To celebrate our 50th anniversary, ISSofBC, in partnership with the Ismaili Centre, Vancouver, has created the New Perspectives series that will feature three public events held from September 2022 to March 2023.  

The series aims to bring new voices into debates around immigration in Canada. The topics that will be covered through the series include Indigenous views on immigration, the impact of climate change, and the most pressing issues likely to shape Canada’s future immigration policies. 

Immigration is expected to rise in the coming decades. Therefore, the issues that will be discussed in this series have global importance. This is why these events are open to anyone interested in the topic of immigration wherever they may be based.

Event 1:

Indigenous views on immigration to Turtle Island

Please watch the recording of our first event, Indigenous views on immigration to Turtle Island, from 13th September 2022,and will feature a panel of Indigenous leaders from across Canada, moderated by ISSofBC’s Indigenous Advisor, Kory Wilson.

The full recording is also available on our Youtube channel

The panelists addressed a range of questions around how newcomers could learn more about Indigenous culture and history in Canada and what can be done to ensure Indigenous voices are recognized and included in Canada’s immigration policies.

You can read the speaker and moderator biographies below.

Celeste Haldane is in her second term as Chief Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission. She is Musqueam (Coast Salish) and Metlakatla (Tsimshian) from the Sparrow and Haldane families and has European ancestry. She is a practicing lawyer specializing in Indigenous law and corporate governance.

Brenda Gunn is a professor at the University of Manitoba, having completed her LL.M. in Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy at the University of Arizona. As a Metis woman, she provided technical assistance to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She is also the Academic & Research Director for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. 

Norm Leech has been the Executive Director for the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre (VACPC) since May 2016. He is trained in facilitation with the Canadian Human Rights Foundation (now Equitas) and with St’at’imc Restorative Justice in Lillooet and worked with the National Centre for First Nations Governance to develop Indigenous governance models. 

Kory Wilson supports ISSofBC as its Indigenous Advisor to help develop greater Indigenous equity throughout the organization. She is the Executive Director of Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and is Chair of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Indigenous Affinity Group. She is a strong believer that education and access to knowledge are key to move everyone forward, and that when people know better, they do better.

Additional reading: 

“The Path: Your Journey Through Indigenous Canada” – a series of five online modules that inform students on the rich Indigenous history and culture in the land we now call Canada.

‘We all live on Indigenous Land’ – a Public Policy Forum report the details the importance of Indigenous education among newcomers to Canada.

Welcome to our Homelands video – an ISSofBC-produced video designed to expand the dialogue between Indigenous and newcomer communities.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action especially 93/94 for Newcomers to Canada.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (available in several languages) 

BC UN Declaration Action Plan – Read British Columbia’s commitment to implementing the lessons from the UN Declaration