Rukhsana Khan is an award-winning author and storyteller. She was born in Lahore, Pakistan, and immigrated to Canada at the age of three. Growing up in a small town in southern Ontario was very difficult, and she understands the challenges experienced as an ELL student.
Although, she graduated from college at the top of her class as a biological-chemical technician, she eventually chose to become a writer. Fondly, she remembers the day when her grade eight teacher told her she was a writer.
While it took eight years to get her first book published, she now has twelve books published (one of which was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the 100 greatest children's books in the last 100 years) and some of her books have been published in other countries and in different languages. Rukhsana Khan lives in Toronto with her husband and family, including four children and ten grandchildren.
In her first keynote address, she will describe her journey through the Canadian public school system, the challenges she faced as an immigrant, dealing with racism and the feeling of 'other', and reconciling her South Asian heritage with her Canadian identity.
In her second keynote, she will identify strategies that teachers could use to promote literacy and reading for all students.
Originally from South Sudan but currently residing in Calgary, Alberta, Kuir Garang was a refugee in Ethiopia and Kenya before moving to Canada. Mr. Garang currently works with Calgary Bridge Foundation as an Immigrant Settlement worker in School. He is a published poet and author and writes regular political commentaries on Sudan and South Sudan. Most of Mr. Garang's works appear on his website: www.kuirthiy.info
. Kuir holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from McGill University and he is currently finishing a Master’s degree from Athabasca University.