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Alberta Integration Summit 2018

2018 Alberta Integration Summit Presentations

The 2018 Alberta Integration Summit brought together settlement service provider organizations, as well as others who work closely with immigrants and refugees, on current issues the settlement and integration sector is facing. The summit allowed service providers to share knowledge, information, and gain new resources and tools. The following is a compilation of slide decks from presentations.

Day 1 – (Wednesday, September 19th, 2018)

Corinne Prince IRCC When Immigrants Succeed, Canada (Alberta!) Wins: A Settlement and Integration Vision
Lorsque les immigrants réussissent, le Canada (l’Alberta!) gagne : Une vision en matière d’établissement et d’intégration
John Biles IRCC State of Settlement: Alberta Plan
État des services d’établissement: Investissements de l’Alberta
Grace Van Fleet IRCC CFP 101 (EN)
ADP 101 (FR)
Corinne Prince IRCC What We Heard: NSC Plus (June 14 – 15 2018)
Ce que l’on avait entendu au CNE Plus (Les 14 et 15 juin 2018)
Abdi Aden IRCC Community Typology
Typologie des collectivités
Angelica Lambert AAISA Community Typologies: Minimal Basket of Services for Small Centres

Day 2 – (Thursday, September 20th, 2018)

John Biles IRCC Settlement Clusters: State of Play and Future Planning
Groupes de concertation sur l’établissement – Bilan et planification
Rhonda McIntosh IRCC Overview: Language, Employment Related Services, Youth, and Community Connections
Vue d’ensemble: Langue, Services liés à l’emploi, Jeunesse et Connexions Communautaires
Rhonda McIntosh & Ryan Palik IRCC & Saskatchewan Intercultural Association Results of Summer Youth Program (SYP) Evaluation
Video – Summer 2018 – ConnectED
Lori Wilkinson, Elisha Astles, & Bindu Narula Department of Sociology and Criminology, University of Manitoba, IRCC & CCIS Yazidi Resettlement in Canada – a review of their first year
John Biles IRCC Vision for a Program Management Reset
Vision d’une réinitialisation de la gestion du programme

Day 3 – (Friday, September 21st, 2018)

Adebayo Katiiti, Irfan Chaudhry, & Marni Panas MacEwan University & Alberta Health Services Diversity & Inclusion: Understanding Intersectionality
Sarah Apedaile NorQuest College Culture and Conflict – Conflict resolution from an intercultural perspective
Edmonton’s History of Anti-Black Racism
Jana Miller & Sarosh Rizvi AAISA Professional Development for Settlement Practitioners: AAISA’s Current and Future Learning Opportunities and Standards for the Sector
Matthew Knox CBFY The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth (CBFY)
Ricardo Morales CCIS Integration and Inclusion: Programs Supporting immigrant youths in schools
Sentsetsa Pilane, PhD Boys and Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters Best Practices in Child and Youth Programming
Kim Chung Centre for Family Literarcy Family Literacy as a Best Practice
Mark Golding CBFY Mentorship Program
Mylan Nguyen Immigrant Language & Vocational Assessment – Referral Centre Remote Language Assessment: Innovation to Eliminate Geographical Distance Barriers for Newcomers
Sara Buczynski & Basel Abou Hamrah Edmonton LGBTQ+ Newcomer Group Settlement Innovation Through Social Integration
Nadia M. Khan Bow Valley College Creating Indigenous Awareness: Building Relationships & Making Connections 
Rekha Gadhia CIWA Bridging the Divide: Disabilities and Settlement Sectors Working Together for CIWA’s Idea Project
Jyothia Agnihotri CIWA Child Development Worker Certification for Immigrant Women
Somnoma Valerie Ouedraogo MacEwan University Following a Code of Conduct and Addressing Ethical Dilemmas
Rennais Gayle J.C. Education Solutions Code of Conduct in Adult Teaching & Learning
Sarosh Rizvi AAISA Settlement Practitioners Code of Ethics and Conduct
Rhéal Poirier Government of Alberta La Politique en matière de francophonie de l’Alberta
Bonaventure Otshudi OCASI Développer les opportunités de collaboration avec le secteur Francophone
Esdras Ngenzi CANAF Entente de collaboration 
Celestina Akinkunmi CIWA Health Literacy Partnerships – Improving the Health Outcomes of Multi Barriered Immigrant Women
Jenny Krabbe CIWA Innovate for Success: Address Market Demand and Open Up a Career Path for Immigrant Women with Mid-Level English
Bindu Narula CCIS Settlement Best Practices for the Yazidi Population
Neill Fitzpatrick MacEwan University Media Relations: The Winning Hand




Please Vote for AAISA!

AAISA is pleased and honored to announce that the organization has been shortlisted for a Settlement Agency Award! We are one of 75 nominees for the tenth annual RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards. From now until May 17, the public can cost their votes here.

AAISA would also like to recognize that our colleagues at CIWA, AMSSA, and Settlement at Work, also received nominations in the same category! Congratulations to our colleagues and the recognition of their extraordinary work!

Please support AAISA and our colleagues by voting, and sharing the news. 


Alberta Integration Summit 2017

2017 Alberta Integration Summit Presentations

The 2017 Alberta Integration Summit brought together settlement service provider organizations, as well as others who work closely with immigrants and refugees, on current issues the settlement and integration sector is facing. The summit allowed service providers to share knowledge, information, and gain new resources and tools. The following is a compilation of slide decks from presentations.

Day 1 – Resettlement

Community responses to Refugee Resettlement:

Refugee Settlement Trends in Alberta
Marisa Berry Méndez CCR Trends in Refugee Settlement in Alberta: Understanding how global and national contexts impact settlement in Alberta
Astrid Velasquez Catholic Social Services Trends in Refugee Settlement in Alberta
Mohammed Idriss Brooks and County Immigration Society Refugee Settlement Trends in Alberta
Resettlement Review Update
Elizabeth Orton IRCC – Refugee Affairs Resettlement Update from IRCC
Mise à jour sur la réinstallation d’IRCC
Private Sponsorship Program
Anoush Newman & Melissa Scott CCIS & RSTC Refugee Sponsorship Training Program
Refugee Mental Health
Callum Ross CMHA CMHA Calgary Community Helpers
Refugee Influxes – Best Practices and Research Findings
Fariborz Birjandian CCIS Managing Refugee Influxes
Sarah Amies Lethbridge Family Services Managing Refugee Influxes in Lethbridge
Dr. Leah Hamilton Mount Royal University/Pathways to Prosperity Providing Refugees with the Right Information at the Right Time – Lessons Learned During the Resettlement of Syrian Refugees
Dr. Lori Wilkinson Immigration Research West Best Practices & Research Findings: Syrian Refugees in the Prairie Region
Scott Deederly Mayor’s Office, City of Calgary The City of Calgary Response to Refugee Resettlement
Sam Nammoura Syrian Refugee Support Group of Calgary

Day 2 – Settlement

State of the Sector & Trends and Projections for Newcomers to Alberta:
John Biles IRCC Settlement Clusters: State of Play and Future Planning
Settlement Evaluation
David Kurfurst IRCC IRCC Evaluation of the Settlement Program: Overview of Preliminary Conclusions and Findings
Performance Measurement
Roxanne Felix-Mah University of Alberta/EMCN Performance Measurement: Art or Science?
Jason Lau PolicyWise for Children and Families Ethical Considerations of Connecting Social-Sector Data in Alberta
Anne Couillard IRCC Reporting and Accountability: Understanding Success
Waste of Talent Project:
Nicole Jelley IRCC A Waste of Talent

Day 3 – Integration

Collaborative Approaches to Community Inclusion and Community Readiness for Integration:
Meagan Reid Bow Valley Immigration Partnership The Bow Valley Immigration Partnership: How and why we Work Together
Frank Bauer CARE It Takes A Village To Raise A Child
Doug Piquette ERIEC Effective Community Partnerships: “Build, Maintain, Leverage and… REFRESH!”
Newcomer Health:
Christa Kahl Mosaic Refugee Health Clinic
Dr. Bukola Salami University of Alberta Immigrant Health in Canada
Shared Legacies and Pathways Forward for Indigenous and Newcomer Communities:
Oliver Kamau Edmonton Immigration Services Association Enhancing Intercultural Relations between Newcomers and Indigenous Communities
Cindy Provost Calgary Police Service Shared Legacies and Pathways Forward for Indigenous and Newcomer Communities
Tim Fox Calgary Foundation Impacts of Intergenerational Trauma
Children and Youth:
Ameer Ali and Dunia Azzara Newcomers Are Lit (CCR Youth Network Edmonton) Newcomers Are Lit!
Dr. Sentsetsa Pilane Boys and Girls Club Big Brothers Big Sisters Edmonton Exploring Asset-based, Youth-led Strategies for Supporting Integration of Newcomer Youth
LGBTQ+ Newcomers:
Lily Tsui Multicultural Family Resource Society
Harry Yee Centre for Newcomers Learning Results from LGBTQ+ Newcomers Conference & CFN’s Approaches to Supporting LGBTQ+ Newcomers
Yara Kodershah and Sizwe Inkingi Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants Creating Positive Spaces for LGBTQIA2s+ Newcomers
Dr. Sharalyn Jordan Simon Fraser University/Rainbow Refugee
Brenda Stanton Banff Lake Louise Hospitality Association All Speakers – Day 3 Panel on Employment
Lisa Rochman NorQuest College All Speakers – Day 3 Panel on Employment
Bruce Randall CRIEC All Speakers – Day 3 Panel on Employment
Nicole Jelley Talent Pool All Speakers – Day 3 Panel on Employment
Strategic Approaches to Combating Racism
Kamal Sehgal Alberta Network of Immigrant Women AAISA Integration Summit 2017
Stephanie Kot AAISA Anti-Racism and Anti-Islamophobia in Alberta’s Settlement Sector



Accessing Mental Health Services for Newcomers in Alberta

Thank you to everyone who attended our webinar on Sep. 12, to discuss the key findings and recommendations of the Accessing Mental Health Services for Newcomers in Alberta Environmental Scan. 

With funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), this project was carried out in collaboration with MMK Research and Consulting.

The scan involves a comprehensive literature review, scan of service providers and services, and 28 in-depth interviews and surveys with immigrants, refugees, and service providers. The report is a strategic resource for Resettlement Assistant Program Providers, health providers, settlement and integration service provider organizations, Sponsorship Agreement Holders, funders, public institutions, and community organizations.

The webinar, hosted by Dr. Michael Kariwo of the University of Alberta, discussed the following:

  • Review of the inventory of mental health programs and services across Alberta, specific to each region, type and level of services provided, and clientele served
  • Key findings: mental health service provision, cultural competency, language and communication barriers, access to and quality of services
  • Recommendations for mental health service providers, immigrant serving agencies, and policy

Watch a recording of the webinar here.

View the PowerPoint presentation here.

Read the full report here. 

Please send your questions, comments, and feedback to:

We would like to thank all study participants who shared their stories with us, and the organizations and funders for their contributions and support to this report. 


Course Announcement: Client Needs Assessment and Action Plans

By Content Contributor: Juhhie Mendiratta

We are excited to announce our new September 2017 course Client Needs Assessment and Action Plans.

This online course is intended to enable settlement practitioners to conduct needs assessments and to assist their clients to develop individualized goals and action plans appropriate to their culture and life experience. The key learning objectives of the course include, but are not limited to, increasing both theoretical and practical knowledge around the best practices, key skills, effective strategies and processes required when conducting client needs assessments, goal setting, and action plans.

This course is one of four required courses for AAISA’s Pre-Service Certificate program. It is designed to provide foundational knowledge of the Canadian settlement and integration sector for newly hired settlement practitioners, as well as settlement professionals planning to transition to the practitioner role.

Delivery Method: Online

Registration: August 8 – August 18, 2017

Dates: September 20 – October 12, 2017

Please be aware that this course is in high demand and registration will be conducted on a first-come-first-served basis.

For inquiries, and to register, email Cynthia Chima with your name and contact information (phone number and email address) before Aug. 18.


Fall Course Announcement

By Content Contributor: Juhhie Mendiratta

We’re pleased to announce the completion of our June course —Managing Practitioner Stress and Burnout. The objective of the online course was to help Settlement Practitioners recognize and identify symptoms of stress and be able to explore, develop, and practice strategies to effectively manage workplace stress.

A few testimonials from learners:

 “The topic and course contents were simple to understand yet very important for the practitioners. The posts on the discussion board were supportive for participants to learn from the knowledge and experience of their peers.”

“Thanks to AAISA team, I had an amazing online experience and learned so much about stress, burnouts, and self-care.”

“It was a wonderful learning opportunity for managing stress in life. I learned a lot through this course which will help me at my workplace as well in my personal life.”

Learners identified three major learnings from the course, including: developing a positive attitude to stress, stress management techniques, and commitment to self-care practice.

This course will be delivered again in 2018!

Upcoming Courses Fall 2017

2I Client Needs Assessment and Action Plan is an online module designed to enable Settlement Practitioners to conduct needs assessment and assist clients in developing individualized goals and action plans.

Delivery: Online

Course dates: September 20 – October 12, 2017

2F Basic Counselling skills in Cross-Cultural Context is part of AAISA’s pre-service certificate. The main objective of the course is to aid Settlement Practitioners define their counselling role with the clients they serve, and to help them recognize and develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge to be effective in that role.

Delivery: Online

Course dates: September/October 2017

For a full list of AAISA courses and course descriptions click here.



July 7, 2017

Adaptation et défis : bilan des premières années des réfugiés syriens en Alberta

CBC Radio-Canada Edmonton: Dans l’ensemble, les réfugiés syriens arrivés en Alberta en 2015 et 2016 s’adaptent très bien et considèrent le Canada comme leur nouvelle demeure, conclut une étude réalisée par l’Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies. Par contre, apprendre l’anglais, s’adapter à la différence de culture et trouver un emploi adapté sont souvent des défis importants, explique Stephanie Kot, directrice de la recherche et des politiques de l’Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies.


Syrian Refugees Making Connections, Eager to Work: Study


Calgary/Edmonton, Alberta – July 4, 2017:  Perhaps no group of Canadians was as excited to celebrate the country’s 150th birthday last week than the Syrian refugees who now call Alberta home. A new study suggests that most of these new Canadians are beginning to make a new life for themselves establishing new friendships and social connections as they work to make a successful transition into Canadian life.

The Alberta Syrian Refugee Resettlement Experience Study was undertaken by the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA) and carried out in collaboration with HABITUS Consulting Collective, and Dr. Julie Drolet, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary…

Read the media release and backgrounder here.

Read the full report here.


Feb.13, 2017

Forum focuses on success of refugees

Lethbridge HeraldNow that they’ve settled into their new lives in Alberta, how are our Syrian refugees doing? That was the focus of a community forum held here last week. The Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies held its fifth and final session here to hear about the experiences of Syrian refugees who call Lethbridge home. The results of the study are expected to shed light on their specific needs, barriers and experiences.

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