Archive - Sep 2008

September 30th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Tue., Sep. 30, 2008


Pray for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The prime minister has resigned causing more instability in an already troubled state. CPT will send a team for three months from December to work with local human rights groups..

Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Toronto, Canada

OHSWEKEN, ON: A nation of earth-stealers

Haudenosaunee prophets are speaking some hard truths that Canadians, especially Canadian Christians, need to hear about land claims.  Two Row Understanding through Education (TRUE) is an attempt by some settler (i.e., non-indigenous) neighbours of the Six Nations (Haudenosaunee) community to create a meeting space for learning more about the first agreements that made it possible for newcomers to settle on this land.  "Two Row" refers to the Two Row Wampum Treaty—the first agreement between Haudenosaunee inhabitants and Dutch settlers—not to interfere with each other but rather to live in cooperation and harmony.

TRUE emerged in the context of organized non-natives harassing and attacking the Haudenosaunee after the latter reclaimed land that non-native commercial development is altering beyond repair.  Since the original Haldimand Tract—ten kilometers on either side of the Grand River source to mouth—was deeded in 1784 to Chief Joseph Brant and the Haudenosaunee for their allegiance to Britain during the American Revolution, agents of the British and successor Canadian governments have seized land and misappropriated funds from leases held in trust for the Haudenosaunee.  Less than 5% of the Tract remains under the control of the Haudenosaunee.  Of the twenty-nine well-documented land claims registered with the Federal government on portions of the other 95% of the land, only one has been settled.  All claims have languished in the Government’s hands from thirteen to twenty-eight years.  

September 26th

CHICAGO/TORONTO: Call for Expressions of Interest and Nominations for Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Canada Administrative Coo

CPT has an immediate opening for a full-time person to oversee all administrative aspects of the work of Christian Peacemaker Teams in Canada. The Canada Administrative Coordinator also shares with the Canada Programme Coordinator the responsibility for all of CPT's work in Canada.

September 24th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Wed., Sep. 24, 2008


Pray for the people of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have broken down, and armed conflict has erupted, displacing over 300,000 people.

Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Toronto, Canada

September 23rd


Saturday, 9 August
To conclude the summer camp, at-Tuwani villagers held a festival and a press conference to spotlight settler violence in the area.  Tuba children could not attend because the army refused to escort them to at-Tuwani.  The children were afraid to walk alone because they saw settlers nearby.  The army and police stopped journalists and camera crews from attending the conference.  Barring everyone except local residents from entering, they remained in the village most of the day, and declared the surrounding area a “closed military zone.”  …

Friday, 29 August
Israeli peace activists organized a trip for Palestinian children and a few of their parents to the Safari Zoo Center in Tel Aviv.  One parent later told CPTers that the children had become frightened in the zoo when they saw an Orthodox Jew wearing traditional clothing.  The parent explained to the man about where the children came from, and their experience with settlers.  The children then had a friendly conversation with the Jewish man's family.  The Palestinian parent was excited to realize that not all Israelis behave as the settlers do and that his children could meet Israelis without being afraid.


September 20th

FORT FRANCES, ON REFLECTION: Gossip, rumours and political ads

I cringe when I watch the gossip in political advertising that impairs a candidate’s ability to function in the public sphere.  The gossip may be about Muslims, persons of African descent, liberals, evangelicals, Iraqis, Israelis, or politicians.  I struggle to find ways to not allow this gossip to define my world, with its simplistic concepts of good and evil.

September 19th

IRAQ: One too many nations or three too few


Dana Hassan’s hobby is history, but his work is focused on the here-and-now.  He is program coordinator for R.E.A.C.H. (Rehabilitation, Education, and Community Health), which grew out of earlier efforts by Oxfam International. REACH thinks long-term about peacemaking; its teams come to a community and begin rebuilding the fractured human networks that make a community grow and strengthen over time.

September 17th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Wed., Sep. 17, 2008


Pray for the small farmers along the Opon River in central Colombia. Many have been forced to sell their land to a large landowner and move to a more uncertain future in the city

Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Toronto, Canada

IRAQ: Noticing the women


After receiving five cups of tea from homeless families in Zharawa, I returned to Suleimaniya ready to believe that hospitality offered a recognizable path to peace.  Then I received this advice from CPTer Joe Mueller: “Notice the women.”  He could have said, “Notice how easily you don’t notice the women.”

September 16th

COLOMBIA: David and Goliath--a story of the small miners’ struggle for survival

The lush and gold-rich San Lucas Mountains in Colombia's Southern Bolivar province seem calm at first glance.  Here, isolated mining communities hug the steep mountain slopes.  Unfortunately, these mountains also harbour a bloody war.  Most Colombian government officials, courting gold-mining multinationals, present a different picture of the region as they sell off the mineral rights to these corporations.  Yet, the facts remain clear; most small miners in this region have had a family member killed or "disappeared."  They are caught in a three-way battle over land, in the middle of the FARC and ELN guerilla groups, the Colombian regular army battalions and the paramilitary or "mercenary hired guns."  The miners fear that the Army and paramilitary are working to clear the land of what the Colombian ministry of mines has referred to in a brochure as "a plague," i.e.,  the small campesino miner.