6 Degrees Vancouver: Are You Home?

Democracy, 2017, Community Building

For refugees, immigrants, Indigenous peoples and settlers, notions of home are complex. In Canada — and particularly in unceded Coast Salish territory — questions of home, belonging, and who is welcoming whom are constantly scrutinized. Who is “home” in Canada and who is not? How do we reconcile home with place of origin? Are you home?

Canada, who some say is still becoming a country, may indeed find itself the last defender of pluralism, liberalism, and even globalization with its principles of equality and inclusion. But are these the luxuries of prosperity and geography and if so, how do we firmly fix them in our national identity? Never before in our history have our ideals and self-conceptions been so closely examined nationally and internationally.

Mon, 24 Apr 2017

8:00 a.m. (PT)

SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings St.

Six Degrees Vancouver

6 Degrees Vancouver explores the roles, responsibilities and the potential of Canada in 2017 to see whether we have our own house in order and if not, how we can shore up our foundations. It is an initiative of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and is presented in partnership with Vancity, SFU Public Square and SFU International

Find out more


The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson

26th Governor General of Canada, author of Belonging, Co-Chair, Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

John Ralston Saul 

Essayist and novelist, author of The Collapse of Globalism, Co-Chair, Institute for Canadian Citizenship.


Mohammed Alsaleh 

Refugee Resettlement Counsellor, Immigrant Services Society of BC.

David Arnot

Chief Commissioner, Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.

Rima Berns-McGown

Strategic thinker, change-maker, writer, respected and award-winning researcher.

Nadine Caron

First female First Nations general surgeon, mother.

Natalie Chapdelaine

Innoweave Manager, Québec and Francophone Communities, J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.

Ivan E. Coyote

Renowned writer, performer, and advocate.

Max Fineday

Co-Executive Director, Canadian Roots Exchange.

Ginger Gosnell-Myers

Urban planner, Nisga’a and Kwakwak'awakw.

Nelofer Pazira

Award-winning journalist, filmmaker, and human rights activist.

Sirish Rao

Festival producer, writer, and cultural curator.

Program and Videos

9:15–10:45am | ​​360: Feeling at Home

Home suggests more than a physical space. It evokes belonging, shelter, acceptance, and sanctuary. But what makes any human feel “at home”? Canada houses first peoples and settlers, but is residency a guarantor of belonging? How do we embrace and respect different understandings of space and territory, and profound ties to other places and cultures, as we continue to co-create our forever unfinished nation? What are the cultural connectors that enable people to feel they belong in this vast place? Who is “home” and who is not?

2:00–3:30pm - 360: Being at Home

Inclusion is deeper and harder to achieve than diversity. Are Canadian institutions drivers of an inclusive society, or are they establishments promoting pre-formulated values and agendas? How have structures and systems shaped the Canadian model? Have our policies served everyone fairly?

The popular narrative frames Canada as a sanctuary of equality. Is this the case? Has it ever been? How do we collectively recognize and address our shortcomings, while strengthening the structures necessary to nurture genuine inclusion?