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Dan Vandal and local speakers celebrate National Francophonie Week at a human library

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Winnipeggers participated in a human library where “talking books” shared their stories

WINNIPEG, March 21, 2013 – Winnipeggers participated in a human library organized by The Historica-Dominion Institute where “talking books” shared their stories of linguistic identity, citizenship and cultural encounters in celebration of National Francophonie Week and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the Centre culturel franco-manitobain.

Dan Vandal, city councillor for St. Boniface, shared his Métis heritage and his path from professional boxer, to social worker, to politician. Ivorian artist, Lacina Dembélé, brought the Francophone immigrant experience to life with his story of leaving home for Canada.

Winnipeg’s veterans and the Canadian Forces community shared their stories of service. First Nations veteran Melvin Swan recounted his experience of discrimination in the Canadian Forces and human rights activism. Listeners were transported to Korea, Egypt, Afghanistan and beyond by Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Major Karl Désilets, among others.

“Winnipeg is home to many diverse communities, each with important stories about the Canadian experience,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President of The Historica-Dominion Institute. “We’re delighted to help share these stories through our work with local speakers in celebration of la Francophonie.”

Communities in Dialogue: A human library event brought together speakers from The Historica-Dominion Institute’s two flagship bilingual speakers bureaus. The Passages to Canada Speakers Bureau offers volunteers from a diverse range of ethno-cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds the opportunity to share stories of their heritage with schools and community groups. The Memory Project Speakers Bureau brings together veterans and currently serving Canadian Forces personnel to share their military experiences in classrooms and community groups across Canada.

The Historica-Dominion Institute is the largest charitable organization dedicated to Canadian history, identity and citizenship. Its mandate is to build active and informed citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history, heritage and stories of Canada.



For more information:

Davida Aronovitch, Communications Manager

t. 416.506.1553 / cell: 416.460.3284