From 2021

90 years of service - CFSC sends medical supplies to all sides impacted by the Vietnam war

90 Years of Service

2021 marks 90 years since Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC) was founded. In preparation for our 90th anniversary, I have spent much of the last six months searching out and speaking with some of the Friends that have made CFSC’s work possible. Hearing these stories of triumph, persistence, and heartbreak has reaffirmed what I already…

Friends on the Move

Friends on the Move

None of us have gone anywhere during the pandemic, but we’ve covered great virtual distances in our witness for justice and peace. Jennifer Preston presented on Indigenous peoples’ human rights to Global Affairs Canada in a briefing session for officials going on international placements. She presented to graduate students at New York University on how…

An image of barbed wire in Jerusalem. What does it mean to be an apartheid state?

What Does it Mean to be an Apartheid State?

In the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the Israeli regime implements laws, practices and state violence designed to cement the supremacy of one group—Jews—over another—Palestinians.” So says B’Tselem, the premier Israeli human rights organization.1 The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid defines apartheid as…

In advancing the TRC's Calls to Action CFSC has provided individual grants like one to Cowichan Elder Hul'q'umin'num, teacher, and knowledge keeper Philomena Williams, to bring in a fish leather expert for teaching this ancient skill

Giving Life and Spirit to TRC Calls to Action

In June, it will be six years since the formal closing events commemorating the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the release of the 94 Calls to Action. Many thousands of people at the closing event heard the words of TRC Chief Commissioner Murray Sinclair: “If you thought the truth was hard, reconciliation…

Keeping up with Friends

Keeping up with Friends

Supporting Bill C-15 CFSC has been very active promoting Bill C-15, The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. Together with our partners we’re helping to counter alarmist, misleading, and outright false statements that some are making about this Bill.   This has taken the form of educational events, a piece in The…

Inmates in a minimum security prison use a payphone like this one to stay in touch with family

The Lived Experience of COVID-19 in a Minimum Security Prison

During my years working in the youth justice field, I was often stunned by the repeated gaps I encountered between policy and practice. Policy was regularly recited as assurance that legal obligations were being met (all necessary medical and dental care was being offered, prisoners were free from physical punishment, and so forth). Frequently, the…

Bringing it home - image of a peaceful landscape at sunset dotted with trees and homes.

Bringing It Home

In the summer of 2020, the catastrophic death of George Floyd created a sudden swell of public attention regarding calls to defund the police, the over-representation of Black and Indigenous people in the criminal justice system, and systemic racism in Canada. CFSC discerned the need to respond, and began planning for a new project—The Only…

Romeo Saganash and Jennifer Preston pose in the House of Commons after Bill C-262 passes in the House.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

On December 3, 2020, Minister of Justice David Lametti tabled Bill C-15, a federal government bill to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is intended to provide the overdue framework for the federal government to work cooperatively with Indigenous peoples to implement the rights affirmed in the UN Declaration in…

This famous optical illusion allows you to make your own interpretation: are you seeing an old woman in profile or a young woman looking away

Interpretation

For several years my service work with CFSC has involved researching conflicts of all types, as well as various peacebuilding skills and techniques. In 2020 associate member Trevor Chandler and I began facilitating online workshops to help people practice some of these techniques. Over 100 people have taken part so far. In these many conversations,…

Friends on the Move

Friends on the Move

As travel remains impossible, we continue to create virtual opportunities for our many supporters to gather, connect, and learn together. CFSC’s Clerks host a weekly Meeting for Worship via Zoom (contact us for details), and we delivered major online series The Only Way Forward and Are We Done Fighting? discussed in this issue of Quaker…