2008: Saturday Workshops

Here is a final list of the workshops / panels we have lined up for the Saturday sessions:


  • Opening Ceremony, featuring Dr. William Commanda

Ateliers en Francais:

  • 10:30 – L’Audisme et la Dénonciation de ses Racines Colonialistes
  • 12:00 – Une Organisation Effective à l’aide de Technologie Créative
  • 14:30 – Qu’est ce qu’une société? Et comment peut ton la changer? (Premières étapes)


  • Organizational Approach to Anti-Oppression
  • Circle of All Nations, Culture of Peace
  • Healthy Activism and Preventing Burnout
  • Panel on Economic Justice: Local Anti-Poverty Organizing


  • Effective meetings & Consensus Decision Making
  • Panel on Environmental Justice
  • Survivor-directed, Survivor-positive Activism (*** for self-identified People of Colour only: includes indigenous, racialized, and mixed race peoples ***)
  • The Anarchist Organization and Popular Struggles
  • Israeli Apartheid 101

1:30-2:30pm: Lunch Break


  • Accountability to Anti-Oppression Mandates
  • Labour Organizing
  • Panel on Justice For Indigenous Peoples
  • Best Practices and Challenges for Engaging People in Issues
  • Motivation for Activism

4:10-5:00pm: Open Space / Break-Out Groups

  • [These will be determined by conference participants on the day of]


Workshops: 10:30 to 11:50am

L’Audisme et la Dénonciation de ses Racines Colonialistes

[Atelier présenté en français et Langue des signes québécoise]
L’invitée explorera les pratiques audistes (oppressantes envers les personnes sourdes) du contexte néo-liberal et fera la connection entre ces pratiques et l’impérialisme du contexte politique, tout en dévoilant la realité culturelle et linguistique de cette population. Des suggestions de pratiques émancipatoires seront explorées, suivi d’un examen de l’importance de l’émancipation des communautés sourdes pour le mouvement élargi de la justice sociale.
Animatrice: Vivant une surdité depuis la petite enfance, Geneviève Deguire découvrit les langues signées et les communautés sourdes à la fin de l’adolescence, ce qui transforma radicalement son style de vie et ses ambitions. Elle gradua de Rochester où elle reçu sa formation de bac. en travail social en ASL. À present, Geneviève cherche à contribuer au mouvement élargi de justice sociale en se spécialisant dans les pratiques anti-oppression spécifiques à la surdité. gdeguire@adoo.ca, www.adoo.ca

Healthy/Sustainable Activism and Preventing Burnout:
What does it mean to be a ’sustainable activist’? What are the consequences of not doing activism sustainably? What is burn out, and how can you prevent it? How does one heal from burn out? What is mental health?
Presenter: Angela Bischoff has breathed activism for 20 years. Her partner burned out and paid the ultimate consequence. Hear her story and share your own in this interactive workshop of mental health and healing. www.greenspiration.org, greenspi@web.ca

A Circle of All Nations, A Culture of Peace
The Circle of All Nations is a global eco-community focused on advancing Indigenous wisdom, environmental stewardship, social justice, racial harmony and peace building. The presentation focuses on a reexamination of Aboriginal history, and an exploration of Aboriginal traditional knowledge, ideology, wisdom and values and their crucial relevance to the human and environmental challenges of our time. It explores practical ideas for individual and community development and also presents the inclusive vision for Asinabka and the Indigenous Centre at Victoria Island, within the heart of the Nation’s Capital.
Presenter: Romola Vasantha Thumbadoo is the volunteer coordinator of the Circle of All Nations. She is the author of several books on the work of ninety four year old Algonquin Elder Dr. William Commanda. She has worked extensively within the criminal justice system (federal corrections, Aboriginal justice and restorative justice) for over 25 years. circleofallnations@sympatico.ca, www.web.mac.com/circleofallnations

Panel on Economic Justice / Local Anti-Poverty Organizing
Jane Scharf is a longtime Ottawa anti-poverty organizer. She was part of the tent city that was set up to protest poverty and homelessness several years ago. Since then she has been a part of numerous anti-poverty initiatives, as well as running for mayor.
Andrew Nellis is an organizer of the Panhandler’s Union, which is affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World, a small international industrial union. He has also been involved in Ottawa’s Copwatch program, which aims to reduce and record police violence against vulnerable people, especially the poor and homeless.
● Representative from ACORN, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (Canada): 613-746-5999, www.acorncanada.org
● Other panelist TBA?

Organizational Approach to Anti-Oppression

Facilitated discussion among community organizers and activists about putting into practice anti-oppression analysis in organizational structures and organizing efforts. Topics will include outreach and networking, hiring practices, volunteer work and policies, and ways to check your organizational practices. This workshop does make the assumption that participants have had some knowledge and discussion about power, privilege and oppression, either through their personal work and experiences or through organizational activism work and education, but we do believe that continuous discussions about power and privilege need to happen within organisations.
Facilitators: Indri Pasaribu has facilitated anti-oppression workshops for many years for such organisations as United Nations Associations of Canada, Canadian Research Institute for Advancement of Women, and Sierra Youth Coalition. She is currently organising a conference on Environmental Justice and Anti-Racism for environmental organisations in Nova Scotia. Monika Thakker is the queer outreach coordinator of the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa and a support worker at a community centre for economically and socially marginalized people in Lowertown. She has also facilitated anti-oppression workshops with Indri Pasaribu.

Workshops: 12:00 to 1:30pm

Une Organisation Effective à l’aide de Technologie Créative
Êtes-vous familier avec les outils du Web 2.0 – Flickr, YouTube, Facebook – mais vous aimeriez savoir davantage comment les utiliser dans vos projets d’activisme? L’atelier sera présenté par le projet Liaisons Locales Canada de TakingITGlobal. Venez apprendre comment utiliser les ressources offerts à l’internet afin de mieux organiser des campagnes d’activisme et d’engager d’autres à votre cause.
Animatrice: Lynne Lessard est une étudiante en Développment International et Mondialisation à l’Université d’Ottawa. Comme Coordinatrice de l’Engagement des Jeunes, elle présente des ateliers et forums ouverts au sujet d’une variété de questions globales et comment utiliser les ressources de l’internet afin de s’inspirer, s’informer et s’engager. lynne.lessard@gmail.com, www.takingitglobal.org

Effective Meetings & Consensus Decision Making

How to have productive & well-attended meetings where all can share their ideas and contribute their skills.
Presenter: Ronda Brook is the Action Groups & Community Relations Coordinator at OPIRG/GRIPO-Ottawa. She has always been an activist on a wide range of topics including environmental protection, women’s rights, justice for Canada’s First Nations and opposing the recent corporate empowerment (free trade) agreements. Ronda believes that the most important task we all face is to ensure the redistribution of the world’s wealth and decision-making power, and that there are many ways to help with this.

Panel on Environmental Justice
Ben Powless is a Mohawk student, studying Human Rights, Indigenous Studies and Environmental Studies at Carleton University. He was a founder of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition and works with the Indigenous Environmental Network. He has attended Native and international meetings about climate change and climate justice, including the UN Climate Change Conference in 2008 in Bali. powless@gmail.com, www.ienearth.org, www.ourclimate.ca
Bob Thomson: During 3 years in Paris while facilitating an international environmental network, Bob came across the literature and some of the actors in the European degrowth and voluntary simplicity movement. Following on his international solidarity work with Canadian NGOs, the fair trade movement, Ottawa’s Witness Group, co-operative housing and other pursuits, he is now working on an English language web portal to stimulate discussion of degrowth as an alternative to sustainable “development”. bthomson@web.ca, www.web.ca/~bthomson/Decroissance_Index.html
Graham Saul: is the Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada, a coalition of more than 50 organizations from across the country working together to promote government action to address climate change. Graham is also the Chair of Ecology Ottawa, a grassroots environmental organization working to promote environment leadership in the City of Ottawa and hold city council accountable for its environmental performance. www.ecologyottawa.ca, www.climateactionnetwork.ca

Survivor Directed Survivor Positive Activism
*** for People of Colour only (includes indigenous, racialized, and mixed race peoples) ***
This workshop is a discussion about the barriers and difficulties we, as people of colour and indigenous peoples, face in organising with activist groups in Ottawa. Even though many social justice and activist groups have a clear anti-oppression mandate, we face racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia within these groups that often goes unnoticed and unchecked by others. We face the burden of bringing to attention others’ power and privilege while our realities of everyday oppression are not validated. This discussion is for people of colour only so to create a safe space where we can share our experiences and discuss ways to heal and fight back.
Facilitator: Monika Thakker is the queer outreach coordinator of the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa and a support worker at a community centre for economically and socially marginalized people in Lowertown.

The Anarchist Organization and Popular Struggles
Organized anarchism is currently experiencing significant growth with new organizations and projects emerging across the continent and beyond. Many of these organizations have set out to “build a popular anarchism” supported by thousands of people and rooted in communities in struggle. Alex Dicano will describe the ideas behind “popular anarchism” focusing on what it means for the role of anarchist organizations within popular struggles. Discussion to follow.
Presenter: Alex Dicano is a member of Common Cause, an Ontario-based anarchist organization with branches in Ottawa, Hamilton and Toronto. He is also active in workers’ struggles in the education industry and a member of both the Industrial Workers of the World and the Canadian Union of Public Employees. commoncauseontario@gmail.com, www.linchpin.ca

Israeli Apartheid 101
Israel has officially launched a public relations campaign to “Rebrand” its image, and is piloting this campaign on Canadian soil. The image Israel wants the world to see is at odds with the daily reality faced by millions of Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid. This session will look at the various structures of Israeli apartheid in comparison with the UN Convention on the Crime of Apartheid. This workshop will also introduce tangible actions to take up in support of the global movement for Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid. This Palestinian-led movement follows in the tradition of the South-African anti-apartheid movement, and is horrifying pro-Israel apologists for its uncompromisingly anti-Zionist politics and significant successes.
Presenter: Ben Saifer is a graduate student at Carleton University and a founding member of Students Against Israeli Apartheid@Carleton. Ben has been active in the BDS movement against Israeli apartheid for quite some time. Ben spent the summer in Palestine/Israel, connecting with activists on the ground.
saia.carleton@gmail.com, nion.ottawa@gmail.com

Workshops: 2:30 to 4:00pm

Qu’est ce qu’une société? Comment peut-on la changer? (Premières étapes)
Présentation visant expliquer ce qu’est une société et comment la changer afin de passer à une société axée sur les droits et libertés de l’individu vers une société axée sur un équilibre entre les droits et libertés du citoyen et l’obligation du citoyen de contribuer au bon fonctionnement de la collectivité et au mieux-être de ses concitoyens. Il y aura une période de questions et d’échanges à la fin.
Animateur: Denis Pageau, travaille au développement d’une communauté de pratiques de citoyens depuis plus de trois ans (www.sijetais.ca) et en ce sens à dû répondre aux questions suivantes : Qu’est-ce qu’une société? Qu’est qu’un citoyen? Pour ce faire, il a fait appel à ses connaissances en psychologie, en sociologie, en politique et en gestion.

Motivation for Activism
On the root of motivation in learning and in activism. The importance of personal rebellion and of identifying and fighting one’s own oppression. Based on the ideas of Paulo Freire and others, with examples from the U of O campus fight for anarchy.
Presenters: Denis G. Rancourt is a physics professor and environmental science researcher at the University of Ottawa, and an activist, anarchist, and critical pedagogue. www.science.uottawa.ca/~dgr/
Marc Kelly is a physics student at the University of Ottawa and an anarchist activist. www.uofovoice.blogspot.com

Accountability to Anti-Oppression Mandate
Given that oppression is pervasive throughout society, it is inevitable that it will play out within your activist groups and organizing efforts. This workshop is a facilitated discussion about accountability processes. Emphasis will be placed upon collective accountability and tools to make accountability processes more inclusive.
Facilitators: Indri Pasaribu has facilitated anti-oppression workshops for many years for such organizations as United Nations Associations of Canada, Canadian Research Institute for Advancement of Women, and Sierra Youth Coalition. She is currently organizing a conference on Environmental Justice and Anti-Racism for environmental organizations in Nova Scotia. Monika Thakker is the queer outreach coordinator of the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa and a support worker at a community centre for economically and socially marginalized people in Lowertown. She has also facilitated anti-oppression workshops with Indri Pasaribu.

Labour Organizing
Two organizers from Local 261 of Unite Here (Hospitality and Service Trade Union) will lead a participatory workshop on how to have a successful organizing conversation, often an under-appreciated tool for building a strong movement for justice. They will also briefly explain today’s labour movement and different styles of organizing.
Facilitators: Ashley Hardy, ashley.hardy@gmail.com www.local261.org

Panel on Justice For Indigenous Peoples

This panel will include speakers from the Ardoch Algonquin, the Barriere Lake Algonquin and the Aboriginal Students’ Council at Carleton University. Facilitated by the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement of Ottawa (IPSMO) www.ipsmo.wordpress.com
Mireille Lapointe is a Co-chief of the Ardoch Algonquin. The Ardoch Algonquin First Nation is a confederation of Algonquin families who have lived in the Ottawa’ River watershed since time immemorial and who are currently situated in the area described by the Mississippi, Madawaska, Rideau, and Tay watersheds. For the past 2 years that have been fighting against a proposed uranium mine on their territory.
Marylynn Poucachice is a youth community spokesperson for the Barriere Lake Algonquins. The Barriere Lake Algonquin live on a small, 59 acre reserve about an hour and a half north of Maniwaki, Quebec. Recently they have been re-fighting government interference in their customary leadership selection and for the honouring of signed agreements with the Federal and Provincial governments, such as their Trilateral agreement.
Kanatase Horn is a member of the Aboriginal Students’ Council at Carleton University. He will be speaking about the Students’ Council and the initiatives that they are currently working on at Carleton University.

Best Practices and Challenges for Engaging People in Issues
An interactive workshop where we will explore various challenges faced when engaging people in a variety of social justice and equity issues. A small presentation will be followed up by group interaction as we explore various real scenarios that arise. We will collectively summarize a series of best practices that should help people during their respective organizing.
Facilitator: Federico Carvajal is a long-time grass-roots organizer in the student movement. He currently represents graduate students as the External Commissioner of Local 94 of the Canadian Federation. Since his beginning as an antiwar activist, he has been involved in numerous campaigns and various antiwar and anti-capitalist collectives in the Ottawa region. external@gsaed.ca

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1 comment

  1. Jonathan Desbiens says:

    Ouais c’est encourage pour des sourds ( Deaf )