This is Our Canada Tour and Emmanuel Jal

February 19, 2015

This is Our Canada is a movement of young Albertans engaging in debate about what it means to be Canadian and learning from our diverse experiences and histories. It comes out of a deep concern that the strength of our values are only as strong as the relationships between us as Canadians. From March 17-28, we will be touring the province with Juno-nominated artist, former child soldier and now peace-warrior Emmanuel Jal to get real on our thoughts about our country.

These full day youth forums are for young people ages 16-28. The overarching goal of the regional youth forums are to unite the youth in and around the area to engage in conversation on issues that concern us around diversity, social inclusion and human rights. Out hope is that, by learning about our community's diversity, we can work closer together in re-imagining a Canadian identity that is inclusive and appreciative of Canada's many diverse peoples.

These events will give youth the opportunity to connect with others in their community around issues of social justice, explore diverse perspectives, reflect on relevant local social issues, have their voice heard and, ultimately, foster a community where all are included, accepted and embraced.

Register for Rocky Mountain House: March 17

Register for Edmonton: March 21

Register for High Prairie: March 23

Register for Cold Lake: March 25 

Register for Fort McMurray: March 27

At an evening potluck, we'll present our recommendations to local community leaders and challenge them to hear the perspective of youth in the community on issues that concern them. 

For more information or to register, please contact us today! 

Regional Youth Forum Program

8:15am-9:00am Arrival of participants and registration

9:00am -9:15am Opening and Welcome: Introducing Kanata

9:15 am -9:45 am Art Project: Exploring My Canadian Identity

9:45 am – 10:45pm Canadian Democracy and Identity
Through activities and discussions delegates will learn from each other’s perspectives on identity, community and Canadian democracy.

10:45 am - 12:00 pm Emmanuel Jal Keynote: From Child Soldier to Peace Warrior
EMMANUEL JAL was born into the life of a child solider on an unknown date in the early 1980s in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan. Through unbelievable struggles, Emmanuel managed to survive and go on to emerge as a recording artist, achieving worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip hop with its message of peace and reconciliation born out of his personal experiences. Emmanuel has made Canada his home. In 2013, he came to Edmonton to speak at the Ignite Change Now! Global Youth Assembly and he made an impact on us.We believe his message is one that all of us in Canada can learn from.

12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch

1:00pm-1:45pm  Challenging Cultural Perceptions and Understanding Privilege
Youth will participate in energizing activities and thoughtful dialogue that will foster intercultural and interfaith awareness while also developing a deeper understanding of human rights and social inclusion.

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm Knowing Our History: Elder Teachings
Two local elders will share stories with you on local history and reflect on the diversity and well-being of the community.

2:30pm-3:30pm Xpress Your Voice: Photovoice Project
Using photography, delegates will get out into their community to explore community barriers and challenges and articulate these through visual imaging.

3:30pm-4:30pm Building a Case
Delegates will brainstorm recommendations for local elected officials and other community leaders that will address the barriers and challenges identified in the Photovoice project.  They will select one action idea to present at the community potluck.


6:00pm-8:00pm The evening will be an open public community potluck. All local elected officials have been invited to participate and to hear the recommendations from the youth delegates.
May include performances and remarks.

Do the Rights Thing Film Series: Black History Month (Sun Feb 15)

February 3, 2015

Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (PBS)

Join us to mark Black History Month with a showing of the film Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (PBS). This film is a stirring and dramatic recounting of the famous trials of nine Africa-American teens, falsely accused of raping two white women aboard a box car on a train in Alabama in 1931.

The State was determined to privilege the accusations of the women over the apparently solid defence evidence but a growing movement to oppose the racism at work in the trial process arose, and can now be seen as the precursor to the civil rights movement of later decades. The struggle continued up and down the judicial ladder, yielding two decisions of the US Supreme Court that helped redefine criminal law and protections for accused persons.

Constitutional lawyer Rob Normey will offer commentary on Langston Hughes' brilliant drama, Scottsboro, as well as significant trials in Canada during this era that reveal the lack of equality rights for minorities in our nation. We will as always engage in discussion afterwards.

February 15 at 2 pm

FREE (donations welcome and a hat will be passed!)

Edmonton Public Library, White mud Crossing Branch (4211 106 Street NW)

This is Our Canada Digital Story Campaign

January 27, 2015

We are trying to tell the story of Canada through the eyes of many. Do you have 30 second to 5 minute story to share about your perspective on being Canadian? What values you think are Canadian? Or a story from your history that you think needs to be told?  

Many of the stories we know of Canada may not have told us the full picture. We want to share the stories of our diverse nation - our diverse faiths, backgrounds, experiences, orientations and abilities. Submit your digital story to us in digital format or via your youtube account to help us build the collection of our stories which we will share online. You will have the chance to win an iPod or its equivalent cash value!  

Deadline for submissions is March 31, 2015. 

Contact us if you have any questions - really simple; just be creative and tell a story :)