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Download the full program in English here


Location and Schedule: 

Friday, November 7th – Hall Building, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd
5:30pm – Registration opens – come register and mingle!
7pm-9pm – Keynote event, Room H110

Saturday, November 8th –  University Centre (Shatner Building), McGill University, 3600 rue McTavish
9am - 9:45 am – Convergence Opening
9:45 – 11:15am – Panel/Workshop #1
11:30am – 12:45pm – Workshop #2
12:45pm – 1:45pm – Lunch (provided)
1:45pm – 3:30pm – Workshop #3
3:30 – 4:15pm – Afternoon break and Mentorship Meet-Ups
4:15 – 5:30pm – Workshop #4
5:30 – 6:15pm – Closing Session
6:30 – 8:00pm – Dinner (on your own)
8:00 – 9:00pm – Building Connections for Divestment Organizers (optional)
9:00pm – midnight – Party and social event

Sunday, November 9th - Hall Building, 7th floor, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd
8:45 am - 9:30 am – Breakfast provided
9:30 am – 2:00 pm -  Breakout groups, open space, and planning sessions (Small lunch will be provided during this time)
2:00 pm onward – Art Build (Hive Café, 2nd floor of Hall Building) 

Horaire de la Convergence:

Vendredi 7 novembre – Bâtiment Hall, Université Concordia, 1455 boulevard de Maisonneuve
17 h 30 – Début des inscriptions – venez vous inscrire et vous mêler aux participants!
19 h à 21 h – Discours d’ouverture, salle H110

Samedi 8 novembre – Centre universitaire (Bâtiment Shatner), Université McGill, 3600 rue McTavish
9 h à 9 h 45 – Ouverture de la conférence
9 h 45 à 11 h 15 – Panel/Atelier no1
11 h 30 à 12 h 45 – Atelier no 2
12 h 45 à 13 h 45 – Dîner (inclus)
13 h 45 à 14 h 30 – Atelier no 3
15 h 30 à 16 h 15 – Pause de l’après-midi et conversations de mentorat pair à pair
16 h 15 à 17 h 30 – Atelier no 4
17 h 30 à 18 h 15 – Séance de clôture
18 h 30 à 20 h – Souper (individuel)
20 h à 21 h – Tisser des liens pour les organisateurs de désinvestissement (facultatif)
21 h à minuit – Fête et événement social

Dimanche, 9 novembre:
Association Étudiante de l’Université Concordia (CSU), 7e étage du pavillon Hall, Université Concordia
            9h00-14h00: Session de planification et groupes de travail pour planifier nos     prochaines étapes et aller de l’avant
            14h00-18h00: Espace créatif et créations artistiques (optionnel) 

Keynotes//Discours liminaire 

Live English-French translation will be provided for all keynotes. De la traduction simultanée sera offerte pour tous les conférenciers.  

Crystal Lameman 
Member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Treaty No. 6
Sierra Club Prairie Chapter, Climate & Energy Campaigner 

Crystal est membre de la nation Crie de Beaver Lake et de la Campagne pour l’Énergie et le Climat par Sierra Club Canada. Elle lutte contre l’exploitation des sables bitumineux tout en s’adressant le racisme environnemental que le Gouvernement du Canada impose aux Premières Nations au nom de l’extraction des ressources. 

Crystal feels it is her obligation as a mother to protect her land, water and culture for her children and future generations.  Currently, Crystal is the Climate and Energy Campaigner for Sierra Club Canada and is a fellow of the Indigenous Environmental Network. She utilizes her formal academia – Two University Degrees; but above all her Indigenous ways of knowing and being to articulate the impacts of the direct exploitation of the tar sands. Whilst addressing the environmental racism the Government of Canada imposes on First Nations people in the name of resource extraction.

“We have come to a point where we have no choice left but to lift up our inherent treaty rights – our birthrights. The Crown and this Government do not get to pick the pieces of their law it likes and which one’s it does not, they made their laws thus they have to abide by them. As First Nations people, we abide by natural law, and there is nothing natural about a people dying from cancer and suffering from respiratory illnesses” she exclaims.

Although the Beaver Lake Cree’s rights to hunt and fish for all time are enshrined in Treaty 6, their land is being usurped by the tar sands industry, which destroys the very habitat of the animals and fish they depend on and when those ecosystems are being affected, the inherent right to sustain themselves is affected, which means their Constitutionally protected rights are violated, giving Treaty title holders grounds to sue.  Which the Beaver Lake Cree did in 2008.  Alberta and Canada have far exceeded the land’s capacity for development.  They have recklessly authorized tar sands projects, military facilities and other development without any real regard for the rights of Beaver Lake and other Treaty Nations.  While any one of these projects by themselves might be tolerable taken together they threaten to destroy the First Nations people’s way of life and the land that has sustained them for centuries. The case is currently being carried forward by the Beaver Lake Cree’s current leadership and Crystal uses this as one example of how First Nations people can assert their rights whilst offering a solution. 


Heather Milton-Lightening 

Heather Milton-Lightening has seventeen years of organizing experience from local issues to international campaigns. Heather was a founding member of Native Youth Movement-that empowered youth politically and socially to make change in their communities; based in Winnipeg, MB in 1995. She helped found Winnipeg’s first Native youth organization called Aboriginal Youth with Initiative, Inc. in 1998 through her position as Associate Director. Heather then went on to found and build a national Native youth network that supported Native youth organizing across the US and Canada with the Indigenous Environmental Network based in northern Minnesota. She was a former member of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Youth Advisory and has extensive experience in lobbying internationally through the United Nations and other International arenas on Indigenous Peoples issues. Heather’s work since then has been to build capacity and find resources that help local Native communities. From funding board participation on the Funding Exchange Saguaro Fund and Honor the Earth; to helping build the Indigenous People’s Power Project through the RuckusSociety that trains on non-violent direct action tools. Heather currently is the Co-Director for the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign out of the Polaris Institute in Ottawa, ON.

Heather Milton-Lightening a 17 ans d’expérience en organisation de campagnes locales et internationales. Heather était l’une des membres fondateurs du Native Youth Movement – qui vise à donner une voix politique et sociale aux jeunes pour les encourager à faire changer les choses dans leurs communautés. Heather a ensuite travaillé à la fondation et le développement d’un réseau national de jeunes Premières Nations qui supporte la mobilisation des jeunes au Canada et aux Etats-Unis. Heather est présentement co-directrice pour la Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign par l’Institut Polaris à Ottawa, ON.

Denise Jourdain 

Denise is an elder of the Innu community of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam on the “Côte Nord” in Nitassinan. She teaches the Innu language to children in her community and has been active in Idle No More, opposition to Hydro Quebec expansion plans, and raising awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Denise was jailed in 2012 as part of a blockade of highway 138 in defence of Innu land rights. She is also very active in raising awareness about, and opposition to, the proposed Plan Nord.

Denise est membre de la communauté Innue de Uashat mak Mani-utenam, située sur la rive nord du fleuve Saint-Laurent. Elle lutte activement contre les industries minière et forestière du Plan Nord dans le Nord québécois. 

Alyssa Symons-langer 

An anti-pipeline activist and organizer in Quebec, Alyssa has played a key role in organizing the Marche des Peuples pour la Terre Mere, the recent Line 9 Action Camp, and has extensive experience with direct action and civil disobedience. Alyssa is also a part of a theatre group that performed "Ole Ole Oleoducs," a cabaret about pipelines last summer. 

Une militante anti-pipeline et organisatrice au Québec, Alyssa a joué un rôle clé dans l'organisation de la Marche des Peuples pour la Terre Mère, le récent camp d’action autogéré sur la Ligne 9 d’Enbridge, et elle possède une vaste expérience à l'action directe et à la désobéissance civile. Alyssa fait aussi parti d'un groupe de théâtre qui a effectué "Ole Ole Oleoducs," un cabaret sur ​​les pipelines été dernier.

Workshops and Panels // Ateliers et panels



Panel: Fossil Fuel Divestment as a Solidarity Tactic 
Crystal Lameman, Heather Milton-Lightening, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Deirdre Smith
This panel will focus on ensuring our divestment organizing is grounded in a strong understanding and commitment to climate and social justice. Panelists will discuss how we can meaningfully and respectfully use fossil fuel divestment as a solidarity tactic with communities on the front lines of these struggles, and focus on finding ways to support and elevate the ongoing work of indigenous communities. 

Divestment & Re-investment Strategies
Tim Nash – The Sustainable Economist
What does a fossil free portfolio look like? What does it do to risk-adjusted returns? This workshop will provide concrete examples of strategies that endowments can use to lower their exposure to carbon risk. Additionally, it will explore investment alternatives that shift money into green investment strategies. Participants will learn that fossil fuel free portfolios can be in line with fiduciary duties, and will be better able to communicate with members of the investment committee.

Fossil Fuel Divestment – An Engine for Social Change
Chris Roberts (Director of Social and Economic Policy) and Donald LaFleur (Vice President) - Canadian Labour Congress
Fossil fuel divestment isn’t just about socially responsible investment strategies, it is about social change and a shift in our consciousness about investment in good jobs, pensions, the economy, and the future of our world. The greatest significance of the fossil fuel divestment movement lies in its capacity to engage, educate and mobilize people – to demand an urgent and larger societal response to the climate emergency. This workshop will explore from a labour perspective how the objectives of the fossil fuel divestment movement might be usefully distinguished from the narrow goals of an investment strategy focus, and broadened to advocate for societal change as envisioned by students and young workers.

Facilitating Strategy Sessions
Katie Rae Perfitt – Halifax Blue Dot Organizer with the David Suzuki Foundation & Emi Belliveau-Thompson - Divest Dalhousie 
There are ways to achieve your campaign goals that are not rooted in your vision, so if you are planning your campaign without a vision in mind, you may be working against yourself. For example, if your vision includes a large, trained and disciplined youth resistance to climate change, you might achieve your goals for campus divestment with a few quick meetings with your administration, but you would end the campaign no closer to your vision than when you started. Strategic planning is best done with visioning at the forefront. This workshop will explore how to build your vision, goals, determine your target, and develop a strategy that helps you achieve all of those pieces. It will also give tips and tools to help you facilitate your own strategy session for your campaign.

Media and communications for the divestment movement
Robin Tress - Ecology Action Centre Halifax, Divest Dalhousie 
Participants will practice media and messaging skills and tools. We'll start out with the basics of interacting with the media, and then practice campaign-specific messaging. You'll leave confident and ready to talk divestment in traditional and online media! 

I got 99 tactics and a rally ain't one
Robin Tress - Ecology Action Centre Halifax, Divest Dalhousie
Learn tools and considerations for big, creative, effective actions. We'll look at past examples of awesome actions and deconstruct the roles and preparation that went into them. From getting a megaphone to choosing who to put behind it, we'll run through all the elements of a big, bold event. 

Spectrum of Allies
Daniel Mossip-Balkwill
This workshop will examine a spectrum of potential allies and opponents in a fossil fuel divestment strategy. We’ll discuss which groups and individuals would fit on this spectrum and where. Then we’ll look at how we could move everyone on the spectrum one step further toward the goal of fossil fuel divestment. At the end, we will have formed a group analysis of who potential allies and opponents are, and participants will have the tools to take this exercise back to their own campaigns.

Collective well-being (also offered in French during the same workshop slot) 
Pascale Brunet, Rushdia Mehreen, and more 
Pushed by a society that is always running, too often we're trying to be as efficient as possible while working towards social change. We fight for social justice... until we break down. And even then, we feel guilty for not doing, and being, “enough”. This workshop will be a space to reflect on collective well-being, emotional labor and self-care, to share stories, ideas and practices to create accountable and sustainable communities. It will be a moment to think about what are our needs surrounding those issues, and to take charge of the strategies that are already in place or could be implemented regarding collective well-being and self-care. Acquiring tools and actively engaging with ideas about self-care and collective well-being are powerful ways to contribute to creating social justice.
Non-Violent Direct Action
Cam Fenton and Katie McChesney - 350.org


Portrait du mouvement écologiste québécois: défis et perspectives
Bruno Massé - Réseau québécois des groupes écologistes (RQGE)
Un survol du mouvement écologiste au Québec centré sur les groupes d'action communautaire autonome. Brève histoire accompagnée d'une typologie des groupes, pratiques et discours présents. Portrait rapide des campagnes en cours ainsi que des défis auxquels font face le mouvement, par exemple le profilage politique.

Recours en justice contre les compagnies pétrolières: l'exemple de l'injonction de TransCanada à Cacouna.
Karine Peloffy - Centre Québécois du Droit de l’Environnement (CQDE)
Karine Peloffy, avocate et directrice générale du Centre Québécois du Droit de l’Environnement (CQDE) présentera sur le recours en injonction institué par le CQDE et ses partenaires à l’encontre de TransCanada Pipelines Ltd concernant des travaux de forages entrepris par l’entreprise dans l’habitat essentiel des bélugas à Cacouna. Elle résumera les points clefs des décisions rendues à ce jour et explorera les  impacts et implications plus larges de tels recours judiciaires.

Introduction au Théâtre de l'Opprimé.e
Aurore Fauret, Collectif artiste-activiste "La mèche rebelle"
Cet atelier propose une introduction à la pratique du Théâtre de l'Opprimé.e (une forme de théâtre participatif né au Brésil dans les années 70 qui mélange l'art, la politique et l'éducation populaire). À travers une série de jeux d'image et d'exercises d'improvisation, nous explorerons comment cet outil peut être utilisé pour comprendre nos oppressions communes, lancer des discussions collectives dans nos communautés et chercher des solutions ensemble pour un changement social et une mobilisation créative. Soyez prêtes et prêts à être actifs au niveau intellectuel, émotionnel et physique! Ouvert à tout niveau d'expérience. Facilitation bilingue.

Réflexion sur la campagne de désinvestissement du groupe 
Recycle ta Caisse $ : Au Québec désinvestissons des énergies fossiles!
Quelques collègues de travail du domaine de la santé – intéressés par l’environnement et indignés par l’immobilisme de nos gouvernements – ont entendu parler du désinvestissement. L’idée est alors apparue de s’intéresser aux placements que tous les Québécois détiennent à la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec et de tenter de faire déplacer 9 milliards$ investis dans les énergies fossiles vers les énergies renouvelables.  Ce rêve, aux chances de succès limitées, n’a pas empêché notre groupe d’être animé par la conviction de faire la bonne chose. Quelles ont été nos difficultés, nos succès, nos erreurs? Alors que la route s’annonce encore longue, quelles perspectives voyons-nous pour faire évoluer notre campagne? C’est sur une présentation de ces éléments que nous souhaitons ouvrir la discussion.

Coule pas chez nous!
Martin Poirier, co-fondateur de NON à une marée noire dans le St-Laurent 
La mise en place d'une campagne de sensibilisation citoyenne qui diffuse de l'information afin de mieux comprendre l'enjeu pétrolier du Projet d'Oléoduc Énergie-Est de la compagnie TransCanada et pourquoi nous devons dire non au transport de pétrole des sables bitumineux de l'Alberta et le pétrole de schiste du Manitoba et de la Saskatchewan sur Notre Territoire. 

Bilingual // Bilingue: 

Introduction au Théâtre de l'Opprimé.e // Introduction to Theatre of the Oppressed (Facilitation bilingue // bilingual facilitation)
Aurore Fauret, Collectif artiste-activiste "La mèche rebelle"

Cet atelier propose une introduction à la pratique du Théâtre de l'Opprimé.e (une forme de théâtre participatif né au Brésil dans les années 70 qui mélange l'art, la politique et l'éducation populaire). À travers une série de jeux d'image et d'exercises d'improvisation, nous explorerons comment cet outil peut être utilisé pour comprendre nos oppressions communes, lancer des discussions collectives dans nos communautés et chercher des solutions ensemble pour un changement social et une mobilisation créative. Soyez prêtes et prêts à être actifs au niveau intellectuel, émotionnel et physique! Ouvert à tout niveau d'expérience.

This workshop provides an introduction to the practice of Theatre of the Oppressed, a form of participatory theatre born in Brazil in the 70s that blends art, politics, and popular education. Through a series of image exercises and improvisation games, this workshop will explore how this tool can be used to understand our common oppression, initiate group discussions in our communities and seek solutions together for social change and creative mobilization. Be ready and willing to be active intellectually, emotionally and physically! Open to all levels of experience. 


Raconter des histoires – Comment pouvons-nous utiliser les histoires pour mobiliser les gens et provoquer le changement // Storytelling – How we can use stories to mobilize others and create change (Facilitation bilingue // bilingual facilitation)
Lily Schwarzbaum – Justice Climatique Montréal // Climate Justice Montreal

Cet atelier explorera le rôle des histoires dans le renforcement des mouvements sociaux. Nous discuterons la meilleure façon de construire une histoire et des éléments clés à inclure dans vos histoires, la construction de récits, et les points tournants. Nous apprendrons comment la création de votre propre histoire est un outil pour créer votre organisation et mobiliser les gens à votre cause. Finalement, nous allons nous pratiquer à raconter des histoires, et apprendrons comment les adapter à notre audience et notre environnement.

This workshop will explore the role of storytelling in movement building. We’ll discuss how to construct your story and learn about the key elements of stories, plot construction, and turning points. We’ll learn about how building your own personal story is a tool for both building your organization, and for mobilizing people around your issue. Finally, we’ll practice storytelling and learn how to adapt the stories we tell based on our audience and environment. 

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