Friends on the Move

Our Indigenous rights staff have travelled a lot lately. Jennifer Preston went to Geneva in late September to support partners at the Human Rights Council’s 54th session, where their resolution on human rights and Indigenous peoples was drafted.

In early November, Jeremy Vander Hoek went to Costa Rica to support the work of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at their seminar hosted at the University for Peace in San José. Experts from around the world came to discuss laws, policies, constitutions, and judicial decisions relating to states’ attempts at implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

December brought both Jennifer and Jeremy to the territory of the Sámi people, called Sápmi, in what’s now known as northern Norway and Finland. This travel was part of their work in the Global Indigenous Rights Research Network, a group aimed at bringing together the resources and expertise of academia, civil society, and activists to push for implementation of the Declaration.

Their trip began with learning at both the Sami Parliament in Finland and the Sami Parliament in Norway. Parliamentarians and other staff shared how they’ve worked to implement the Declaration in their contexts. After that, they spent time supporting the Network team and Sámi partners at a two-day workshop at Sámi University. Participants at the workshop dialogued on effective implementation efforts and discussed how best to overcome common challenges.

Matthew Legge visited Yarmouth Meeting on January 20th to talk about Israel/Palestine and broader issues of peace and social justice activism. Although snow was falling outside, the beautiful old Meeting House was toasty warm and the event was well attended, generating rich discussion.

Matt also presented online at a launch event for a peace journal he contributed to, to a university class at Furman College in South Carolina that studies CFSC’s book Are We Done Fighting?, and in-person at a Toronto library.

A photo of Nancy RussellNancy Russell is retiring from CFSC after serving as our Criminal Justice Program Coordinator since 2020. We thank Nancy for her years of service and wish her a wonderful retirement! Nancy joined us after a long and successful career including at the Office of the Ontario Child Advocate and teaching at Humber College.

Most recently Nancy has helped steward CFSC’s work in support of the children of incarcerated parents and has helped us to plan for new penal abolition advocacy work in Ottawa. This planning meeting saw Nancy joined by staff member Sandra Wiens and CFSC members Daisie Auty, John Samson Fellows, Jocelyne Tranquilla, and associate Kathy Bickmore at Friends House in Toronto. (This was a special meeting in the winter after the full CFSC members and staff meeting held in the fall at Camp NeeKauNis.)