DisPLACEment is a media arts production and outreach program that brings Indigenous, migrant + refugee youth together to make + share short videos that challenge biases, creatively explore changing ideas of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’, and shine light on impacts the impacts of and systems behind displacement.
Last fall, 21 migrant and Indigenous youth came together to create 8 powerful films about displacement, decolonization, and discrimination. The team then crafted workshops to go with each video to highlight the issues they address. Now, a group of refugee, migrant and Indigenous youth are ready to bring these films and workshops to schools across the Lower Mainland.
Using a combination of media, storytelling, creative facilitation and interactive activities, these peer-facilitated workshops have been designed to foster intercultural understanding, inspire crucial and timely conversations about decolonization, and help enhance motivation for change.
DisPLACEment workshops are based on films created by migrant and Indigenous youth living in British Columbia. Some of those same youth will be in your classrooms facilitating the workshops and sharing their stories and wisdom. This is a really unique opportunity to learn, first-hand, about issues, challenges and triumphs experienced by those who have, in various ways, faced displacement, dispossession and discrimination.,/p>
DisPLACEment workshops emulate the core competencies outlined in the new BC curriculum (Communication, Critical Thinking, and Social Responsibility) and complement existing teachings around intercultural understanding, diversity and empathy-development. They also reflect the current commitment to meaningfully embed Indigenous worldviews and other diverse perspectives into all aspects of the school curriculum.
Beginning with a deep belief in the value of storytelling, the DisPLACEment workshops offer personal and unique insight into the following topics:
- Indigenous, refugee &migrant youth experiences
- Equity (Power, Privilege, Oppression Fairness)
- Indigenous solidarity/decolonization
- Relationship to PLACE / land
- Home + belonging
DisPLACEment workshops are:
- Designed for BC students from grades 6 to12
- Flexible and adaptable for non-school groups or different needs
We were made to feel supported and heard as we moved through the workshop, and I left feeling activated and better informed thanks to our encouraging facilitators who brought immense knowledge and compassion to the space.Kat
The youth facilitators were humble yet skilled, as well as passionate about the subject matter. They did a great job of engaging the participants and encouraging reflection. It was also heartening to see the super important but rarely addressed theme of intersections between migrant and indigenous experiences being taken up in meaningful and thought provoking ways.Lily Han
It was a meaningful day where 30 Lush staff were lucky enough to participate in one of AMES workshops! They facilitated critical conversations about their videos UPROOTED and What is home? We got to witness the power of personal storytelling!Diana Alvarez
Book a Workshop
Note: For teachers and leaders living outside of the Lower Mainland who are interested in sharing these topics with their students, all of our films are available for free online. We’re also working on an online educational resource portal to facilitate and share knowledge remotely! It will be available towards the end of 2018, and will include video versions of some of the workshop activities, detailed outlines, handouts and background information to help support on-going learning.
The Story of DisPLACEment
In the fall of 2017, the program began when 21 migrant, refugee and indigenous youth gathered on Galiano island to build community and begin to vision the stories they wanted to tell relating to their experiences of displacement, dispossession and discrimination.
With the guidance of community-based film mentors, the youth–many of whom had little filmmaking experience–produced 8 beautiful, riveting and thought-provoking stories [hyper link to VIDEOS] over the course of a 12-day media production intensive.
The DisPLACEment videos were premiered at Yáynewas Chet: In Solidarity, an event attended by 200 people, and hosted by Vancouver Foundation’s “Fresh Voices” initiative at UBC Robson Square on December 8, 2017 [note: Yáynewas Chet means “We become friends” in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish)].
The next day One Mic Educators brought the DisPLACEment videos to the other side of the country where they were seen by a group of emerging newcomer poets during a spoken-word retreat held outside of Toronto. Inspired by the visions and voices of their peers, the videos prompted hours of animated conversation, and the creation of many new poems.
So far, the DisPLACEment videos have been viewed by more than 600 people at various events. It is anticipated that these videos and associated workshops will be reach approximately 4,000 people in the 2018/2019 school year.
Use the form(s) below to book a workshop for your students and begin crucial and timely conversations about discrimination, intercultural fluency, decolonization and allyhood.
A comedic look at the lives of two immigrant and refugee women searching for belonging, and the ways they manage to find humour in the challenges they face along the way.
Racism, stereotyping, discrimination, privilege
‘What is home?’, ‘Where is home?’, ‘Is ‘citizenship’ merely “registration for colonization?”’. These are among the questions about home and belonging that are poetically posed in this video.
Belonging, identity, community, story-telling
Meet the Team
Aslam is a recent settler on Coast Salish territories with South African-Indian heritage. He has always tried to raise the bar set by his parents while being a good role-model for his brothers.
Through travel and studies, he explored political science, philosophy, city-planning, development, Islamic law and spirituality, user-centred design and decoloniality.
He has been shaped by experiences that include a Mosque tour of Johannesburg, teaching English in Toronto and Sharjah, performing stand-up comedy, co-producing a Palestinian-solidarity album, working for a large multi-national corporation, the ASRI Public Policy Fellowship and research positions within local and provincial government.
He is currently leading Community Engagement Initiatives at SFU’s Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies, teaching University Preparation English and involved with the Muslim Urbanists network. He is enrolled in the SFU Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement, and trying to understand how decolonising engagement can equalise power and improve social cohesion.
Ayan identifies as an African, Muslim woman who enjoys reading, writing, music, photography, and basketball. She adores her mother because she’s been her role model all her life. She’s currently studying International Studies at Simon Fraser University. Displacement has impacted her life and migration journey which is why she joined the DisPLACEment project and is passionate about issues that affect racialized communities. Since joining the program, Ayan has realized she’s got mad skills as an actor!
Cicely-Belle is a Black/mixed non-binary femme, passionate about Black liberation, anything pink and making a mess with oil pastels. They moved to unceded Coast Salish territories six years ago and even though Vancouver is nowhere near as cool as their hometown of London, UK, somehow they’re still here, making a noise about injustice and running their own business. Ask Cicely-Belle about social movement building, Instagram aesthetic, publishing poetry and articles, traveling on a budget, starting a business and Black Lives Matter.
AKA “Donna Mayhem” is a Black and Aboriginal activist, womanist, and community organizer for social change. Raised in Sto:lō territory in British Columbia, Canada, she worked as the co-ordinator of Diversity Education at Abbotsford Community Services for several years.
- What makes a community involved, engaged, vibrant, and successful?
- How can we create meaningful opportunities for transformative learning?
- What makes a diverse city, economy, or nation thrive?
- How can we tell unique stories using dialogue, media, or arts?
These are questions are the center of initiatives she’s been involved with over the past several years. She facilitates workshops, plans and coordinates services, events, and programs, and designs & delivers projects from beginning to end. Her emerging core skills are in:
- curriculum development
- high-energy facilitation
- community development
- arts programming
- event planning
- speaking, emceeing, moderating
- equity and diversity policy analysis and consulting
Danica is one of the shining stars of DisPLACEment classic: Back, Bitch!
Latisha Wadhams Pelkey
Latisha is a wild and passionate ‘NAMGIS warrior on fire for her community.
I am still learning to explore the new world around me in my bike. Yes! In my bike. I’m passionate about human rights and social justice. I support the vision of social transformation for equity to every individual.
Tanvi Bhatia is a writer, activist, and cinnamon bun enthusiast studying political science and creative writing at UBC. She’s been part of the Fresh Voices Youth Advisory Team since 2012, trying to ensure that the voices of immigrant and refugee youth are heard in conversations about issues that affect them.
(Kā’ ānni) is a determined young Indigenous warrior (21) from the Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwaka’wakw Nations. A former foster kid, homeless youth and 1st-year college dropout, she is now known as a political organizer, motivational speaker, spoken word artist, black snake killer and ”overeducated extremist” across Turtle Island. Originally from Kyuquot, she now resides on Snuneymuxw territories.
Valeen runs a grassroots Indigenous business with a strong focus on creative youth empowerment/employment and frontline support. She speaks and performs at festivals and universities about Indigenous resurgence and art. Valeen sacrificed everything to dedicate all of her time and energy into community work and revolutionary art.
Vidaluz Ortuno Nacho
Vidaluz is a 21-year-old dreamer. This bio is already very cheesy but allow me to continue. I love getting together with people and having an impact on issues I care about. I was born in Bolivia and came to Canada in 2009. I love meeting new people and making connections. In my free time I make or enjoy music, films, visuals, and photos. I am very happy to be part of the DisPLACEment filmmaking and facilitation team and share my love for cultural diversity with others.
Meet the Mentors
Angela has been teaching at the Vancouver Board of Education since 1999. She taught grades 4-7 from 1999-2006 and held the district position of Anti-racism and Diversity Consultant & Mentor from 2007-2014. Angela is currently seconded as a Faculty Associate in the Indigenous Perspectives Module in the Professional Development Program at Simon Fraser University. Angela holds an undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of British Columbia and a Master’s degree in Diversity in Curriculum and Instruction from Simon Fraser University. Angela also works as a private Education Consultant in the areas of Anti-racism Education, Diversity and Social Justice in Metro Vancouver school communities and community-based organizations as well as nationally, in the Toronto District School Board. (HANDS cONsulting: Honouring Affirming and Nurturing Diversity in Schools).
Camille has worked at the crossroads of healing and social justice for over 15 years. She currently supports refugee claimants as a group facilitator and trauma therapist with the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture. Her passion and current training is in Process Oriented Psychology and Conflict Facilitation – learning to unfold the deepest experiences that arise not only in our bodies, emotions and psychology, but also in our communities, earth and the world. She holds Masters Degrees in Adult Education and Counselling Psychology.
Deblekha founded AMES in 1997 and has been the driving force behind this registered charity and its development and implementation of a ground-breaking series of fully-subsidized media-arts production intensive and art-based outreach programs. In the 23 years she’s spent doing community and arts-based project development, Deblekha has designed, coordinated and overseen over 45 distinct digital-arts community-based initiatives that encourage people from various marginalized communities to self-represent, self-advocate and demystify often harmful cultural stereotypes.
Kim Haxton is a multifaceted, multidimensional educator, rooted in knowledge and steeped in community. She is Potowatami from Wasauksing. She has worked across Turtle Island and abroad in various capacities, always emphasizing local leadership development toward genuine healing. In her work with Indigeneyez, a creative arts based organization she co-founded, Kim works with Indigenous communities toward decolonization and liberation. Grounded in the arts and the natural world for embodied awareness and facilitated rites of passage, Kim develops de-escalation skills, trauma recovery, diversity and anti-oppression education. She had been working with traditional plant medicines. Kim has developed and facilitated programs in over 8 countries, and has been working in land-based education and leadership in corporate and non- profit agencies for the past 25 years.
Working with/ for Dr. Beth Hedva internationally and nationally providing spiritually directed therapy. http://www.drbethhedva.com/MeetTheTeam.en.html
Co-founding this arts and culture based program http://indigeneyez.com/
Sitting on the board of wisdom for Schools without Borders http://www.swb.ca/
Kris Archie, a Secwepemc and Seme7 woman from the Ts’qescen First Nation, is passionate about heart-based community work and facilitating positive change. In her own words: “My lived experiences as a mixed blood woman, mother and community member informs my desire for inclusion, accessibility, and justice”. Archie was the project manager for the Vancouver Foundation’s youth homelessness initiative, called Fostering Change before becoming the Executive Director of “The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada”, an open network to promote giving, sharing, and philanthropy in Aboriginal communities across the country. In all of her roles, Kris works to transform philanthropy and contribute to positive change with Indigenous communities by creating spaces of learning, innovation, relationship-building, co-creation, and activation.
Jorge is working as Project Director of the Inner Activist. Which is a project of Tides Canada Initiatives. The Inner Activist is a leadership education program that is part of a global movement rooted in social justice, equity, self-awareness and our place in nature. Jorge also co-founded in partnership with immigrant and refugee youth and allies, the Fresh Voices Initiative with Vancouver Foundation in 2011, where he worked as Project Manager until 2016. Fresh Voices gathers a network of more than 200 migrant youth to address systemic issues and create opportunities by advocating for policy change in BC.
Jorge Salazar came to Canada as a refugee from Colombia in late 2000. Jorge uses his own immigration journey, life experiences, training and education to bridge communities and facilitate positive change within government, organizations and grassroots groups. Jorge has been supporting connections between young people from diverse communities in BC, Canada and the Americas for more than 15 years. He has worked with Immigrant Services Society of BC, MOSAIC, the International Institute for Child Rights and Development – University of Victoria, City of Vancouver, the Ecumenical Task Force for Justice in the Americas and PeerNet BC. Most of the projects he is involved with are about opening spaces for inclusive facilitation, and youth and community empowerment within an anti-oppression framework. He promotes strong community connections, between diverse communities, particularly between indigenous, immigrants and refugees among others.
Mutya Macatumpag is a multi-disciplinary and independent dance artist, actress, vocalist, choreographer and visual artist. She is also an instructor of a dance fusion called “Free Form Footwork” It is a fusion of Modern, Hip-Hop, Contemporary and Contact Dance.
Mutya Macatumpag (moo-cha maca-toom-pag) is a queer Pinoy of Spanish and Malayan descent made in the Philippines and born a settler on the Unceded Coast Salish Territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō, and Tsleil-Waututh traditional peoples. Mutya is an interdisciplinary artist who interweaves music, movement, theatre and visual arts within her professional practice as a creator, performer, facilitator and event producer. She is enlivened by opportunities to explore authentic exchange, leadership, social justice, and people empowerment. Mutya has worked with a variety of intergenerational, intercultural and youth focused organizations across BC, Quebec and the US and hopes to continue on this path of collaborating, teaching, studying and performing on an International scale.
Mutya is currently a creative facilitator and performer with PYE Global, IndigenEyez, Reel Youth & VQFF.
Peter is a PhD. student at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice. He also spent over 6 years as a student affairs professional– advising and coaching international students; coordinating supports and resources to enhance their retention, enrich their student experience, and success. He was also co-lead on a multi-stakeholder campus anti-discrimination program. He has experience as a child and youth advocate, resiliency worker, and anti-oppression educator. Peter’s work with a wide range of youth has spurred his passion to work both Federally (in policy development) and locally to better the lives of Canadian children and youth. Most recently, he has designed, developed, and evaluated post-secondary educational programs for resettled refugee youth and merit and need-based programs for international students. His efforts, alongside many others, has significantly enhanced diverse student retention and success. As a result, he has been an invited speaker and trainer locally, provincially in BC, nationally, and internationally for various audiences on educational equity, diversity, and inclusion in thought, practice, and policy. Peter has been involved with AMES in a range of capacities since 2010.
Renae has worked since the early 80’s in the arts (music, theatre, film & television) in Canada and internationally with her singing group, M’Girl.
She has received cultural teachings through social and ceremonial songs and stories with the Secwepemc, Okanagan, Nlaka’pamux, Cree and Ojibway peoples.
Today, between professional and community engaged artistic creations, Renae works to cultivate social justice, inclusiveness and community building through the power of the arts as it relates to reconciliation.
Richard Wilson is from the Hwlitsum First Nation and was born on Galiano Island, British Columbia where he now resides with his family.
Richard is an independent multi media artist who has worked in many facets of film and theatre. His resume includes work in production, stage-managing, acting, and camera work as well as being a sound and visuals technician. He has been honored to work with some of Canada’s premiere Aboriginal artists on projects across the country from Cooper Thunderbird at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, to The Edward Curtis Project in The Northwest Territories, and The Ecstasy of Rita Joe on Vancouver’s down town east side.
More recently Richard has worked on three productions of the acclaimed multi-media production The Road Forward. During that time he has also been the lead mentor in Digital Forage/Wisdom Harvest, a project that uses digital storytelling to connect local youth and elders to traditional foods, medicines and each other.
A well rounded artist with multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary skills, Richard is at home working in a wide range of settings–from theatres and film sets to studios and classrooms–and able to connect with youth, elders, artists and technicians alike.
This, combined with his ability to wear many hats, shift smoothly between roles, and his easy going nature, make Richard an asset to any production.
In addition to art and production, for the past 6 years, Richard has worked with a local arborist to do danger tree removal, and a Captain on the South Galiano Volunteer Fire Department for the past 7 years.
Sepideh is an Iranian refugee who is studying at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in FVIM (Film Video Intermediate Media). She believes that everyone has a story that they want to tell, either about themselves or about others. She has always been impressed by people who could effortlessly tell a story stories through a lens, but it once seemed impossible to her. She eventually picked up a camera and tried it for herself, and was pleasantly surprised. However, she quickly realized that a beautiful story is not just a compilation of amazing shots, but a narrative that captures people’s hearts and imaginations.
Simran Sarwara is a current Liberal Studies student at Capilano University with a strong as well as a diverse background in the participation of various grassroots initiatives. As she continues to do so, she expresses an ambition to develop and deliver capacity-building workshops for various communities of marginalized youth, particularly among Indigenous and newcomer communities. She is currently working towards maintaining grassroots ties through her role as the Youth Community Developer at PeerNetBC, while also hoping to pursue a career as a human rights lawyer for marginalized communities in and around what is called Canada. Simran envisions the collaboration of multiple movements, projects, and other initiatives around the world that will serve to support any young person to accomplish their goals in the same way she has been supported to do so.
Spin El Poeta
Poet. Arts Educator. Workshop Facilitator. Revolutionary. Youth Advocate.
Keeper of the sacred Cholq’ij calendar of the Cosmovisión Maya.
SPIN was born in Guatemala in the midst of a brutal 36 year war. Politicized by the experience of becoming a refugee the day after his eleventh birthday. Raised with excellence by his mother. SPIN embarked on a journey to vindicate their suffering & learn his history and that of the country where his innocence was stolen by US foreign policies.
SPIN’s TRAJECTORY – To date SPIN has performed in 7 countries and over 20 cities including sovereign indigenous territories in the north. SPIN has delivered arts education workshops to young offenders and is part of the first ever Canadian Hip Hop curriculum. He has delivered arts education workshops to over 1 000 youth. He has also been the only slam poet to perform at Hip Hop festivals in Cuba,Guatemala and Venezuela.
Presently SPIN El Poeta is the 2015 Toronto Poetry Slam Grand Champion.
Tia Taurere-Clearsky of Whaea Productions is Indigenous from the Nga Puhi/Ngati Kuri Nations of Aotearoa (New Zealand), lives on Coast Salish Territory of Turtle Island (North America/Canada) and was born in the Koolin Nations (Melbourne Australia).
Tia immigrated to Coast Salish Territory Turtle Island to be with her husband who is First Nations Blackfoot/Anishinaabe Nations.
Tia’s most recent works was travelling to North Dakota to film for TVNZ (Television New Zealand) current affairs show Marae on a conflicting pipeline and an Native American Reservation. She also edited a children’s series called Coyote Science for the indigenous channel APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) under the direction of Cree/Metis Director Loretta Todd. Tia is also involved in a collaboration between CMF (Canada Media Fund) and the New Zealand on Air to produce a Webisode of young indigenous women super hero’s called Fierce Girls.
This year she became an active board member of VIMAF (Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival) and organized a successful Festival for 2017.
One of her passions is striving to create International Solidarity by building synergies between Indigenous, Activists and Creative communities. She believes in working towards Tino Rangatiratanga, Self Determination for all peoples, through Creative Resistance, Creative Communications. She has skills in multi media production, critical analysis of the world we live in today and a deep respect for our Earth Mother Papatuanuku.
What makes these workshops unique?
The combination of film and facilitation allows these workshops to stand apart from a regular lesson and engages students with different learning styles for greater participation.
How do I book a workshop?
If you work in a school, please use this booking form. If you work with a community group, please use this booking form. Please give at least two weeks notice to allow us to find the right facilitator for you. We’ll email you to confirm your booking.
How do I choose the right workshop for my students/group?
Each workshop is really valuable and has the potential to create dynamic and rich conversations. All workshop content is designed to be accessible to any audience and our facilitators are great at adapting to different age groups and learning styles.
For a full list of learning outcomes please download the workshop PDF.
How much do workshops cost?
Workshops are by donation! This means you can pay whatever is in your budget, but you also won’t be denied this learning opportunity due to a lack of funds. We’re grateful to our funders and sponsors for making this possible.
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Access to Media Education Society (AMES)
141 Sturdies Bay Road, Galiano Island
BC V0N 1P0, Unceded Coast Salish Territory