Canada

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: All the way to the top--CPT Steering Committee endorses UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples)


We have described to you a mountain. We have shown you a path to the top. We call on you to do the climbing-Judge Murray Sinclair (Commissioner for Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission)

One spring day, CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team climbed a Kurdish mountain. Our partners planned the day and, at the beginning of the path, villagers came out to wave at us as we began the trek. Our vegetarian teammate graciously carried the pot of meat for the barbeque. We thought it made sense to hike partway and then lighten our load by burning the wood to cook the chicken, which we would eat with all the other food we hauled.  Although we thought we knew how to do this, it became apparent that despite our good intentions, we had no idea how the day would go. When we wanted to stop, our Kurdish partners told us to keep going— all the way to the top! 

The trail was a goat track with stones and holes in the way. We had to clamber over large rocks in the pathway. It would have been easy to turn an ankle or to fall off the side. Yet our partners told us that our goal was the top ridge, when finally we could rest, put down the burdens of the meat pot, firewood and a huge stack of bread and have a feast together. 

Now CPT is again climbing a mountain—the one described by Judge Murray Sinclair at the end of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Canada through which the world was exposed to the reality and horrors of 150 years of residential schools in Canada. The commission spent six years traveling to different parts of Canada to hear the testimony of approximately six thousand Indigenous people. They heard of children as young as three years taken away from their families and placed in residential schools to assimilate them into European settler society—a policy Justice Sinclair would declare “cultural genocide.” As a response, the commissioners of the TRC laid out ninety-four calls to action that communities and institutions on Indigenous lands can take to work for reconciliation. 

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Full-time Indigenous Peoples Solidarity field team member sought

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of: Full-time Field Team Member.  All members of CPT’s Peacemaker Corps and qualified people from outside the corps are eligible to apply.

Team: Indigenous Peoples Solidarity (IPS)

Reports to Project Support Coordinator

Status: Full-time, stipended, three year term

Stipend: $1000US/month (independent living – no “team house”)

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) – Turtle Island

Start Date: December 1, 2017

CANADA: The testimony I could not give--CPTer David Milne’s statement against Canadian weapons trafficking


[Note: On 19 September, CPTer David Milne had charges dismissed related to his protest of the 25 May CANSEC weapons bazaar in Ottawa.  Below is the statement he did not get to make before the court.]

 â€œYour Worship, I plead not guilty to trespassing and creating a disturbance. I acknowledge that officers of the RCMP and the Ottawa police did warn me on three or more occasions between 10:30 a.m. and noon of May 25 that I should leave the lobby of the building with our banner ‘NO MORE ARMS DEALS’ or face criminal charges. An RCMP officer later warned me that if I continued to shout while in the lobby I would be charged with creating a disturbance. Nonetheless, I assert that my actions and those of my two colleagues were necessary to warn government officials and the Canadian public that continuing the traffic in arms recklessly endangers Canadian citizens and brings harm to foreign citizens. Arms sales do not protect us; they endanger us.

We chose this location, Your Worship, because this is where arms manufacturers and the representatives of foreign governments meet with Canadian government officials to make arms deals. We needed to bring our protest to the centre rather than remain on the periphery.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Applications sought for Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Project Support Coordinator postion

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of IPS Project Support Coordinator 

Participants in the 2015 Anishinaabe Waterwalk against the Energy East pipeline

Team: Administrative Team

Reports to: Program Director

Status: Stipended, half-time, 20 hours/week

Stipend: $1,000 USD/mo

Location: Turtle Island  (Canada–preferred—or United States)

Start Date: December 1st, 2016

Application Deadline: October 30, 2016

Position Purpose: This half-time (20 hours/week) position supports CPT’s Indigenous People Solidarity Program efforts to amplify the voices of and support Indigenous nations, communities and movements in Turtle Island seeking justice and defending lands against corporate and government exploitation, as well as a commitment to undoing colonialism in churches.   

Prayers for Peacemakers September 28, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers September 28, 2016

Pray for the people of Grassy Narrows.  A recently published report by Japanese scientists noted that almost everyone they tested in the community, young and old were showing some sign of mercury poisoning.  Additionally, Health Canada is withholding the results of blood tests they performed on newborns in Grassy Narrows for mercury poisoning between 1978 and 1992.  Pray that those with the power to address this environmental racism will find it unacceptable. 

*Epixel for Peacemakers  October 2, 2016 

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?

Or cry to you "Violence!" and you will not save?

Why do you make me see wrong-doing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; 

strife and contention arise.

So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails. The wicked surround the righteous--

 therefore judgment comes forth perverted. Hakkakuk 1:2-4

 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary
 readings.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Canada Coordinator position opening at Christian Peacemaker Teams

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of Canada Coordinator.

https://persia37.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/carrie-and-chuck.jpg?w=735Reports to Communications & Engagement Director

Terms: Stipended, full-time, 40 hours/week, three-year term commitment

Compensation: Up to $2000usd/mo

Location: Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario area; office located in Waterloo

Start Date: 15 October 2016

Application Deadline: 25 September 2016; Please send resumĂ© and statement of motivation to outreach@cpt.org. Full job description available upon request.

Position Summary: This full-time (40 hours/week) administrative position supports CPT’s efforts to amplify the voices of our partners and resource the well-being of our workers.  It involves managing CPT’s Canada office including finances, engaging Canadian supporters in fundraising and advocacy for peacemaking and nurturing supportive relationships with Canadian CPTers.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ SOLIDARITY: Sixty years can be four generations of living with toxic chemicals

 

Judy Da Silva presents Glen Murray and David Zimmer with a pipe 

Chrissy Swain was eleven-years-old the first time she participated in an action to bring awareness to Grassy Narrows First Nation. By then the accumulation of ten tons of mercury (waste from Dryden, ON pulp and paper mill) had been contaminating the English-Wabigoon River for three decades. When she walked onto the stage at the Canada Day concert all those years ago, the Ontario government had already been ignoring for one decade a report* advocating for remediation of the river. This report was shelved and filed away for another twenty years—bringing us to 2016.

In June 2016, Grassy Narrows again presented a scientific report describing a technique to remediate the river system, one that would reduce the mercury in the abundant fish and bring health back to the water, the people and their economy. Finally, the politicians seem to have woken up from a willful ignorance that the toxins have not naturally gone away.

Prayers for Peacemakers, July 13, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, July 13, 2016 

Give thanks that the Mennonite Church Canada has repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery, a philosophical and legal framework dating back to the fifteenth century that gives “Christian governments” the legal right to seize indigenous lands and dominate Indigenous people.  Pray that Mennonites view this as a first step in a restorative process with First Nations in Canada.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  July 17, 2016 
O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?
Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the LORD; who stand by their oath even to their hurt Psalm 15:1-4
 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

CPT INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ SOLIDARITY: Dear Settlers

 

Rezhiar Fakhir

It has not been very long since I visited the land of the Indigenous peoples. I acknowledge that it took me a very long time to write this. That was for two reasons. First, I come from a place where we have suffered from different conflicts, not just over decades but over centuries. I thought it would not be a good idea for me to write a judgment of Canadian society when we are deeply impacted by war in our own region. Second, North American history is very complicated for me even though some have told me it is very simple: the settlers came and destroyed the life of the Indigenous peoples – the story is as simple as that. Even after my first visit to Grassy Narrows, an indigenous reserve, I was not courageous enough to write this reflection. But I made a pledge to my indigenous friends that I would write about their struggle even though I am not Canadian.

My journey in Canada began when I arrived in Nelson in British Colombia to finish my course at Selkirk College in mid April. From the moment of my arrival I felt the generosity of the people of Nelson. They were very kind and welcoming. Nelson portrayed a perfect Canada in my mind. However, I began to hear from my very good friends, classmates and instructors about some problems and difficulties that Canadians faced. I met many people in Nelson who told me stories about the Indigenous peoples’ struggle. They gave me an overview of the history and the challenges of indigenous peoples in North America. One late afternoon, I even saw one of my classmates arguing with the police from Nelson about the history of colonization. Or my instructor who expressed concern about the extinction of some indigenous communities in Nelson.

Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Poem: Grassy Narrows-Asubpeeschoseewagong-one hour north of Kenora

Grassy Narrows-Asubpeeschoseewagong-one hour north of Kenora

Grassy Narrows, where the water narrows and the wild water grasses grow.

Where the fish emerge from their eggs and grow healthy and strong.

Their rich protein feeds the people—Anishinabek

Fishermen come from the world to find the fish and the men of Grassy Narrows guide them to the best spots on the lakes and rivers.

The money buys flour for bannock and fuel for the boats. 

Then one day the community realises something is wrong.

Judy da Silva says, “The fish were acting strange. They were jumping right out of the water-onto the land and then dying there.”

As if they could not bear to stay in their habitat anymore. 

The elders said that this was wrong. Something was wrong with the water.

Mercury-whatever would give a company the right to dump such toxic chemicals into the river?

As if it would dissolve and disappear.