THE LATEST FROM OPEN DOOR GROUP
Free Webinar: Accessibility in 2023: Trends and Legislation You Need to Know
January 26th 10 am Pacific – 11 am Pacific- Via Zoom
Co-presented with Surrey Board of Trade
2023 is shaping up to be the year of accessibility for BC organizations. Why?
- Upcoming compliance deadlines for BC public sector organizations in September 2023 and 2024 have over 750 organizations rushing to improve accessibility.
- New accessible employment standards and service delivery requirements for BC’s private sector are already in development by the BC Government.
- And thanks to the Great Retirement, labour shortages that aren’t going anywhere are piquing employer interest in underutilized talent like people with disabilities.
The team at Untapped Accessibility is ready to explain what these accessibility trends mean for your organization, and how to navigate them.
Untapped Accessibility’s Principal Consultant Stephen O’Keefe and Managing Director Trish Kelly will be joined by panelists to discuss why they think 2023 will be a big year for accessibility. Panelists include:
- Anita Huberman- CEO for Surrey Board of Trade and Co-chair of the newly formed National Business Disability Inclusion Council)
- Christine Buchanan- Regional Director of Employment and Training for Open Door Group and Chair of BC’s Accessible Employment Standards Development Committee
Accessibility of the event
Live Captioning and ASL interpretation will be provided. A captioned recording and an accessible slide deck will be available for all attendees. Our registration form will invite you to advise us with your request.
Who should attend?
This webinar will help public sector organizations like local governments, education providers, libraries, and Crown agencies understand how to comply with the upcoming legislation, and how to reach beyond compliance to create truly inclusive organizations that will attract and retain talent.
Private sector organizations wishing to improve accessibility to reach more customers and job seekers will also benefit from our overview of trends in accessibility.
BONUS: Event attendees will be offered a free 30-minute consultation with Untapped Accessibility team of experts to answer your questions or help you prioritize your accessibility plan!
About Untapped Accessibility
Untapped Accessibility launched in October 2022 in response to upcoming deadlines for organizations looking for support in complying with the Accessible BC Act. Whether your organization is taking action in response to accessibility legislation, or you see accessibility as a business imperative, we can help!
We draw on the diverse lived experience and professional expertise of our team to deliver comprehensive and innovative approaches to disability inclusion.
We’re a social enterprise. We generate revenue for Open Door Social Services Society supporting the non-profit’s mission to open doors to lifelong learning and career success for more people with disabilities.
#Inclusion #BCEmploymentAccessibilityStandardCommittee #Accessible #AccessibleBritishColumbiaAct
Christine Buchanan, the Regional Director of Employment Services and Training at Open Door Group will chair the BC Employment Accessibility Standard committee
In June 2021, the Province passed the Accessible British Columbia Act which provided a framework to identify, remove, and prevent barriers to accessibility. This includes priorities in 5 areas:
- Creating a culture of accessibility and inclusion
- Information and communications
- Buildings, infrastructure, and public spaces
- Employment in the BC public service (that includes 750 organizations!)
- Delivery of goods and services, including providing means for overcoming barriers in either training or employment
To make these priorities a reality, the province is developing standards for accessibility and appointing technical committees to inform those standards. On December 1, the province announced 30 representatives across BC to help develop British Columbia’s first two standards for accessibility: the employment accessibility standard and the accessible service delivery standard. These accessibility standards will help remove and prevent barriers that restrict people with disabilities from equally participating in their community.
The two 15-person committees will support the work of the Provincial Accessibility Committee to develop accessibility standards. The committees will study barriers such as non-inclusive policies, restrictive technologies or inaccessible infrastructure to develop more effective regulations and policies.
We are pleased to share that the Employment Accessibility Standard committee will be chaired by Christine Buchanan, the Regional Director of Employment Services and Training at Open Door Group.
“I am thrilled and honoured to be a chair and part of the committees that will help create BC’s first accessibility standards. I look forward to working with the province, the committee members, and employers to develop employment standards that make BC accessible for every person.” Said Christine Buchanan, Regional Director of Employment Services and Training at Open Door Group.
Christine brings a vast depth of experience and genuine passion for supporting the inclusion of people with disabilities, particularly in relation to employment. She has over 15 years of experience in employment counselling and vocational rehabilitation. During her time at Open Door Group, she brought over ten years of experience training staff, the public, employers, and social service agencies on serving and employing people with disabilities.
Currently, Christine is an active member of the board of directors for the BC Career Development Association and a member of the provincial-wide low-barriered employment network (Shift), the City of Vancouver’s Community benefit agreement working group, and on the advisory group with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism at the University of British Columbia.
Christine will be starting her role as Chair for the Employment Accessibility Standard committee starting Dec 1, 2022.
Read the announcement from the province: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022SDPR0068-001813
More about the Accessible British Columbia Act and its implementation, including the accessible feedback tool, the Provincial Accessibility Committee and the two newly formed technical committees: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/accessibility
#AccessibleBC #AccessibleBritishColumbiaAct #BCEmploymentAccessibilityStandardCommittee
Over 600 People Joined PEBCelebratesLive 2022 to celebrate UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Vancouver BC- December 3rd 2022 is the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Project EveryBODY’s PEBCelebrates Live! is the premier event in Vancouver. Project EveryBody is a community campaign led by Open Door Group, that promotes inclusive and accessible communities for people of all abilities. The event welcomed guest speakers from Open Door Group, City of Vancouver, and posAbilities to deliver the proclamation and open the event!
The observance of UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of the gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. On Dec 2, PEBCelebratesLive welcomed members of the City of Vancouver Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung and Mike Klassen to read and deliver the proclamation at the event!
This year’s event welcomed over 600 attendees across the Lower Mainland. It was a fantastic occasion to showcase the talents of over 50 prominent artists alongside award winning performers and a documentary film produced by Developmental Disabilities Association. Thanks to them, the day was full of; music, live performances, and celebration; including many musical performances supplied by Vancouver’s Adaptive Music Society. The event took place at the beautiful Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre (Corner of Davie & Pacific).
This year, PEBCelebratesLive event showcased the talents of people of all abilities and honoured the achievements of people with diverse abilities. It also advocated for thriving communities that were both diverse and inclusive. The event helped to connect individuals with local artists whose creative gifts and personal stories were unique and inspiring.
Video of Project EveryBODY 2022 event recap
Project EveryBODY’s PEBCelebrates Live! is the premier event in Vancouver to recognize and celebrate the United Nations Designated International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Led by Open Door Group, this is a collaboration of community and non-profit organizations who embrace diversity and inclusion including the Disability Foundation, Developmental Disabilities Association, posAbilities, Vancouver’s Adaptive Music Society, Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. This event was possible thanks to the generous sponsors: City of Vancouver, Back in Motion, Starbuck, and Vancity!
The observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of the gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
To view and download the event photos, please visit: www.projecteverybody.ca
To watch the “Doing the Impossible” documentary film, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MJVoS9_bL8
About Project EveryBODY: Project EveryBODY is led by various non-profit organizations working with people with disabilities in the Lower Mainland. The project’s intended impact is to promote an “inclusive Vancouver” through providing high profile opportunities that truly showcase and celebrate the talents of persons with disabilities through arts and culture, social connection, and recreational opportunities.
PEBCELEBRATESLIVE EVENT- 75% OF TICKETS SOLD OUT!
Thank you to everyone who registered to get their free tickets early. We have been overwhelmed by the response, with 75% of all tickets now sold out! All remaining FREE tickets are available to claim. This event is Free and Family Friendly!
Join Project EveryBODY- PEBCelebratesLive, an annual film and performing arts festival in the city of Vancouver. The ever popular sold out event, PEBcelebratesLive, is a cabaret-style event that features short films, live music, stand-up comedy, and more! Often described by guests as “an incredible and fun time”, the event showcases art and talent by people living with disabilities across BC.
- Date: Dec 2, 2022
- 11:00 AM – 7:30PM – Art Show and Sale & Musical Performances.
- 6:00PM – 8:00PM – Film Festival & Performance Artists (registration is required to reserve your seats in the performing theater).
- Location: Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC).
- Accessibility Features: The venue is wheelchair and walker accessible, and ASL interpreters are available on site.
Free admission, Live Music & Complimentary Food (first come first served while supplies last) throughout the event!
What to expect at the PEBCelebratesLive event?
PEBCelebratesLive is truly an event that offers it all, where family and friends are united to celebrate and support the talented local artists and start-up companies that are members of the disability community. Discover all the best things that PEBCelebratesLive festival has to offer:
Inclusion Art Show and Sale
There will be more than 50 local artisan huts and vendors of the talented members of disability community offering meaningful and affordable art works, handcrafted gifts, handmade products, and more. With over 1000 art pieces and products, come discover and find amazing holiday gifts for yourself and your loved ones. Check out our event program!
Enjoy Live Music, Eat & Drink
Do you want to join an event with free live music, food, and drink? Don’t miss PEBCelebratesLive event where you can have it all: enjoy the art show and sale featuring over 50 artists and vendors, with live music on stage, while grabbing free delicious sandwiches, hotdogs, popcorns, or spiced hot chocolate from the event sponsors (first come first served while supplies last!)
Amazing Evening Show
An audience favorite and an annual sell-out event, PEBcelebratesLive evening program features short film, live music, stand-up comedy, and more! Often described by guests as “the most fun I’ve ever had!”, the event showcases incredible art and performances by, and about, talented members of the disability community across BC. The evening show will take place from 6:00 pm- 8:00 pm. Family friendly- Indoor theater- Free admission- Limited seats available. Registration is required to attend the evening show: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/pebcelebrates-live-un-international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities-tickets-433329920457
Activities for Everyone
Let’s get creative! Join the event free Holiday Ornaments Decoration workshop where your family can decorate and take home some free DIY ornaments. You can also participate in the event Free photo booth to take home some awesome printed photos. Remember to join the event social media campaign at the photo booth: “What does Ability/Inclusion/Diversity mean to you?” for a chance to get featured on the Open Door Group social media channels and win their door prize ($200 visa gift card for one lucky winner).
Accessible Event for Everyone
The event is 100% free for everyone to attend. The venue is wheelchair and walker accessible, and ASL interpreters are available on site.
Don’t miss out on this fun, meaningful, and inspiring event for everyone!
About Project EveryBODY- PEBCelebrates Live! is the premier event in Vancouver to recognize and celebrate the United Nations Designated International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Led by Open Door Group, this is a collaboration of community and non-profit organizations who embrace diversity and inclusion including the Disability Foundation, Developmental Disabilities Association, posAbilities; as well as the City of Vancouver, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, Back in Motion, and Vancity.
The observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of the gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life.
More info: https://www.projecteverybody.ca/
Project EveryBODY PEBCelebratesLive is back in-person! Join Vancouver annual popular and fun festival to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities. An audience favorite and annual sell-out event, PEBCelebratesLive is a day of cabaret-style entertainment featuring arts, film, live music, stand-up comedy, dance, and more!
Presented by a collaboration of community and non-profit organizations who embrace diversity and inclusion, it is a celebration that showcases the talents of people of all abilities and honours the achievements of people with diverse abilities and advocates for thriving communities that are both diverse and inclusive.
This year, PEBCelebratesLive! is proud to feature an Art Show and Sale during the day on Dec 2, 2022 while the Evening Show will include comedy, short film, and dance. This event is family friendly and free to the public, you will meet local artists whose creative gifts and personal stories will inspire you!
- Date: Dec 2, 2022
- Location: Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC)
- 11:00 AM – 7:30PM – Art Show and Sale & Musical Performances: This year, we are proud to feature 50+ local artists that are persons with disabilities. As the Holiday season is quickly approaching, come find incredible, meaningful & affordable art pieces for your upcoming Holiday presents. BONUS: Enjoy live music and complimentary food (first come first served while supplies last) throughout the event. It’s 100% FREE to attend & family-friendly!
- 6:00PM – 8:00PM – Film Festival & Performance Artists (registration required to reserve your seats in the performing theater) An audience favorite and an annual sell-out event, PEBCelebratesLive Evening Show is an event that you don’t want to miss! Often described by guests as “the most fun I’ve ever had!” the evening program will include live comedy, short films, music, and other exciting live performances- presented by artists and performers that are persons with disabilities. Seats are limited- please ensure to register for the PEB evening show!
- All events are 100% FREE to attend & family-friendly!
- Accessibility Features: The venue is fully wheelchair and walker accessible, and ASL interpreters are available on site. This event will also have VocalEye live description for people with vision loss & live caption services.
BONUS: Live Music & Complimentary Food (first come first served while supplies last) throughout the event! *Alcohol is served after 5 pm. Government ID is required with alcohol purchase.
Join our PEBCelebratesLive event on Dec 2, 2022 at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre to find meaningful art pieces at affordable prices for your loved ones, enjoy complimentary food and amazing live music throughout the Art show and Sale, while making new friends and sharing inspiring stories with others.
Read more on this event.
Register now to attend this event.
For more information on group registering or sponsorship opportunities, please send your inquiries to email@example.com
Untapped Awards Event 2022 Welcomed over 300 Guests across BC
On Sept 28th, 2022, Open Door Group, in partnership with the Presidents Group and BC WiN welcomed over 300 guests across BC to join Untapped 2022- BC Workplace Inclusion Awards event. Among them were businesses of all sizes, individuals, Untapped award nominees, finalists, recipients, service providers, government representatives, industry experts, and press agencies… who gathered to celebrate moving the dial on disability inclusion in the workplace here in British Columbia. The event took place in-person at Parq Vancouver and live streamed at Open Door Group Facebook page.
This event was not possible without the valuable contribution from our presenters, speakers, sponsors, supportive partners, volunteers, and event attendees. We would like to thank Elder Dalannah Bowen for Land Acknowledgement, the Honorable Carla Qualtrough– Minister of Employment and Disability Inclusion & Alona Puehse for the meaningful Opening Remarks, Dan Coulter– Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility for a helpful and informative Welcome Remarks. We are also grateful to have Kristin Bower– Founding Partner at Leda HR as our MC, Yat Li– Senior Accessibility Consultant at Presidents Group & Jamie Miller-Dixon– Principal Consultant at MacLeod Silver HR Business Partner as our award presenters, Jim Meyer for a great live music performance, Lisa Beecroft– Co Chair of Presidents Group for an impactful Closing Remarks. Thank you- Untapped 2022 sponsors and supportive partners for your generous contribution. Thank you- Untapped attendees, award nominees & recipients to make Untapped Awards a memorable event. It was a wonderful opportunity to re-connect, meet new people, and share best practices on how to make our workplace more inclusive, diverse, and accessible for everyone!
This year, we were thrilled to receive 61 nominations across BC for Untapped Awards. Congratulations to all Untapped Award 2022 nominees, finalists, and recipients. Your efforts to build a more #diverse, #inclusive, and #equitable BC where everyone can thrive fuels a #barrierfree BC. To view the full list of Untapped 2022 Award nominees, top finalists, recipients, please visit this link
INCLUSION CHAMPION – Individual (Individual or Leadership)
- Award Recipient: Rebecca Paluch
- Award Finalists: Tess Menges, Taylor Chobotiuk
INCLUSIVE CULTURE CHAMPION – Non-Profit Organization & Public Sector
- Award Recipient: Canucks Autism Network
- Award Finalists: Binner’s Project, Vancouver Community College
INCLUSIVE CULTURE CHAMPION – Social Enterprise
- Award Recipient: Potluck Catering
- Award Finalists: Penticton and Area Cooperative Enterprises, Mission Possible
INCLUSIVE CULTURE CHAMPION – Small BC Business (1-99 employees)
- Award Recipient: Poco Return-It
- Award Finalists: Custom Craft Paint-Kamloops, Sunshine Coast Community Forest Firewood Program
INCLUSIVE CULTURE CHAMPION –Medium & Large BC Business (100+ employees)
- Award Recipient: Parq Vancouver
- Award Finalists: London Drugs– Richmond, Meridian Meats and Farm Market
INCLUSIVE CULTURE CHAMPION – Rising Star
- Award Recipient: Creative BC
Untapped photographer captured some great moments of the event. To view/ download your photos, please visit this link.
It will be great if you can help us spread the news on Untapped Awards by using hashtag: #Untappedawards Please ensure to tag us @OpenDoorGroup & @Accessibleemployers
Remember to check our Untapped website for more news on call for nominations, sponsorship opportunities, and 2023 Untapped event. Please don’t forget to check our innovative and free Disability Inclusive Employer Self-Assessment Tool to receive free report with resources and ways to improve DEI at your workplace: https://disabilityinclusion.ca/
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at Info@opendoorgroup.org.
We look forward to welcoming you to Untapped 2023 event!
-Jennifer Do, Open Door Group Communications & Marketing Manager-
16th Annual Gardengate Salsa Challenge
On Friday, August 26th, Gardengate celebrated another year of “Growing Food, Growing Futures” during its 16th Annual Summer Salsa Challenge! Participants, volunteers, and staff were joined by community service providers and Kamloops residents to celebrate another year of hard work and friendship.
From 12:30-3:00PM, Gardengate welcomed everyone to drop-in and sample salsas from 11 community teams and cast their vote for the People’s Choice and Team Spirit awards. The Chef’s Choice was awarded by a local Salsa expert. Other event highlights included a photo booth, garden tours, music, food and plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
This year, 11 teams joined the Gardengate Salsa Challenge to compete for the best salsa sauce:
|· Overlander’s Mexican Spice Girls||· Gardengate Gauchos||· Kamloops Food Policy Council|
|· Kamloops Immigrant Services – KISalsa||· Dengarry’s 8th Street Salsations||· CMHA’s Clubhouse Tamales|
|· South Hills Tertiary’s Viva Southills Salsa||· ICS’s Options and Opportunities,||· IH MHSU’s Red Hot Community Peppers|
|· Open Door Group-Opportunities Fund & Career Pathways to Success||· Kamloops Food Bank|
Here are the winners of the 2022 Gardengate Salsa Challenge:
- Salsa cup as decided by the mystery judge – Overlander’s Mexican Spice Girls
- People’s Choice salsa – Kamloops Immigrant Services – KISalsa
- Team Spirit award – South Hills Tertiary’s Viva Southills Salsa
Thank you to everyone who joined us for this year’s Gardengate Salsa Challenge. Your laughter, your presence, and your salsa recipes made it a memorable summer afternoon. We love seeing the community in action. For those of you who were unable to attend the event this year, we captured some great moments:
Image: photo of 2022 Gardengate salsa challenge participants. From top to bottom: Kamloops Immigrant Services – KISalsa, CMHA’s Clubhouse Tamales, and South Hills Tertiary’s Viva Southills Salsa
Image: photo of 2022 Gardengate salsa challenge participants. From top to bottom: Open Door Group, and South Hills Tertiary’s Viva Southills Salsa
Image: photo of 2022 Gardengate salsa challenge participants. From top to bottom: Overlander’s Mexican Spice Girls, South Hills Tertiary’s Viva Southills Salsa, and Gardengate Gauchos
This event was not possible without the generous contribution from our sponsors. Thank you Remax for providing us with the tent and K 97.5 Classic Rock Radio for supporting the event!
Image: Photo of the 2022 Gardengate sponsors: Fresh is Best Salsa &co., The Fun Factor, The Chopped Leaf, Open Door Group- Gardengate, Kelly O Bryan’s, Let’s Move Studio, BC Wildlife Park Kamloops, The Home Depot Kamloops, Senor Froggy, Canadian Tire Kamloops, Safeway Kamloops, Starbuck Kamloops, Oxygen Yoga & Fitness, DQ Kamloops, Kamloops Community YMCA-YWCA
About Gardendate program: Gardengate is a space of healing and recovery for individuals living with addictions or mental health conditions. Through activities in the garden, we’ll support you to work towards personal goals such as healthy eating, active living, or vocational training. More info: https://www.opendoorgroup.org/programs/gardengate/
#Opendoorgroup #gardengate #gardengatesalsachallenge #communityevent #Kamloops
Open Door Group Kamloops Team Celebrated Pride Week!
Open Door Group (ODG) was thrilled to celebrate and support LGBTQ2+ culture with Kamloops Pride Week every August.
From the week of August 22- 28, Kamloops streets and store windows were wrapped in rainbow flag colors, the city event calendar was filled with dances, parties, comedy, drag, youth focused events to highlight inclusivity and diversity. Pride Week 2022 was organized by Kamloops Pride to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+) people in the Kamloops area. This year, ODG participated in two main events: Pride Resource Carnival on August 26 and the 2022 Downtown Pride Parade on August 28.
On Friday afternoon, our team had a chance to join dozens of community and service providers at Sahali Secondary School Gymnasium-255 Arrowstone Drive, Kamloops BC for the Pride Resource Carnival.
Image: Open Door Group at Kamloops Pride Resource Carnival, August 26, 2022
Image description: 6 photos of Open Door Group booth at the Kamloops Pride Resource Carnival and its event participants.
Our booth was filled with fun, laugher, and joy! Thank you for stopping by our booth to play games, win prizes, learn about our #free employment programs & training opportunities, while provide us with your ideas on how to build an inclusive and diverse community where everyone can thrive. Thank you for all the positive messages and valuable feedback to our team.
Image: Open Door Group team at Kamloops Pride Resource Carnival, August 26 2022
Image description: image of Open Door Group team at the Kamloops Pride Resource Carnival. Our team members from top left to right: Jordyn, Belle, David. From bottom left to right: Jennifer, Anjali, Louise, and Tori.
In the morning of August 28, ODG team was excited to prepare and participate in the Kamloops Downtown Pride Parade! We were amazed to witness how downtown Kamloops was transform to a whirl of rainbow colours, music, honking and cheering as the Kamloops Pride parade participants danced along Victoria Street!
Image: Open Door Group team at Kamloops Pride Parade, August 26 2022
Image description: image of Open Door Group team at the Kamloops Pride Parade. All team members dressed in ODG Happy Pride t-shirts and held Pride banner to walk the parade at downtown Kamloops.
“It was so encouraging! The carnival and Parade went very well and was filled with fun and supportive individuals, reaching out to the Pride community felt very impactful and welcomed…Continuing to offer our support will make a warm welcome to other LGBTQIA2S+ individuals and we can be a supportive ally in the community!” said one of our ODG Kamloops team members, Tori Elter who helped to organize and participate in Kamloops Pride Week this year.
Image: Open Door Group team at Kamloops Pride Parade, August 26 2022
Image description: image of Open Door Group team at the Kamloops Pride Parade. All team members dressed in ODG Happy Pride t-shirts and held ODG banner to walk the parade at downtown Kamloops. From left to right: Louise, David, Devon, Anjali.
The parade was the perfect way for us at ODG to wrap up the amazing #PRIDEWEEK at Kamloops that finally returned after a two-year of the pandemic.
-ODG Kamloops team-
#Kamloops #KamloopsPrideWeek #HappyPride #OpenDoorGroup #Beloudstayproud
“Aashtum nichimos! Oota! Oota!” (Come here, Sweetheart. Hurry!) Reconnecting to Indigenous Culture and Family through Language
“Aashtum nichimos! Oota! Oota!” (Come here, Sweetheart. Hurry!)
Reconnecting to Indigenous Culture and Family through Language
Trish Kelly is a citizen of the Métis Nation of BC, with family ties back to the Red River. She is as an accessibility and inclusion consultant and led the development of the Disability Inclusive Employer Self-Assessment tool for Open Door Group. To recognize Indigenous History Month, Trish will share her experience reconnecting with her Métis language and the proud history of the Métis as an act of resistance and love.
“Taanishi Kiiyawow, Trish Kelly dishinakashon. Aen femme Michif niiya. Prince Albert pi Carleton oschi niiya, maaka Squamish niiwiikin eekwa. Gonneville, Delorme, Larocque, pi Chartrand son mes nom de famii.” (Southern Michif language)
I just introduced myself in Southern Michif, one of the languages of the Métis Nation, a language that I am just getting to know now in mid-life. I’m not fluent, but if Stats Canada is right, there are only several hundred fluent speakers across the country. But I think it’s fair to say that more Métis people are reclaiming our languages every day and I hope to be a small part of the language revitalization of Michif; for myself, for others like me who grew up without access to our culture, and specifically for my mother.
As far as I know, my mother only knew one sentence in Michif. She had a complicated relationship to her indigeneity, but I think if she’d known more, she would have taught me. While her family experienced discrimination, she had a great bond with her Métis grandmother, and she held on to that love and pride for where she came from despite the racism and exclusion her family experienced.
Her parents discouraged the speaking of Michif. Being indigenous at all, and definitely being Métis, was a dangerous identity to claim. The family tried to pass for white, an experiment that succeeded in keeping my mother and her siblings from being forced into day schools or residential schools, but at the cost of access to our culture and language.
About two years ago, I read the seminal book The Northwest is Our Mother by Jean Teillet who applied a lawyer’s thoroughness to telling the history of the Métis Nation from its inception. Her book gave me a new degree of pride in my lineage and lit me up with a desire to learn the language.
I signed up for a Michif course, and in one of the early classes, my teacher said, “Be gentle with yourself when you are learning this language.” He advised us to celebrate each word we learned and said that the most important phrases we could learn were how to tell our family that we love them.
And one class, I heard a phrase that was familiar to me. It was the one phrase of Michif my mother had taught me. She’d said her grannie always seemed to calling it after her on their trips out on the prairie. “Aashtum nichimos! Oota! Oota!” In that class that I learned the meaning of this phrase to be “Come here, Sweetheart. Hurray!” It was like coming out of a patch of bad cell reception into a good signal again. It was as if I was hearing this message directly from my great grandmother herself, telegraphed to me through two generations of poor connection, but the love was still there.
For many Canadians, Indigenous History Month is a time to come to terms with the facts and the truth that must come before reconciliation. For me, it is a chance to remember the love that my family bravely held on to with such care through generations to gift to me.
Written by: Trish Kelly, a citizen of the Métis Nation of BC
UnTapped Awards 2022
Reconnect. Renew. Reinvigorate
Nominations are open!
We are thrilled to let you know that Open Door Group signature event, in partnership with Presidents Group and BCWiN: UnTapped Awards 2022 is back in-person this year, after two years of hosting virtually.
UnTapped BC Workplace Inclusion Awards is an annual event that celebrates BC Businesses and individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to fostering accessible and inclusive workplaces.
Do you know an individual, business, non-profit, public sector organization, or social enterprise who is a Diversity Champion? Please help us recognize, acknowledge and honour their extraordinary accomplishments by nominating them for the BC Workplace Inclusion Awards
Our Nominations are open from June 15th– August 21st, 2022. The Awards event will take place on September 28th from 11:00 am-2:30 pm PST at PARQ Vancouver, our Untapped 2022 official venue sponsor.
Nominations are accepted in 5 different categories:
- Individual or Leadership
- BC Small Business (1-99 employees)
- BC Medium & Large -Sized Business (100+ employees)
- Non-Profit Organization & Public Sector
- Social Enterprise
We also encourage self-nominations! NOMINATION DEADLINE – AUGUST 21, 2022.
The top finalists will be featured through a social media campaign showcasing examples of how different individuals, organizations, and businesses across BC are champions for accessibility and inclusion. Their stories will become a call to action for people inside and outside of the UnTapped community inspiring others to commit their time and effort toward making the world of work more equitable, accessible, and inclusive!
We will announce top finalists and the winners at the Awards Event at PARQ Vancouver, from 11:00 am- 2:30 pm. Our nominees will receive one complimentary free ticket. Additional tickets are also available for nominee at a special discounted price (up to two tickets) for their family & friends to attend the event.
For more information, please visit our website at: https://untappedseries.ca/
For sponsorship opportunities, please visit: https://untappedseries.ca/sponsorship/
Media contact person: Jennifer Do, Marketing & Communications
#UnTappedAwards #Diversity #HR #Inclusive #DiversityChampion
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