“The speakers represent a rich diversity of backgrounds and experience
who will enrich us with insight and passion.” –Ted Dodd, DOTAC president
Meet the speakers who will share their perspectives
on covenant and reconciliation
through the eyes of indigenous peoples, creation and global migration.
Albert Bicol is convinced that sustainable human communities are within our reach and he is dedicated to bringing innovation to make this a reality. In his work with Sustainable Master Planning he draws together 26 years of professional engineering with his ability to articulate his vision. He has played a role in 42 Net- Zero Energy buildings/development projects around world. He was a member of the City of Vancouver Urban Design Panel, and won awards in Excellence in Urban Sustainability, and Excellence in Energy Management. In addition, Albert has delivered over 250 presentations and has been a keynote speaker in Canada, the US, and Asia and has volunteered to educate elementary school children on climate change. His email signature reads: “Consider this….Creativity, necessity, and resourcefulness designed and built the Ark. Advanced engineering and state of the art technology designed and built the Titanic.”
Melanie Delva is Reconciliation Animator for the Anglican Church of Canada. Born and raised on Treaty 4 Territory in Manitoba, she graduated with her Masters in Archival Studies in 2005 and was Archivist for the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster and Provincial Synod of BC & Yukon for 12 years. Through her close work with the Canadian Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Melanie underwent a personal and professional transformation with regards to her outlook and understanding of relationships with Indigenous peoples and reconciliation in Canada. She works in Vancouver BC on the traditional, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations where she lives with her knitted mule, Jax and a variety of oft-neglected plants.
Rev. Laurel Dykstra
An Anglican priest, Laurel Dykstra initiated and serves Salal + Cedar, a watershed discipleship ministry of the Diocese of New Westminster. With a vocation for environmental justice, Salal + Cedar is growing connections between secular, indigenous and faith-based environmental movements. The community has initiated a popular outdoor worship service and helps more traditional churches incorporate environmental theology into their worship. Their program life focuses on conservation, education, and social change. Laurel has a BSc in biology and a growing knowledge of the species and geography of the local bioregion. A respected writer on scripture and justice; Laurel is a sought-after speaker at faith and justice events and a long-time organizer and collaborator on community-based projects.
A professor geography at University of British Columbia, Daniel Hiebert’s personal research interests focus on immigration policy, the integration of newcomers into the housing and labour markets of Canadian cities, and the consequences of the growing ‘super-diversity’ of Canadian society. In 2003-2013 he served as Co-Director of Metropolis British Columbia, a Centre of Excellence fostering research on immigration and cultural diversity in Canada, among academics, government officials, and practitioners from the non-profit sector. He served as a Co-Chair of a local Working Group on Immigration and is currently a member of a federal Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s Advisory Council. He is also engaged in collaborative projects on migration and diversity policies with scholars around the world.
The Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne
Currently the executive director of First United Church on the downtown east side of Vancouver, Carmen Lansdowne is an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada and holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union. She is a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation (Bella Bella, B.C.), and is a former member of the central and executive committees of the World Council of Churches (2006-2013).
Carmen speaks, writes and publishes across North America on issues of indigenous theology and indigenous-Christian relationships. She lives in North Vancouver with her family, and enjoys travel and study, and time outdoors with her children.
Jennifer Mpungu is the Migration, Resettlement and Newcomers program coordinator at Mennonite Central Committee in B.C. Before immigrating to Canada 16 years ago from Kenya, Jennifer worked as a diplomat and with CARE International in the Dadaab Refugee camp, the largest such camp in the world. Presently, she provides leadership to a range of refugees support programs and volunteers extensively. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys reading, gardening, walking and most recently her greatest joy is being grandma to Jahlani Damien.