an
Elder and has been actively involved in community volunteer work
for the past 40 years, both in the Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal
communities. Her volunteer work has been at the community,
municipal, provincial and national levels. She retired from the
Federal Public Service, and is presently the Executive Director at
the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre.
Henry Yu, History Professor, University of British Columbia Henry
is an Associate Professor in History at UBC, teaching
Chinese-Canadian and trans-Pacific migration history. He is
involved in the collective effort to re-imagine the history of
Vancouver and of British Columbia through the concept of ‘Pacific
Canada’, a perspective that focuses on how migrants from Asia,
Europe, and other parts of the Americas engaged with each other and
with First Nations peoples historically.
Project Steering Group members include representatives from:
7Dialogues Between Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities
Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC
City of Vancouver, Hastings Institute
City of Vancouver, Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration
Civic Education Society
Kiwassa Neighbourhood House
UBC Department of History
UBC Museum of Anthropology
Urban Native Youth Association
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre
We would like to thank Professor Linc Kesler and his staff for
generously providing the Sty-Wet-Tan (Great Hall) for the launch of
the Dialogues Project.
Thank you to the Musqueam Nation, Squamish Nation, and
Tsleil-Waututh Nation and their staff for their support and
Thank you to the Chinese Canadian Historical Society and the urban
ink Production Society for their participation and support.
Thank you to all of the speakers and performers and to Zool and
Kamala as the Masters of Ceremonies.
We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the
Project Steering Group: Jill Baird, Tung Chan, Nolan Charles,
Winnie Cheung, Chris Friesen, Leah George-Wilson, Larry Grant, Wade
Grant, Lynda Gray, Jocelyn Hamel, Daniel Hill, Deborah Jacobs, Linc
Kesler, Lianna Martin, Melissa McDowell, Nancy McRitchie,
Counsellor Geoff Meggs, Laara Mixon, Leslie Murray, Eyob Naizghi,
Cecily Nicholson, Simon Neame, Anne Nickerson, Anne Olsen, Farid
Rohani, June Scudeler, Susan Tatoosh, Carleen Thomas, Ken Tung,
Mabel Tung, Richard Vedan, Patricia Woroch, Henry Yu, Michael
Immigration and WelcomeBC Branch staff, Province of British
University of British Columbia: Dr. Anthony Shelton, Sandra Singh,
Professor Kwong- leung Tang
City of Vancouver: Colin Fenby, Shelagh Flaherty, Monica Kay, David
McLellan, Bruce Quayle, Robin Shantz, Wendy Stewart, Carol Ann
Young, MaryClare Zak.
Catering is provided by Salishan Catering.
Program design by Sid Cho.
The Dialogues Project is made possible by funding from the
Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.
8 Dialogues Between Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities
Dialogues Project Team Baldwin Wong (Social Planner and Project
Lead), Karen Fong (Project Coordinator), Lanny Jimenez (Youth
Engagement), Kamala Todd (Consultant).
Youth Community Developers A team of Youth Community Developers,
from both Aboriginal and immigrant backgrounds, will engage with
youths and members of diverse communities in promoting the goals of
the project and helping foster relationship among all.
Youth Community Developers are: Kevin Abrahams, Heather Forbes,
Josiane Houngbo, Margaret Joseph, Nasra Mire, Jorge Salazar, Brad
Sparrow, and Herb Varley.
Dialogue Circle Facilitators Eight Dialogue Circles will be held
around the city to bring together people from Aboriginal and
immigrant/non-Aboriginal communities for dialogue.
Facilitators are: Kinwa Bluesky, Koyali Burman, Rain Daniels,
Parker Johnson, Norma Jean McLaren, Kamala Todd, Richard Vedan, and
Story Gatherers We will be collecting stories and perspectives from
both Aboriginal and immigrant communities.
Story Gatherers are: Kinwa Bluesky, Paromita Naidu, and Kamala
Dialogues Story Document Zool Suleman
For more information about the Dialogues Project, please contact
Baldwin Wong at 604-871-6637 or [email protected]
or Karen Fong at 604-871-6324 or [email protected]
Printed on recycled paper.