Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers. 18 January 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 18 January 2017

Many of us might be contemplating about the difficult days that are about to come. Wars keep on raging around the world and powerful discriminatory systems are on the rise. Presidents and political leaders speak of preparations for new wars on different religions, sects, ethnicities, races and nationalities. 

Spiritual teachings illustrate that our past actions affect us, either positively or negatively, and that our present actions will affect us in the future. It is easy to waste time on blaming one person or another for what happens around us, instead of focusing on our present actions that might shape our future differently. Let’s all work together as one global community to resist nonviolently against all oppressive systems around the world and pray for each other on our long journey towards peace and justice. 

The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his fury will fail.

(Proverbs 22: 7-8)

For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace.

(James 3: 16-18)

Poster No more war

Artist: Beatriz Aurora. No to War. Another world is possible. A world where all worlds fit.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY / PALESTINE: It’s Harvest Time! Deer harvest in Short Hills and the olive harvest in Palestine.

CPTnet 

12 January 2017 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY / PALESTINE: It’s Harvest Time! Deer harvest in Short Hills and the olive harvest in Palestine.

by Rachelle Friesen

Every October after the first fall rain, Palestinian families gather together and go to their land to harvest olives. The ancient trees have become a meeting place for families to take a break from their busy lives, and pick the olives that will be used for food and oil. Often, the young men climb the trees and shake the olives down onto the tarps below, while the grandmothers sit on the ground sorting the olives from the branches and leaves. The other family members take part in picking olives from the lower branches, while the air is filled with laughter and parents’ scolding as mischievous children get into olive tossing fights. The olive harvest is not only about sustainable food production but an integral part of the Palestinian cultural identity.

Man and Olive Tree

Photo credit: CPT Palestine 

Prayers for Peacemakers. 11 January 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 11 January 2017

Snow. For a lot of people snow is a synonym of a warm home. For others snow is a beautiful landscape in which they can get lost. Other people, those who have not seen or felt the snow, dream about snowflakes on their hands. However, not everyone shares the same perception of snow.

Let us pray for all refugees and people without home in Europe, Middle East, North America and the rest of the world who are suffering because of harsh winter conditions. Let us seek ways in which we can help them. Let us pray for political leaders to accept and understand that it is necessary to implement changes in order to stop the global warming. Let us pray for all those who have a cold heart so that the warmth of friends, family and community allows their hope to return.

Syrian woman walks wit her sons under the snow

Photo credit: Aljazeera.

Prayers for Peacemakers. 29 December 2016


Prayers for Peacemakers. 29 December 2016

2016 has been a difficult year. Stories about the plight of refugees in the Mediterranean sea, the peace process in Colombia, killings of social leaders and farmers, protests to defend water resources, political surprises that seek to eliminate rights of millions of people, intensifying abuses in Hebron, new disappearances in the borderlands between Mexico and the USA, ongoing wars around the world, increasing islamophobia, escalating abuse of migrants, violence against women and natural disasters that have left thousands of people homeless… The list seems endless.

However, even in all this darkness, we can always find a ray of light. It reminds us that we must not lose faith. The light, which the oppression tries hard to extinguish, lives and grows with the commitment and dedication of us all.

In this last week of 2016, let us pray for an amplification of the light in the coming year. The light that lives and shines both inside each one of us and in the world around us. Let's pray for this light to grow stronger and multiply.

Let us pray for CPT members in Colombia, Palestine, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turtle Island, Greece, our partners and all the people struggling for peace around the world. Let's pray together for those who work to transform all forms of violence and oppression.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Baby watching TV

Photo credit: Caldwell Manners (El Garzal, Sur de Bolivar)

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: “...To proclaim freedom for the prisoners” -- Settler colonialism and deaths in custody

CPTnet
23 December 2016
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: “...To proclaim freedom for the prisoners” -- Settler colonialism and deaths in custody

by Chuck Wright

Recently my team mate Kathy and I attended an information picket outside the Manitoba Government and Employees Union - representing correctional officers in Manitoba - to demand accountability for deaths in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre (WRC). MGEU has an opportunity to utilize their union’s power to exert real pressure on Manitoba Justice to make public the results of the WRC’s internal investigations and hold their members accountable. However, by shirking this responsibility, urging the public to “reserve judgment” until “all the facts are in” - facts that may never see the light of day - and passing the buck to government policies (many of which are a definite source of the problem), they have been complicit in these deaths.

Protesting in the snow

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Call for solidarity from Standing Rock across different communities

CPTnet

19 December 2016

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Call for solidarity from Standing Rock across different communities

by John Bergen

I first learned about CPT as a young child, when a member of my church joined a delegation to Palestine. This was the late 90s, and CPT was standing alongside Palestinians facing home demolitions (the Campaign for Secure Dwellings). I didn't fully understand why Israeli military forces were demolishing people's homes and taking their land but instinctively I knew that it was wrong.

Fast forward almost twenty years, and CPT continues to stand alongside people’s movements to protect community, water, and land. After I graduated from high school, I went on my own CPT delegation (to Grassy Narrows) and eventually trained with CPT and served with the teams in Kurdistan and Palestine.

People Gathering in Oceti Sakowin Camp

Photo published by Oceti Sakowin camp website. (©Toni Cervantes)

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Short Hills Deer Harvest Becomes the Site of Reconciliation.

CPTnet

15 December 2016

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Short Hills Deer Harvest Becomes the Site of Reconciliation.

By Rachelle Friesen, Peter Haresnape, Murray Lumley, and Allan Slater

For the last three years, the Haudenosaunee deer harvest in Short Hills Provincial Park has become a place of tension as animal rights advocates have protested the Haudenosaunee right to hunt. The protestors operate under the banner of animal rights and need for safety; however in actuality most of the protestors are local property owners.  This year, although the protests still happened and moments of tension occurred, the overwhelming feeling was one of reconciliation, learning, and decolonization.

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has been involved in supporting the Haudenosaunee deer harvest in previous years, providing an avenue of witness, non-violent direct action, documentation and advocacy surrounding the harvest. CPT believes in the importance for the Haudenosaunee to have access to harvest the deer, as enshrined in the treaties. Although we admit that treaties were often signed under duress and deceit, we believe the implementation of the treaties is the basic minimum that Canadian society can do. 

Banners in the protest

Photo by Murray Lumley

Prayers for Peacemakers December 9, 2016


Pray with
 the water protectors at Oceti Sakowin camp as they nonviolently stand for our water, our earth, and our great grandchildren. Give thanks for their victories and steadfastness so far, and pray for them as they continue to build and develop their anti-colonial camp despite the frigid winter. 

Indigenous and non-indigenous people marching together at Oceti Sakowin Camp

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: The spiritual roots of resistance at Standing Rock run deep

The U.S. Army corps of engineers has today, December 4, 2016 announced that they will deny key permits for the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and explore alternative routes, one day ahead of a deadline they'd set for the evacuation of Oceti Sakowin. As we celebrate this victory, it is important to name the sacred roots of the resistance at the camp, which is often portrayed with ugly caricatures drawing on centuries old stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples.

When I told my friend Erica Littlewolf that I was going to Standing Rock for a week as a reservist with Christian Peacemaker Teams, she encouraged me to reflect from "a mind space and also a heart space" as a white man in that setting. I heard this refrain again on my first morning in the camp during our orientation to Oceti Sakowin camp, when the facilitators invited us to focus on our heart space and "walk in touch with the land and with themselves." That might mean, for example, holding onto our questions instead of asking them immediately so that we can listen to the knowing in ourselves.

Again and again during my week there, I felt Oceti Sakowin pull me into that heart space.

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 2, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 2, 2016 

Give thanks for the world-wide solidarity the thousands of Indigenous Water Protectors in the Standing Rock encampments have aroused.  Pray for the healing of those brutalized by law enforcement officers this past weekend.  Pray that volunteers for the CPT – Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team will become available to travel to Standing Rock, as the oppression of state actors and Dakota Access Pipeline security personnel becomes ever more violent.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  November 2, 2016 
Photo by Unicorn Riot
Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
From you let my vindication come; let your eyes see the right…
Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me. Psalms 17:1-2, 8-9
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings. Psalm 17:1-2, 8-9