Keeping up with Friends

CFSC expresses solidarity with Wet’suwet’en people

Coastal GasLink is in the process of creating a pipeline, which crosses territories of many Indigenous Nations, including the Wet’suwet’en. Intimidation and arrests have been used against nonviolent Indigenous land defenders. CFSC has shared our deep concerns; called for respectful, good faith dialogue; and expressed our solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en. We’ve also compiled links to some of the best media coverage to help you understand the situation:


The COVID-19 pandemic and respect of human rights

In light of the highly infectious nature of COVID-19, and the particular threat that it poses to vulnerable communities with inadequate access to healthcare, housing, water, and other essential services, it is imperative that governments respect the right of Indigenous peoples to set conditions of entry into their territories. Where Indigenous communities have required suspension of certain activities in their territories, this must be adhered to. This is the urgent message we joined with expert partners to deliver:

We also joined a massive open letter on human rights oversight of responses to COVID-19 in Canada, signed by 157 organizations and 144 individual experts:


COVID-19 and synthetic biology

Once a year we see what’s making headlines in the weird world of synthetic biology. Our 2020 update starts with synthetic biology responses to COVID-19 and the latest on genetically engineering humans. We touch on other recent stories including monkeys given human genes, and living “programmable” beings designed by artificial intelligence and built from frogs’ skin and heart cells:


Canada calls for peace, allows more arms exports to Saudi Arabia

The UN Secretary General called for a global ceasefire so the world could address the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada joined with the Secretary General to urged for one—a day after it quietly lifted its moratorium on selling more weapons to Saudi Arabia. Find out more in this op-ed by Cesar Jaramillo, the Executive Director of Project Ploughshares (of which Friends are members):

We are profoundly troubled by this continued profiting from selling weapons to human rights abusers, even as Canada claims to champion human rights. For more details see: and

Say hello to our new program icons

In this edition of Quaker Concern you’ll notice something different: we’re using three new icons for our three program areas (criminal justice, Indigenous peoples’ human rights, and peace). The icons are part of our overall strategy of sharing communications that are simple, honest, and easy to understand. Find out how we chose these icons and what they represent at: