A new platform for 
thoughtful dialogue on modern Canada

Due to continued health mandates surrounding COVID-19, Reconciling Multiculturalism in Today’s Canada  has transitioned to a fully-virtual event. This allows us to still host some of Canada’s most intriguing thinkers and doers in a safe and flexible manner, while also extending the symposium’s vital conversations beyond November 2021.

Panel Sessions

Note that all times are in Mountain Standard Time (UTC -7).

  8:30-10:00 AM

Opening Session: Beginning in a Good Way

Opening Prayer

Elder Dr. Francis Whiskeyjack

Welcoming Remarks

Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani AOE – Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

Chancellor Peggy Garritty – Chancellor, University of Alberta

Dr. Bill Flanagan – President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta

Dr. Steve Patten – Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta

Dr. Pierre-Yves Mocquais – Dean of Campus St-Jean, University of Alberta

Dr. Florence Glanfield – Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research), University of Alberta

Inaugural Address

Dr. Raymond Théberge – Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada

Session 1: Embarking on the Journey to a Better Multiculturalism

Dr. Karla Jessen Williamson

Inuit in Multi-cultural Canada: Shameless Democracy, Shameful Results

Rita Nandori

Nunangat in Canada: Acculturation and Inuit Identity within the Multicultural Framework

Dr. Daisy Raphael

A Voyage of Reconciliation?: Canada and the C3 Expedition

Chair: Dr. Selena Couture

Session 2: Our Collective & Tangible History(ies)

Dr. Jocelyn Létourneau

What history for which Canada? Quelle histoire pour quel Canada?

Darlene Brander

How Bison are Leading the Way for Reconciliation: The story of Wanuskewin’s bison

Umbrin Bukan

Between Multiculturalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Homogeneity: Situating Canadian Identity in the Royal Ontario Museum

Chair: Dr. Srilata Ravi

Session 3: Spaces of Negotiation

Dr. Chedly Belkhodja

La critique du multiculturalisme. Et après 50 ans?

Dr. Reza Hasmath

The Saliency of “White Privilege” in a Multicultural Society

Dr. Maureen Flaherty & Yuliia Ivaniuk

Ukrainian Canadian Newcomers’ Stories, Hopes, and Dreams: Adapting to a New Multicultural Reality

Chair: Dr. Frédéric Boily

Session 4: Intercultural Past & Present

Dr. Roman Petryshyn

Canadian Ethnocultural Communities Respond to Indigenous Governments and Nations through the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action

Chelsea Vowel

Multiculturalism Cannot Contain Multitudes: Towards a Lateral Relationality and Undoing of Settler Colonialism

Dr. Daniel Meister

Multiculturalism as/and/or Reconciliation?

Chair: Jars Balan

Session 5: The Multicultural Self in Text

Dr. Mimi Okabe

“Strangers in a Multicultural Nation”: Reclaiming Language in the Nikkei Community

Dominika Tabor

What Can Change in 50 Years? Multiculturalism in Canadian Children’s Literature

Marion Mutala

Connected Voices as Canadians

Chair: Dr. Dalbir Sehmby

4:00-5:30 PM

Literary Keynote

Myrna Kostash

All of Baba’s Children: The Sequel

Session 6: Contending with Language Practices and Policies in Canada

Dr. Eve Haque

A History of the Present: The Exclusions of Multiculturalism within Bilingualism

Dr. Robert Talbot

Negotiating Language Practices and Policies: Identity and Languages

Dr. Sathya Rao, Dr. Odile Cisneros, Dr. Ann De Leon, & Charlene Ball

Multiculturalism and the City: How Canadian Cities Manage Multilingualism

Dr. Eva Lemaire

Faire une place aux langues des Métis dans les écoles en contexte francophone minoritaire albertain: Discussions autour du/des michif(s) 

Chair: Dr. Piet Defraeye

Session 7: Reconciliation as Intention, Reconciliation as Practice

Dr. Aya Fujiwara

Reflections on Japanese-Canadian History and Reconciliation

Alexandru Caldararu

“Unsettled” Teachings: Thinking Pedagogically about Decolonized Settlement Work

Chair: Dr. Olenka Bilash

Session 8: Identity – Mending and Fraying the Canadian Fabric

Dr. Sunera Thobani

Neoliberal Multiculturalism to White Nationalism: Rethinking Canadian Racial Politics

Dr. Vic Satzewich

The Use, and Possible Abuse, of Multiculturalism: Multiculturalism, Claims Making, & the Advancement of Group Rights

Dr. Chrislain Kenfack

Hypocrisy or Marketing Strategy: Blacks’ Perspective on Canadian Multiculturalism

Chair: Dr. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen

4:00-5:30 PM

Literary Keynote

Cancelled; Event moved to January 21, 2022

9:30 AM-12:30 PM

Session 9: Special Community Roundtable

A dialogue between academics, community stakeholders, activists, and members of the interested public on

what ‘multicultural policy’ looks like on the ground of a present-day Canadian city 

how attempts in reconciliation have both failed and succeeded

how Indigenous perspectives have been excluded from the conversation, and what is being done to change it

how individuals and institutions might strive to foster genuine intercultural connections

Special message 

Amarjeet Sohi – Mayor of Edmonton


Ifeoma Chinwuba – Writer-in-Residence, University of Alberta

Dr. Angelica Quesada – Director – Research & Evaluation, John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights

Dr. Dwayne Donald – Professor, University of Alberta Faculty of Education

Karrie Auger – Acting Senior Manager, Indigenous Relations & Supports, NorQuest College

Alphonse Ndem Ahola – Executive Director, Francophonie Albertaine Plurielle

Larisa Hayduk & Maryna Chernyavska – Indigenous Ukrainian Relationship Building Initiative

Chair: Dr. Olenka Bilash

4:00 PM-5:30 PM

Literary Keynote

Our Past is Our Present

with Parliamentary Poet Laureate Dr. Louise Bernice Halfe-SkyDancer