Friday, April 30, 2021 (All day)

This conference brings together members of Low German-speaking communities and those who work within these communities, including service providers, educators and academics from across Ontario and beyond, to learn with and from each other.

April 30, 2021 - University of Waterloo/Conrad Grebel University College

The Low German Conference explores the diverse histories and present-day lives of Low German-speaking Mennonites in Ontario. Also referred to as Dietsche (translated as ‘German’), these are people of European descent who migrated from Canada to Mexico, Central, and South America, and back to Canada throughout the twentieth century and continuing today. They value a traditional agricultural vocation and lifestyle, may not identify as Mennonite but participate in a variety of faith communities, speak Low German, and self-identify as Low German or Dietsche.

Throughout the gathering participants will explore their own experience, knowledge and values related to various topical discussions. The goal of the gathering is to develop understanding and practices towards greater inclusion and welcome of Low German-speaking Mennonites in their communities and in Ontario society more broadly.

Diverse Paths: An Exploration of Low German Mennonite Experiences will feature:

- Small group facilitated discussions

- Stories of life through migration and settlement

- Sharing of challenges and successes of accessing new services

- Large group presentations

- Interactive demonstrations

Registration begins December 2020. To be kept informed about the conference, please email and request to be added to the email list.

About Waterloo

The University of Waterloo is located one hour from Canada's largest airport, Toronto Pearson International, and is accessible by car, train and bus. Limited overnight accommodation is available at Conrad Grebel University College and on the University of Waterloo campus. Information regarding travel, accommodation and registration will be on the conference website at a future date.



We're looking for members of Low German-speaking communities and service professionals who would be interested in leading a session that facilitates learning and sharing across diverse experiences. First time and experienced presenters are welcome to submit proposals in the following categories. Learn more here.

Ann Suderman, Family and Children Services, Elgin St. Thomas presenting at the 2017 Aylmer Low German Networking Conference.
Photo/Ingrid Heide


Submit a Proposal


What others have said about the conference

Here's what one former attendee had to say about a past Low German conference:

"[This was] the best continuing education I have experienced in my career...It promoted more comfort and conversation around difficult topics that would otherwise be hard to discuss with individuals that you just met." - Mindy Zeiter, social worker

Read our story here about how service providers are being impacted by the Low German Conference.

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