All Posts By

Camille Dumond

Blog: Exploring Refugee Settlement on Unceded Lands

By | Fellows | No Comments

The Refugee Livelihood Lab recognizes that the process of refugee communities settling and building livelihoods, occurs in relationship to the unceded, ancestral lands and peoples of the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen First Nations. Unceded means that the territories have never been formally relinquished through treaty.

We are committed to grounding the lab, and it’s social business development aspects, in an ongoing learning process of the systemic experiences of colonization, displacement, assimilation, and struggle for self-determination that affects First Nations and refugee communities in different and overlapping ways.

We will explore the tensions and dilemmas of settling and making a livelihood on unceded lands, asking “what if we could support the wellbeing of all people without replicating and furthering the ongoing harms of colonization?”

Our first stop? Decolonizing Practices for Organizations with Michelle and Marissa Nahanee this July.  Join us there!

Applications are NOW OPEN for Beyond Borders, the central program of RADIUS’ Refugee Livelihood Lab. Learn more here.

To understand more about the relationship between the experiences of Indigenous and refugee communities check out the film screened at our launch:

UPROOTED, by Sepidah Yadegar, featuring Valeen Jules and Yas Pian

Produced by Access to Media Education Society

How does the Refugee Livelihood Lab respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action around Business?

In 2015, the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its report with 94 recommendations. The TRC engaged Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation. The report released in 2015 made a ‘Call to Action’ to specific audiences.

Recommendation #92 asks the corporate sector and their leadership to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The commission calls for meaningful consultation, long term sustainable opportunities from economic development projects as well as education and training for managers on the history of Indigenous people, intercultural competency, human rights and anti-racism.

To respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action on a practical level, we will seek opportunities to connect solutions and economic ventures with the All Our Relations strategy of the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee, and RADIUS/SFU’s First People’s Lab,  as well as engage lab staff, volunteers and Beyond Borders members in learning, self-responsibility and dialogue processes that unpack what it really means to decolonize the lab.

Beyond Borders Applications NOW OPEN

By | RADIUS Lab, Refugee Livelihood Lab | No Comments

Applications for Beyond Borders, the core program of RADIUS’ Refugee Livelihood Lab, are OFFICIALLY OPEN!

Click here to apply for the 2018/19 Beyond Borders program!

What is Beyond Borders?

Beyond Borders is an applied learning experience of 11 full days over the course of five months for change-makers, new and experienced leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who are passionate about breaking through boundaries to create practical solutions for refugee livelihoods. Participants will radically reimagine  what is possible, designing social businesses or projects that enhance refugee communities’ social and economic inclusion in Surrey, BC. The underlying question participants are working to answer is this: how might we go Beyond Borders in current approaches to co-create pathways by which refugee communities can move from survival to meaningful livelihoods?

Who should apply?

We invite people with different experiences and perspectives to apply, including people with lived experience as refugees and other racialized newcomers who are: leaders; entrepreneurs; academics; students; settlement workers (both frontline and/or management); advocates; policy makers; employers and business service leaders; and others who see refugee economic and social inclusion as central to their work.

Is Beyond Borders for you?

Can you answer YES to these questions?

  • Do you have a passion for addressing challenges such as credential recognition, English language barriers, discrimination, poverty and social/economic exclusion of refugee communities?
  • Do you have ideas about refugee communities’ social/economic inclusion that you want to put in action but have not yet found a way?
  • Do you believe in the value of collaboration with the people most affected by these issues AND people with access to institutional power?
  • Are you willing to invest in your personal leadership and growth?
  • Are you able to commit a minimum of 11 days over five months to this process? (scholarships and income replacement are available as needed)

What will participants do?

Participants will receive support and training in systems thinking, user-centred design, ideation and prototyping in order to co-create new ventures. Together we will:

  • Critically Map the existing system, sensing and exploring with new tools, new eyes
  • Re-imagine refugee social and economic inclusion in Surrey beyond survival, transforming limiting structures towards a life of meaning
  • Break down boundaries between people with access to institutional power and people with the power of lived experience being a refugee
  • Address challenges which may include credential recognition, poverty, trauma, English acquisition, transportation, reactive funding cycles & systemic discrimination
  • Draw on opportunities including a growing refugee youth population who believe they can make a difference, cultural pride and identity, existing skills, desire to contribute, and expanding markets in Surrey.
  • Go beyond what is known, cope with the uncertainty, let wise solutions emerge, and then act fast to put practical initiatives on the ground

Why join?

  • Build your networks and transformative learning with a powerful group of people.
  • Develop project designs and business models which will provide deeper insight to the current problems and solutions.
  • Engage with organizational leaders, communities and policy makers who want to affect systemic change.
  • Actively lead and contribute to an area of personal passion.

Program commitment

The total commitment for the Beyond Borders program is 11 days between September and January. Beginning in March, participants will have an opportunity to extend their work to further develop and test social ventures developed in Beyond Borders.

Retreat dates are:

September 16-18
October 4-5
November 1-2
December 6-7
January 17th-18th
March-June 3 hours/week (optional) – to be announced.

Beyond Borders will be facilitated in English with interpretation supports as required. There will be a participation fee for those who have institutional support, and a scholarship program available.