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
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
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.
Racism, stereotyping, discrimination, privilege
Belonging, identity, community, story-telling
Meet the Team
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.
- 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
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
Meet the Mentors
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers – Film Consultant
Notable recognition has included receiving a Kodak Image Award, the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award as an emerging filmmaker. She is included in CBC’s “Young Indigenous Leaders: 5 Under 30 To Watch in 2015.” One of her primary focuses as a filmmaker is activism and social justice and approaches film as a way to “use it as a form of nonviolent direct action against issues like violence against women and degradation of Indigenous land.” Her film and activist pursuits focus on issues that directly relate to and affect Indigenous women and communities. Tailfeathers is active in advocating for issues affecting First Nations communities. In 2011, she was arrested for participating in a peaceful blockade at the entrance of a drilling site in the Blood Reserve in Alberta.
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.
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/
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.
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 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.
Spin El Poeta
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 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.
Get Connected with AMES on Social Media!
Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter!
Access to Media Education Society (AMES)
141 Sturdies Bay Road, Galiano Island
BC V0N 1P0, Unceded Coast Salish Territory