Local to Global – Reimagining International Education to Align with DRI and JEDI Initiatives

BCCIE has long supported the development of intercultural capacities as foundational to the increasing cultural diversity on our campuses. Since the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action in 2015, BCCIE has expanded their efforts to support institutions commitments to meaningful reconciliation. At the same time many institutions have also dedicated resources to the establishment of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) principles. In British Columbia many colleges and universities are developing strategic plans for international education. As we consider these strategies, it will be important to explore how we might align more intentionally with decolonization, reconciliation, and indigenization (DRI) efforts, as well as, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) initiatives.


With the support of the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, BCCIE is organizing regional workshops that will bring together local band members and elders, community members and international educators to explore these conversations at a local level. Through dialogue and learning activities, participants will consider how, where, and whether international education can be reimagined to align with these other institutional imperatives.


This event is intended for regional institutions located on the territory of the Syilx, Secwépemc, and Nlaka'pamux peoples - also known as the Thompson-Okanagan region. Registration for international office staff from institutions in these territories is limited. BCCIE reserves the right to cancel your registration if you are from an institution that is outside of the territories listed above. If you register and can no longer attend, please inform us as soon as possible so we may reallocate your spot.

Details for the workshop being hosted at Thompson Rivers University

Date: March 24, 2023

Time: 9:00 am - 3:30 pm (Doors open at 8:30am - please arrive early to get checked-in and collect your nametag)

Location: Panorama Room, 905 University Drive, Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

Registration Deadline: March 21, 2023

Laura Grizzlypaws was born and raised in Lillooet, British Columbia in the Interior Plateau region, she is of St’át’imc descent. Her ancestral name is "Stálhalamcen – Grizzly Paws," She belongs to the people of Nxwísten the Bear Clan. The experiences in her education provided her with knowledge and skills with a focus on providing her recipients with the highest quality of cultural education based on the values and needs of the community while meeting the deliverables of the organization or project goals. Grizzlypaws currently works at Thompson Rivers University as the Educational Developer, Indigenous Teaching and Learning to support the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action in improving education attainment levels and success rates. Developing Culturally appropriate curricula and to provide support and facilitate change and growth in teaching and learning environment. Her education background consists of a Master of Education in Education Foundation Land Based Education (2011); Bachelor of General Studies Degree Double Minor Linguistics & First Nation Studies (2007); Bachelor of Education Degree in Curriculum Development & Instruction (2007); Professional Development Teaching Certificate (2006); Language Proficiency Certificate (2003); Counselling & Wellness Certificate (2003). Grizzlypaws was also granted a Language Heroes award for the British Columbia Salishan language family. Her educational accomplishments were made possible through the balance of traditional and spiritual practices of her St’át’imc cultural heritage. Followed by her academic credentials Grizzlypaws was recognized through the Indigenous Music Awards (2019) and awarded for the category “Best Hand Drum Music” for her album debut “Come Home”. Her latest album “Muzmit.stumc” (2019) was dedicated to language revitalization through prayer songs. Grizzlypaws was inducted into the Wall of Fame at the University of Saskatchewan Alumini (2020) for her athletic achievements and the recognition of the Indigenous work she offers globally.  She recently published her first paperback children’s book titled “Sulyálesta” (2022); and currently studying at Simon Fraser University in her Doctor of Education Leadership Studies.

Dr. Kyra Garson has worked as the Intercultural Coordinator at Thompson Rivers University for over a decade.  Kyra has provided hundreds of professional development workshops for higher education provincially, nationally, and internationally with a focus on enhancing intercultural understanding, inclusive pedagogies, and equity literacy. Her research interests include critical pedagogies, multicultural group work and critical internationalization studies. She has edited and published numerous special issues, chapters, and papers related internationalization, intercultural understanding, and critical perspectives in education.  Kyra’s doctoral study entitled “Are we graduating Global Citizens?” received the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education’s dissertation of the year award in 2014. In 2011, the Canadian Bureau for International Education selected her to receive the Internationalization Award for her work with faculty to intercuturalize the curriculum. In 2017, she was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award by the British Columbia Council for International Education. In 2020 she was recognized by her TRU peers with the Excellence in Interculturalization Award.

DeDe was BC's first Superintendent of Aboriginal Achievement and is a prominent advocate for Indigenous education and student success.  Born in Williams Lake to a Secwepemc family DeDe is a member of the Esketemec First Nation.  DeRose graduated from UBC's Indigenous Teacher's Education Program (NITEP) with a Bachelor Degree, Diploma in Education and Ts"kel Master's Degree. DeDe taught in Williams Lake for 9 years before moving to Kamloops to finish her career as an elementary school principal and raise her sons. DeRose, while working in public schools, was seconded to the Ministry of Education twice and was appointed part time to the BC College of Teachers for 8 years as the first Indigenous Councilor.  She was actively involved as the Chair and Co-Chair of the NITEP at UBC for over 20 years;  served on several committees for the BC Principals' and Vice Principals' Association; and Chaired the First Nations Education Steering Committee.  In her retirement, she continues to serve on the President's Advisory Committee at UBC;  is a school district auditor with the Ministry of Education;  is the secretary and Communications Chairperson for the Verna J Kirkness Foundation; and recently joined the board for the Phoenix Center. DeDe was given the traditional Secwepemc name "Tse7ekw te Spi7uw" (Sunrise Golden Eagle) and is a proud Kye7e to seven wonderful grandchildren.  Since retiring in 2015 her interests include hiking, downhill skiing with her family, yoga, playing golf and travelling with her husband, Allan, and horseback riding on her bay gelding, Heart.

For more information and to register for the workshop being hosted at Vancouver Island University, please click here.