Keynote speakers
Alanis Obomsawin
(Film-maker)
Abenaki People From Where The Sun Rises

Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh
(Centennial Professor, Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the LSE)
Fostering common belonging in multi-ethnic societies

Professor Marie McAndrew
(Chair in Ethnic Relations, University of Montreal)
Quebec’s immigration and integration policy: a critical assessment

Professor Itesh Sachdev
(President, BACS)
To be or not to be an ‘Indian’:
some identity and language data from Canada and Bolivia

Marie Mc Andrew is a full professor in the Department of Administration and Educational Foundations at the University of Montreal. Her Doctorate is in Comparative Education and Educational Foundations. She specializes in the education of minorities and intercultural education. She has worked extensively in research and policy development and evaluation in this field. From 1989 to 1991, as an advisor to the deputy-minister’s cabinet of the Quebec Ministère des Communautés culturelles et de l’Immigration, she has been closely associated to the development and dissemination of the Policy Statement on immigration and integration Let’s build Quebec together.

From 1996 to 2002, she was the Director of Immigration and Metropolis, the Inter-university Research Centre of Montreal on Immigration, Integration and Urban Dynamics, one of four centres created in 1996 by the Social Sciences Research Council of Canada (SSRCC) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in the framework of their joint initiative to foster the development of research and policy related to immigration. The Centre is a network of over 60 researchers who have been carrying out, in the last 5 years, more than a hundred research projects focusing on policy issues.

Dr. McAndrew also co-ordinates the Research Group on Ethnicity and Adaptation to Pluralism in Education (Groupe de recherche sur l’ethnicité et l’adaptation au pluralisme en éducation - GREAPE).  This is an interdisciplinary research team which works in partnership with the Ministère de l'Éducation (MEQ), the Ministère des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration  (MRCI) as well as a number of School Boards on the Island of Montreal.  The GREAPE team, building on the experience of studies carried out in Canada and in other societies, critically examines various issues such as the school integration of immigrants, the adaptation of Quebec's French-language educational system to diversity and citizenship education. Presenting an original synthesis of the studies conducted by the group since 1992, her most recent book « Immigration et diversité à l’école : le cas québécois dans une perspective comparative » (Immigration and diversity in school : the québécois case in a comparative perspective) won the Donner prize 2001 attributed to the best book on Canadian public policy. She holds the Chair for Ethnic Relations since June 1st 2003. Finally, in June 2005, she received the Prix québécois de la citoyenneté Jacques-Couture pour le rapprochement interculturel.

 

Alanis Obomsawin, a member of the Abenaki Nation, is one of Canada’s most distinguished documentary filmmakers. Her latest National Film Board production, the short drama Sigwan, follows a young girl who is aided by the animals of the forest.

In 2003, Ms Obomsawin completed her documentary Our Nationhood, chronicling the determination and tenacity of the Listuguj Mi'gmaq people to use and manage the natural resources of their traditional lands. The Mi’gmaq of Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church), New Brunswick were the subject of her 2002 documentary, Is the Crown at war with us?, a powerful and painstakingly researched look at the conflict over fishing rights.

For over 30 years, Ms Obomsawin has directed documentaries at the NFB with strong social content, inspired by the desire to let the voices of her people be heard. Her credits include Incident at Restigouche (1984), a powerful depiction of the Quebec police raid of a Micmac reserve; Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child (1986), the disturbing examination of an adolescent suicide, No Address (1988), a look at Montreal’s homeless; and Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993), a feature-length film documenting the 1990 Mohawk uprising in Kanehsatake and Oka, which has won 18 international awards. 

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Ms Obomsawin’s many honours include the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, the Toronto Women in Film and Television’s (TWIFT) Outstanding Achievement Award in Direction, the Canadian Native Arts Foundation National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and the Outstanding Contributions Award from the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association (CSAA).

 

Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh is the Centennial Professor in the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the LSE and emeritus professor of political theory at the University of Hull, has held visiting professorships at the universities of British Columbia, Concordia, McGill, Harvard, Pompeau Febra, Pennsylvania and the Institute of Advanced Studies in Vienna. He was vice-chancellor of the University of Baroda from 1981-84.

A frequent broadcaster on radio and TV, he has written for the national press on race relations and political events in Britain. He was chair of the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, whose report was published in October 2000. Professor Parekh was elected British Asian of the Year in 1992, was awarded the BBC's prestigious Special Lifetime Achievement Award for Asians in November 1999 and was appointed to the House of Lords in March 2000.

His many books include: Hannah Arendt and the Search for a New Political Philosophy (1981), Marx's Theory of Ideology (1982), and, most recently, Rethinking Multiculturalism (2000) and Gandhi (2001).