Michael Embaie

Country of Origin:



Immigration, Black History/African Heritage, Human Rights & Social Justice, Refugee Experiences


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Michael worked with the United Nations in Sudan, after leaving his home in Eritrea. He was exposed to thousands of stories of refugees, and it changed his life.


Michael was born in Eritrea (East Africa or Horn of Africa) and came to Canada as a refugee in 1983.

Michael has a Bachelor and a Master of Social Work Degree with specialization in Policy and International Social work from the University of Calgary.

Michael is currently enrolled (September 2015 to December 2016) in a Certificate program: Canadian Immigration and Refugee Law. (Michael would be able to practice as a licensed Immigration Consultant at the end of the program).

Michael completed a graduate course (Diploma) in International Law and Protection of Refugees at York University, Toronto, Ontario.

Michael worked for the federal Government of Canada, Department of Immigration and Refugee Board from 1989 to 2013 as Chief, Documentation Centre, Prairie Region (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba); as a Tribunal Officer and Dispute Resolution Officer for Western Canada.

Michael has been teaching as a Sessional Instructor at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Social work and Department of Sociology since 2001 and 2006 respectively. Michael has been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in the following areas: Canadian Social Policy; International Social Work; Diversity, Oppression and Social Justice; Human Behaviour and the Environment; Immigration: historical patterns and Trends; Ethnicity, Race Relations and the Canadian Mosaic.

Michael also worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as a Resettlement consultant and Training expert in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Michael has been actively involved as a community volunteer and leader since he first arrived to Calgary over 30 years ago, and has served as a chairperson, vice-chair, board member, a member of various advisory committees and task forces.

Michael’s involvement includes: Community organizations; not-for-profit NGOs; national and international human rights; social justice; and environmental issues. These issues include: national and international political affairs and trends; national and international issues concerning historical trends and patterns of migration, immigration and the plight of refugees; and the international instruments and conventions that govern them; peace and conflict resolution; multiculturalism; race relations and international languages education.