The 7th Annual Alberta GSA Conference will be held on Saturday November 17th, 2018, at Jasper Place High School on Treaty 6 land in Amiskwaciy Waskahikan (Edmonton) Alberta. Doors open at 9:00am and the conference ends at 4:10pm. Bring a digital (phone) or physical printed copy of your ticket with the QR code visible to make registration go faster!

Make sure you sign-up for the workshop types that fit who you are! Workshops are divided by different grades, and whether they are for just students, just teachers, or both. Check the workshop audience in the description when you sign up! There will also be a French workshop available each block, thanks to our partners at Francophonie Jeunesse de l’Alberta! Workshop attendees who have registered for workshops will be given priority if the workshop is full.

Almost all workshops in Block 1 will repeat again in Block 2. Block 3 will be activity & arts-based!
BLOCK 1: 11:10am - 12:20pm
BLOCK 2: 1:35pm - 2:45pm
BLOCK 3: 3:00pm - 4:10pm

The Chill Zone will be a quiet drop-in room available to hangout, do crafts, get tarot readings, and/or speak with a counselor if needed. Located in the STAR Program room (next to Room 183) the Chill Zone will be available during Block 1, 2, and 3.

The Smudge Space will be a drop-in gathering space and/or sharing circle where folks will be able to smudge and come together in community. Located in Room 128, the Smudge Space will be available during Block 1 and 2.

The entire conference takes place on the 1st floor with the exception of the cafeteria which is down a flight of stairs next to an elevator.
Washrooms will be all-gender with stalls and are wheelchair accessible.
An ASL Interpreter will be available for the keynote presentation as well as other workshops as needed.
There may be smudging in certain workshops, if you have severe allergies to smoke please inform the Workshop Ambassador so that a dry smudge can be performed instead.

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BLOCK 1 [clear filter]
Saturday, November 17

11:10am MST

Beyond tolerance: LGBTQ2SA+ inclusion and diversity in elementary education
Limited Capacity seats available

AUDIENCE: Elementary teachers & school staff (k-6)
The objectives of this workshop are to: 1) increase knowledge and awareness of LGBTQ2SA+ and gender concerns in elementary education; 2) provide elementary school teachers and staff with resources and strategies for creating more inclusive and welcoming environments; 3) put forward a call for re-examining curriculum, pedagogy, and policy for more inclusive and diverse learning environments for LGBTQ2SA+ and gender diverse students, their families, and staff; and 4) engage participants in discussing what they feel is needed in their classrooms and teaching practices to support LGBTQ2SA+ inclusion and acceptance.


Kate Paterson

Kate Paterson is a PhD Candidate in Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Over the past ten years, Kate has gained experience in elementary education as a K-6 teacher’s assistant, researcher and consultant. Her previous research explored... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Room 104

11:10am MST

Creating a Haven: Really Red Deer it isn't that hard
Limited Capacity seats available

AUDIENCE: Students Grades 7-12, All School staff.
This session will be based on story-sharing, group conversation, and activities that you can bring back to your GSA. Discussions will include how we often want to storm the gates, yell and scream or chain ourselves to a building to stand up for our people. The hard part is that often doesn't support people to learn.  The small conversations, the stories are the key to change.  Being a good ally to the gender diverse community. Teaching the older LGBTQ2+ folks that there is more to learn and a heck of a lot more we need to fight for. That some LGBTQ2+ people like me have immense privilege and there is not only external oppression, but internal and it is terrible. Whether it is an indigenous trans pre teen living on reserve or, a leader who won't gender non-binary co-workers correctly, a 40+ lesbian who figures I am the safe person to ask "what flag is that?", an older adult trans women from an urban centre who doesn't understand gender and then realizes she is intersex, a black LGTBQ2+ woman who experiences racism within our community, etc.  All of these conversations have to happen. Then we add on interplay with the law, fleeing your family, and where you grew up, and finding safety.  Some find support and strength in street and drug culture. Then you have some hard conversations about caring and safety. We will be talking about creating and holding space. Nothing about us without us.


Shay Vanderschaeghe

Shay Vanderschaeghe (she/her) was born in Manitoba and has lived her adult life in Alberta. She came out of the closet in 1993 and since that time has worked in the Alberta HIV and Harm Reduction sector. Shay joined Heritage Family Services to increase the organizations LGBTQ+ cultural... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Room 102

11:10am MST

GSA 101 - How to build a Sustainable Gay - Straight Alliance
Limited Capacity filling up

AUDIENCE: Students Grades 7-12
In this workshop we'll teach you how to start and grow a GSA, from organizing meetings to putting together a leadership team. We'll also be teaching you how to make sure that your GSA is sustainable in the long run, along with tips on some amazing activities/events that your GSA can hold to increase awareness and attendance.


SAGA Edmonton

This workshop is organized by Lauren Ritchie, Dylan Seemann, Dylan Chevalier, and Dara Smith from the Sexual and Gender Acceptance Edmonton Ltd. (SAGA) is an up and coming LGBTQ2S+ organization that is dedicated to holding events around the city for LGBTQ2S+ youth while also supporting... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Room 105

11:10am MST

Health and Healthcare for LGBTQ2+ Youth
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

AUDIENCE: Students Grades 7-12, All School Staff.
This workshop will discuss some of the healthcare issues facing LGBTQ2+ youth in Alberta, including specific barriers to healthcare faced by transgender youth.


Stephanie Booth

Stephanie Booth has a Bachelors degree in Biology, Masters degree in Public Health, and once won fifth place in a pie eating contest. Stephanie's academic, volunteer, and advocacy work focus on the health and health equity of the LGBTQ2+ community, and she guest lectures at a variety... Read More →

Dr. Katie Doherty

Dr. Katie Doherty is currently in her third year of residency in Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. Throughout her training she has developed a special interest in marginalized populations and LGBTQ2+ youth. Prior to studying medicine, Katie completed a BFA in Photography and... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Room 112

11:10am MST

Indigenous Alberta: The Footsteps of our Ancestors
Limited Capacity seats available

AUDIENCE: All School Staff
This workshop is designed to be an introduction for teachers to learn about the richness, strength, and diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures so Indigenous and non-Indigenous Albertans can build a positive and shared future of understanding.


Shannon Loutitt

Shannon Loutitt is a Division 2 teacher on secondment from Fort McMurray Public School District. She grew up in Fort McMurray learning about her Métis heritage and when she was 5 years old she said she wanted to be the first Native lady Prime Minister. Although that might not happen... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Room 115

11:10am MST

Introduction to Anti-Oppression
Limited Capacity filling up

AUDIENCE Students Grades 10-12, All School Staff.
In this introductory workshop, participants will work collaboratively to understand how to analyze systems of oppression and identify effective leverage points for transforming ourselves and our community.


Laura Kruse

Laura Kruse is the Outreach Coordinator for the Alberta Public Interest Research Group. The main focus of her political work is anti-oppression, educational system reform, and issues in labour and migration. She frequently facilitates workshops around the city for student and community... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Room 106

11:10am MST

LGBTQ2S+ Activism and Action Planning
Limited Capacity seats available

AUDIENCE: Students Grades 7-12, School Staff Grades 7-12.
Using the gift+ issue = change equation I wil be centering my workshop around the reality that we all have the power to make an impact. As members or allies to a marginalized community, we know that activism is needed and many of us have a desire to make conscious change, in this workshop I will help the youth who wish to make a difference, a true reality.


Reagan Morris

I am a 17 year old activist who believes that you may not change the entire world but you are guaranteed to change someone’s world.

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Room 138

11:10am MST

Présentation FrancoQueer
Limited Capacity seats available

AUDIENCE: éleves 7e-12e années, profs et personnels de l'école.
Venez en apprendre davantage sur le sexe, le genre et l'orientation sexuelle dans le cadre d'un atelier amusant et interactif. Nous allons jouer à des jeux, prendre le temps d'apprendre et ouvrir un espace pour parler de toutes ces choses! Notre présentation est ouverte à tous les francophones et Francophile (french immersion) ! Alors s'il vous plaît, n'hésitez de passer faire un tour!


FrancoQueers de L'ouest

The FrancoQueer committee is a Queer French resource created by and for francophone youth. With the help of our team we are able to offer educational presentations in schools all over the province. We developed the tools and resources that were missing from our community for far to... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Salle 114

11:10am MST

Rural GSA Workshop
Limited Capacity filling up

AUDIENCE: Students k-12, All School & Support Staff
Support and resources to help navigate the unique challenges and opportunities presented while starting a GSA in a small town or rural community.


Jay Budd

Hi my name is Jay. I am a genderfluid, pansexual. I joined GSA this year, but I have been part of the LGBT community for 5 years now.

Don Haywood

I am an assisting facilitator with Brandon Rehaume on his presentation. I am a pansexual, married father of two Elementary aged children and became involved with the Wetaskiwin Community GSA last winter. I am now one of the leaders of our GSA and we have recently joined SAGA Edmonton... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Room 117

11:10am MST

Spirituality & LGBTQ2S+ Identity
Limited Capacity seats available

AUDIENCE: Students & School Staff k-12
This session will be a moderated panel discussion of spirituality and LGBTQ2S+ identities.


Raj Bali

I'm a consultant in corporate diversity and inclusion strategy with Prompta Consulting. I have an MBA from Babson College, Boston with a minor in consumer behaviour studies and a B. Int' Bus. from Carleton University with a major in Int'l Marketing. Through my studies and personal... Read More →

Mark Guevarra

Mark Guevarra formerly worked as a Pastoral Associate in the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton but was fired for being gay. Mark is a passionate advocate for LGBTQ inclusion within the Roman Catholic Church and a volunteer with several LGBTQ religious organizations in Edmonton.

Rev Lorne Manweiler

Priest-in-charge, St Timothy's Anglican Church, Edmonton;  Pastoral coordinator, Equally Anglican, LGBTQ2S+ ministry at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Old Strathcona.

Sissy Thiessen

Sissy Thiessen is a Treaty 6 Nakota Sioux, Cree & German cultural facilitator, Powwow dancer, crafter/beader, spoken word poet and creative writer from Edmonton, Alberta. She studied Communications & Journalism at Mount Royal University and has won various awards in the areas of community... Read More →

Gianmarco Visconti

Gianmarco Visconti is a queer Ismaili Muslim poet from Edmonton, Alberta, and an alumnus of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta. He was awarded the 2015 CLA Student Article Award from the Canadian Library Association for research he completed... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Learning Resource Centre (Library)

11:10am MST

Two-Spirit: Cultural Resilience
Limited Capacity seats available

AUDIENCE: Students Grades 7-12, All School Staff
In order to understand our current place, we must understand the historic roots from which we come. This workshop will open the minds of attendees to the Two-Spirit identity through the experiences of the presenters. One will share their journey through self-discovery of sexual identity, and the other, their journey towards understanding their gender identity. A Medicine Wheel teaching will take place, in which attendees will apply the knowledge they learn. Edmonton 2 Spirit Society brings this workshop to create awareness of the supports available to Two-Spirit youth, as well as fostering greater understanding of the Two-Spirit identity within the greater LGBTQ2+ community.


Jeff Chalifoux

Jeff is a Two-Spirit member of the Métis Nation. He is an executive board member of the Edmonton 2 Spirit Society, as well as a caring and compassionate social worker and father. Jeff also sits on the Sexual & Gender Diversity Committee with the Alberta College of Social Workers... Read More →

Dorian Potts

Dorian is a member of the Nakota Sioux Nation and a proud Two-Spirit man. He is the current webmaster for the Edmonton 2 Spirit Society, in addition to being an active volunteer and digital artist. Through these means, he strives to explore the expression of a Two-Spirit identity... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Room 103

11:10am MST

Your Mental Health Matters: Navigating the Healthcare System
Limited Capacity filling up

AUDIENCE: Students Grade 6-12, All School Staff.
Basic knowledge and skills required to identify, understand and cope with common mental health issues that affect queer youth. Learning how to advocate for yourself or others when it comes to health and wellness decisions. Discussion about navigating the healthcare system as a member of the LGBTQ2+ community. Participants will receive a handout listing local and provincial resources and how to access them.


B Adair

I’m a gay trans guy born and raised on a farm in East Central Alberta. I was a paramedic for 8 years but I’m now finishing up nursing school. I plan to work with LGBTQ+ folks in an advisory/supportive role. My goal is to make more resources available for queer people in rural... Read More →

Saturday November 17, 2018 11:10am - 12:20pm MST
Room 188