From 2018

Rachel Singleton-Polster and Jennifer Preston at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York 2018

A Week at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Every year CFSC participates in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII), as the lead for Friends globally. The theme this year was the critical topic of Indigenous Peoples’ collective rights to lands, territories, and resources. People often ask, “What do you do at the UN?” In answer, we offer a few daily…

Friends on the Move

Friends on the Move

CFSC member Dick Cotterill (Halifax Meeting) travelled to St. Mary’s University in Halifax to attend a conference on Harm and Harm Reduction in the Criminal Justice System. This was a good learning and networking opportunity for Dick, who serves on CFSC’s criminal justice program committee.   CFSC communications coordinator Matt Legge was at Western Half…

Canadians write in support of conscientious objectors to the Iraq war

Conscientious Objection to Military Service

The Religious Society of Friends has always believed that anyone can discover the deep spiritual certainty that we each have the Light or ‘that of God’ within. Experiencing this, even seasoned soldiers might suddenly find it impossible to kill another person. Of course there are other reasons one might object to military service – such…

Keeping up with Friends

Keeping up with Friends

Separating children from parents Many of us have seen chilling images from the US of child refugees who are terrified and extremely distressed after being forcefully separated from their parents. A new blog post by CFSC says this highlights the importance of Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every child…

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.…

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.…