About The Project



This project offers newcomers (recent immigrants & refugees) to lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territories in the Capital Regional District opportunities to learn about local Indigenous protocols, histories, and initiatives. Through the month of September, 2021, the Being Here & Being Together roundtable series provided space to reflect on the responsibilities resettlement and community-building comes with on unceded territories. Through guided conversations with local Indigenous and BIPOC community leaders, this series of roundtables explored land acknowledgements, reconciliation, and community building. Recordings of these discussions have been made available here for continued learning. 




This project builds on the conversations that emerged from two local dialogues. First, the Canadian Council for Refugees 2019 Spring Consultation, Roots: Reconciling the Global with the Local. Second, the city of Victoria’s third Reconciliation Dialogue, “Newcomers to Canada and Reconciliation,” facilitated by Sharmarke Dubow and Carey Newman. Members of UVic WUSC provided additional insights and directions for the development of a Participatory Budgeting proposal submitted to the City of Victoria and residents in the Summer of 2020. 

The organizing committee is grateful for the support of Victoria’s residents who voted to fund this small project alongside six other incredible initiatives to support newcomers

The full project report, as submitted to the city, is available by clicking here

Organizing Committee 


Julianna Nielsen:

Julianna is an MA Student in the Department of Political Science at UVic with research interests in humanitarian migration, border policy, and the politics of memory. Before coming to live and study on Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ lands, she grew up in the village of Gold River on Mowachaht/Muchalaht territories. Inspired by the City of Victoria’s reconciliation dialogues, she is excited to be involved with the Being Here & Being Together project and comes to this work with mixed settler, Métis, Cree and Ojibwe ancestry, acknowledging disconnection from her mother’s birth family and communities.

Tuqa Al-Musawi: 

Hello, I am Tuqa Al-Musawi, I am originally from Iraq, I came to UVic through WUSC in 2018,  I am in my third year as a student of Chemistry for Medical Science. I am also the general coordinator for the UVic WUSC club at the University of Victoria.

Tabarek Al-Musawi

Tabarek is a second year Mathematics student and the University of Victoria. 

Jonathan Nash: 

Jonathan is a PhD candidate of English at the University of Victoria, whose research investigates how refugees utilize a multitude of storytelling mediums to express their experiences and to tell their stories. He is humbled and grateful to learn and teach in this place of the Lək̓ʷəŋən and WS’ANEC’ speaking peoples. As a settler of European background who is not invited to this beautiful and vital place, he believes it is necessary to share in and support opportunities for truth telling and affirming Indigenous resurgence here in this place and globally. You can learn more about his work here.

Rob Black: 

Rob is currently working towards a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Victoria, with a focus on environmental education. He was involved with WUSC during his undergraduate degree, and as a result of the strong friendships that formed through WUSC there, joined the UVic team to continue supporting an inclusive community and helping newcomers to Canada feel welcomed.




We are grateful to our our speakers who have graciously shared their knowledges about this place and their time to make this project happen. (Click to learn more about our speakers)

We are grateful to receive funding for ‘Being Here & Being Together’ through the City of Victoria and the Participatory Budgeting to support our program. We are incredibly thrilled that the community members of the capital regional district selected this project to receive this funding our of 26 outstanding applications. (Click to read more about this program here).

Thank you to the members of the UVic WUSC community for initiating this project, your continued feedback, and your energy. (Click to learn more about UVic WUSC)

Thank you to the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria for your generous feedback and encouragement of this project. (Click to learn more about ICA)

Special thanks to the following members of our community for their mentorship, contributions, feedback, and inspiration at every step of the way: Liz Bean, Clint Kuzio, Tanya Clarmont, Steven Baileys, Myung Lee, Dr. Moussa Magassa, Gerry Ambers, Florence Dick, Shazia, Rebecca Hass, Diane Sam, Jennifer Komorowski, Wil Patrick, and our extended relations.