Canada

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Reflections on the Fast for Indigenous Rights

CPTnet
30 September 2017
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Reflections on the Fast for Indigenous Rights

by Chuck Wright

I’m not a religious guy, but last week I participated in a day of fasting for Indigenous rights. Although it was only a day, it is in the lead up to 2nd reading of Cree MP Romeo Saganash’s Bill C262 and in solidarity with those who are fasting for a just relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples. It’s at a time when Canada has a real opportunity to change course through Bill C262 – an Act to ensure the laws of Canada is in harmony with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

I used this time to reflect about the purpose of fasting. Specifically, I think of Steve Fobister Sr. from Grassy Narrows who – in July 2014 – went on a hunger strike to call for justice for mercury survivors. I think of former Chief Theresa Spence who – in December 2012 during the birth of the Idle No More movement - endured a several day hunger fast to demand nation-to-nation meetings about the socio-economic crises affecting Attawapiskat and so many other Indigenous communities across the country.

My friend Steve Heinrichs – Mennonite Church Canada director of settler-Indigenous relations and CPT Steering Committee member – initiated a 46-day rolling Fast for Indigenous Rights and is inviting others to sign up for a day or more in our shared hunger for justice. He states: “The fast is born out of a couple places – a need to show the depth of our seriousness for Bill C262. Government of Canada has offered a lot of good words, but needs more action on the ground. It is also born out of a deep place of spirituality, where I’m asking a force greater than us to help move the hearts and minds of our political leaders alongside the grassroots demanding real change in Canada’s relationship to Indigenous peoples.”

 

Silent action with banners: We support Bill C-262
Constituents of Winnipeg Centre and supporters of Indigenous Rights call on the Liberal government to do less talk and more walk for reconciliation by supporting Bill C262.


INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Shoal Lake 40- Celebration of the road construction mixed with uncertainty

CPTnet
30 August 2017
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Shoal Lake 40- Celebration of the road construction mixed with uncertainty

by Kathy Moorhead Thiessen

Change brings both joy and uncertainty. Even if the change is something that has been pleaded for by generations of people for the last 98 years.

Just over a hundred years ago the municipal engineers of Winnipeg were searching for a good source of water for the city. Among other possibilities, such as the Winnipeg River, they “discovered” abundant, safe drinking water 100 miles away in Shoal Lake. The Anishinaabe people in the area were in the way of what was deemed the best site for the aqueduct, so the city appropriated 3,500 acres of land and moved the community to a peninsula sticking out into the lake. Then, with the building of a dyke and canal that cut through the isthmus, that peninsula was made into an island.

The people of reserve Shoal Lake 40 (SL40) were left for 98 years with no way to reach stores, hospitals, friends or relatives other than private boats or a decrepit ferry barge in summer, or an ice road in winter. During the freeze-up or thawing months they were stuck on the island. People have died trying to cross the ice. People have died because they could not get across.

Their resistance and pressure has gone on for decades. Chief after chief have spoken and written about their situation to politicians: Winnipeg city, Manitoba province, Canada country. Bureaucracies’ promises have been made: for economic opportunities, a water treatment plant and an all-weather road, and then reneged upon.

Meeting at the road construction Shoal Lake 40
Photo: CPTers and visitors speak with a community member, Cathy Green, as she tells about the situation on Shoal Lake 40 and the construction of the road.


CPT INTERNATIONAL: Christian Peacemaker Teams is seeking an Interim Administrative Director

25 August 2017


POSITION OPENING: Interim Administrative Director

Christian Peacemaker Teams – Chicago, Illinois

 Christian Peacemaker Teams is seeking an Interim Administrative Director. We anticipate the position being for one year; hours and wages to be negotiated. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and brief description of approach to interim and transitional processes to hiring@cpt.org.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.

Purpose of Interim Administrative Director:

  • To strategize, coordinate, and aid communication within the organization. This person will work alongside the Program Director to help CPT better align with the mission of the organization to confront areas of lethal conflict and undoing oppressions. 

  • To help CPT assess the administrative components of its work and how it connects to the organization as a whole with regard to projects and Steering Committee including: structure, roles, decision making flow, constituency relations. 

  • Bring skilled understanding of organizational structures and models, and how to make organizational change. The interim nature of the role will allow for greater freedom to provide constructive criticism of areas that are weak in relation to fulfilling our mission, vision, and values of partnership which are not in line with stated CPT values of partnership. Their main purpose is to help the organization change into the new model and prepare us for working with our new Administrative Director.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Message of gratitude to Sarah Thompson as she completes her tenure of service as CPT Executive Director

25 August 2017
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Message of gratitude to Sarah Thompson as she completes her tenure of service as CPT Executive Director 

Dear CPT Supporters,

Sarah Thompson, Executive Director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, will complete her tenure of service in October 2017. 

Sarah's MLK Speech at Goshen College
                                                                                    Sarah Thompson's MLK Speech at Goshen College, Indiana 2017


As Sarah’s time of service comes to a close, the Steering Committee,  Program Director Milena Rincon, and members of CPT would like to take the opportunity to thank her for her hard work, leadership and commitment to the organization, and the holy work of peacemaking.  Sarah’s term has been marked by vision, intelligence and relentless energy. Her dedication to the well-being of CPT is matched only by her desire to further its reach in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression.  During these years Sarah has taken CPT to new places and started new conversations while tending well to the history and relationships that formed the organization.  That is not an easy task, but she performed it with wisdom and grace.  Sarah’s optimism and kindness are inspiring.  She never failed to acknowledge the dignity of every person she interacted with.  We thank her for that gift.

With Gratitude,

 Milena Rincon, Program Director, and the CPT Steering Committee

Oraciones por la paz, Agosto 24, 2017

Oraciones por la paz, Agosto 24, 2017

Agradecimiento y oraciĂłn para bendecir a las diez personas que recientemente se graduaron de la capacitaciĂłn para hacedores de paz de ECAP.

Demos gracias a las 10 maravillosas personas que terminaron y se graduaron exitosamente de la capacitación intensiva de un mes para hacedores de paz de ECAP. Est@s 10 hacedores de paz emprenderán diferentes viajes en los equipos de ECAP y/o en sus comunidades alrededor del mundo.

La capacitaciĂłn fue una hermosa y profunda experiencia de transformaciĂłn, la cual no es nada fácil. Las sesiones experienciales de la capacitaciĂłn requieren de la presencia y el compromiso de cada un@ de l@s participantes, asĂ­ como tambiĂ©n de la apertura para ser tranformad@s. L@s graduad@s experimentaron un gran nĂşmero de situaciones difĂ­ciles, las cuales tuvieron que procesar de manera individual y luego en grupo para continuar creciendo juntos como comunidad. Una persona tuvo que abandonar la capacitaciĂłn de manera intempestiva, otro tuvo que lidiar con una inesperada situaciĂłn de salud. Los participantes de la capacitaciĂłn tambiĂ©n tuvieron que lidiar con el hecho de que cinco de las personas que tambiĂ©n habĂ­an sido invitadas a la capacitaciĂłn no pudieron asistir gracias a las opresivas polĂ­ticas de visado o a circunstancias personales. Sin embargo, pese a todo esto, hoy celebramos junto a est@s 10 hacedores de paz de Brasil, Uruguay, RepĂşblica Checa, Alemania, Canadá y EE.UU.  que se graduaron de la capacitaciĂłn, l@s cuales compartirán y practicarán todo lo que ell@s han aprendido. Oremos y pidamos por la bendiciĂłn y la guĂ­a divina en sus nuevos caminos, en sus regresos a casa y en las transiciones a la nueva vida y a sus nuevos compromisos laborales con ECAP.

Esta fue la capacitación número 48 que Equipos Cristianos de Acción por la Paz ha organizado durante sus 31 años de existencia. Más de 500 personas han sido capacitadas para poder ser parte de la organización y para fortalecer sus habilidades como hacedores de paz. Estamos profundamente agradecidos por el compromiso de cada una de las personas que ha hecho parte de este viaje para hacer la paz, bien sea como participantes de las capacitaciones o en hacer, a través de diferentes formas, que las capacitaciones sean posibles, o acompañándolos con una oración.

Graduacion de la capacitacion en Chicago

CPT UNITED STATES: Christian Peacemaker Teams supports clergy and community members in Charlottesville through trainings in nonviolent action

CPTnet
18 August 2017
CPT UNITED STATES: Christian Peacemaker Teams supports clergy and community members in Charlottesville through trainings in nonviolent action

by Sarah Thompson

On behalf of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) community, first and foremost we want to extend our condolences to the families of the victims of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Though Trump’s denouncement of the horrendous “Unite the Right” rally on 12 August 2017 was weak, the Charlottesville community’s response was very strong. From clergy to anti-fascist (Antifa) mobilizers to street medics to students, they all came together to confront the misdirected anger and brutalizing violence of the ultra-nationalist right wing—mostly young white men were in attendance—in the United States.

Already in July, the local clergy group knew they needed more reinforcement and training to prepare for the violence their city would experience at the hands of white supremacists on 12 August.

Banner portraying three women and inscription: "We all belong here. We will defend each other"                                                        Image from the online invitation to "Chicago Interfaith Service in Solidarity with Charlottesville"

Prayers for Peacemakers, 11 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 11 August 2017

On the occasion of the international observance of the Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, let us pray for and engage in active solidarity with the indigenous peoples struggle for their rights and protection of land.

This week the world observes the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. The indigenous peoples have too often been erased and silenced from the history and the present. The discussions about the future rarely consider indigenous peoples' voices and reality. Yet, their voices and message sound clear and louder each day. This year marks the 10th anniversary since the world and regional power groups adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Now is the time to implement it. Especially and more so among the people of faith, who have committed to worship and follow the God of peace, justice and love.

Let us reflect on what actions could we take in solidarity with the indigenous peoples who struggle to reclaim their cultural realities and to protect their lives, land and resources. Let us pray that we might comprehend more clearly what actions do we as people of faith need to take. Many of us in Christian Peacemaker Teams are descendants of settlers on lands of others. And some of us come from communities massacred and dispossessed by others. Let us pray for the renewal of strength and energy for the indigenous organizers and communities who ask for respect for their lives, rights and for just and equal opportunities. Let us pray for those who committed to live and work as allies and in solidarity. Let us carry in our thoughts and prayers members of the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team in Winnipeg, Canada.

Youth from Grassy Narrows

Consider watching a music video from an indigenous community of Grassy Narrows that CPT partners with.

Also, here you may read the latest updates from the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 5 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 5 July 2017

In the shadow of big national anniversaries of Canada and the USA, let us remember in our prayers all Indigenous peoples of the Turtle island and their struggle and pray for the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team and its partners.    

This week two countries on the Turtle island celebrate important anniversaries of their existence as sovereign states: 150 years since the creation of Canadian confederation and 241 years since the declaration of independence and formation of the United States of America. The grandiose patriotic celebrations and media coverage rarely remember the impacts of these historic events on the Indigenous peoples who had lived on and cared for these lands and nature for thousands of years. 

Today, let us remember in our prayers the Indigenous nations of the Turtle island who “official histories" have attempted to ignore, erase and silence. Let us pray for the descendants of settlers, who built their country on genocide and land appropriation, because they (and we) are given an opportunity to learn about the past in order to understand the presence. Let us ask the Creator to lead us on the path of transformation to become good allies and partners of future change. Let us pray for the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team and all their partners who play a pivotal role in these efforts.

Decolonization Road sign 

CPT Position Opening: COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

CPT Position Opening:

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams seeks a full-time, talented, creative and detail-oriented Communications Coordinator to facilitate amplifying the voices of our partners and articulating the organization’s mission, vision and values through the framework of undoing oppressions.  The position involves working closely with field teams to strategize and coordinate CPT’s story-telling vehicles and mechanisms in ways that engage world-wide supporters to take action for peace.

 

Responsibilities include coordinating the ongoing development, assessment and implementation of organization-wide communications plans, managing the organization’s web platforms and social media presence, producing promotional, educational and fundraising materials, and participating in the overall work of CPT’s Administrative Team which cares for the whole “web” of the organization.  This person works closely with field teams and others in the areas of development and outreach.  The position involves some international travel to meetings and project sites each year.

 

Candidates should demonstrate excellent writing, editing and verbal communication capabilities in English, commitment to grow in the work of undoing oppressions, and ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a dispersed team across continents.

 

CPT is a Christian-identified organization with multi-faith/spiritually diverse membership.  We seek individuals who are capable, responsible and rooted in faith/spirituality to work for peace as members of teams trained in the disciplines of nonviolence.  We are committed to building an organization that reflects the rich diversity of the human family in ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender identity, language, national origin, race and sexual orientation.

SALARY: $24,000/yr; 100% employer-paid health, dental and vision coverage; four weeks annual vacation.

 

LOCATION: negotiable; Chicago preferred.

 

APPLICATIONS DUE BY: June 25, 2017

 

START DATE: negotiable; July 13 preferred

 

TO APPLY: please submit electronically, in English, the following to hiring@cpt.org

  • Cover letter

  • Resume

  • Two-page English writing sample

  • A list of three references with e-mail and daytime telephone numbers

  • Links to multimedia content including videos, infographics, interactives, etc.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY. Spirited Reflection: Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights.

CPTnet

9 June 2017

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY. Spirited Reflection: Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights.

by Esther Townshend

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. – Jer. 31: 33

Earlier this month, I joined a group walking from Kitchener-Waterloo to Ottawa, called the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights. Organized by Mennonite Church Canada – Indigenous-Settler Relations and Christian Peacemaker Teams – Indigenous Peoples Solidarity, the pilgrimage had two primary goals: to visit churches to foster conversations about the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and its role as a framework for reconciliation; and to call on the Canadian government to fulfill its promise to implement UNDRIP. In particular, we walked in support of Bill C-262, a private member’s bill by MP Romeo Saganash that provides a legislative framework for UNDRIP’s implementation. Canada’s Liberal government has been conspicuously silent on whether it will support Bill C-262, despite having voted for a similar bill when the previous Conservative government was in power. 

Pilgrimage