Reflections on Service: An Interview with Jane Orion Smith

I recently caught up with Jane Orion Smith to discuss her 18 years with Canadian Friends Service Committee, and what she learned along the way.   Q: What motivates Quaker service work? Orion: Quakerism is a religion of response. The motivation is a response to the Inner Voice, not just what we think is right.…

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Keeping up with Friends

Keeping up with Friends

CFSC welcomes Verena Tan We’re pleased to welcome Verena Tan as the new program coordinator for CFSC’s criminal justice work! Verena has a lot of experience in working with people who have been harmed by the current system. During the course of her law degree in Australia, Verena worked in grassroots defence of Indigenous people.…

Friends on the Move

Friends on the Move

CFSC peace program coordinator Matt Legge was on Vancouver Island in March speaking about the practical peace skills he’s been researching for a forthcoming book. In particular the talks raised issues like how we can engage with people we disagree with in the most constructive ways possible, and what evidence shows are the false or…

Engaging with Indigenous Peoples in BC’s Northwest

During the first week of February I traveled with CFSC associate member Paul Joffe to northwest British Columbia to make presentations on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Such presentations, and dialogue on Indigenous concerns, are critical for human rights education.   Last year Paul and I had presented in Prince Rupert…

Canada’s Aging Prison Population

The number of older offenders (those aged 50+) incarcerated in Canadian prisons is on the rise. It has now exceeded 25% of the people in our federal institutions. Together with this come new realities of deteriorating mental and physical health. Walkers and wheelchairs are common sights. Dementia and Alzheimer’s present new challenges to prison staff.…

Will Canada create an Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security?

An Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security?

Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre, recently introduced a Private Members’ Motion (M-163) seeking to establish an Ambassador for Women, Peace, and Security. This concept of women, peace, and security has been advanced by the international community since 2000 (PDF), but it seems Canada is starting to take it more seriously, with a…

Indigenous rights legislation was a key topic of a 2017 symposium in Quebec

Advancing Legislation on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

CFSC proudly worked with partners in the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples to host a symposium, Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Priorities, Partnerships and Next Steps, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Declaration. Our Symposium took place at the University of…