Keeping up with Friends
Our favourite Indigenous films
We’re often asked a question along the lines of, “Which Indigenous films does CFSC recommend I watch if I want to learn about Indigenous cultures?” To help answer this, we decided to create an easy-to-share one-page handout with our top picks.
Get to Know Thee, Friend
On the last Thursday of every month this year in honour of CFSC’s 90th anniversary, we’re hosting a popular event series. If you’d like to hear behind-the-scenes stories from some of the people who make CFSC what it is, you can see videos of the seven sessions that have taken place so far, and a schedule of upcoming sessions and how to join.
CFSC joins in renewed calls to end prolonged solitary confinement
CFSC was among dozens of groups invited to a “consultation” convened by the Correctional Service of Canada to discuss issues within Structured Intervention Units (highly restrictive prison units that continue to subject individuals to prolonged, indefinite solitary confinement). A number of the invited organizations signed an open letter criticizing the “consultation” and calling on the federal government to take immediate action to end torture in Canada’s federal prisons.
Call to stop targeting Muslim charities
CFSC was one of 131 organizations from across the country that signed a joint letter about Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) audits apparently disproportionately singling out Muslim charities. A new report found that between 2008 and 2015, 75% of all charities revoked by CRA’s Review and Analysis Division were Muslim, despite Muslim charities representing just 0.47% of registered charities in 2015. The letter offers five specific calls for reforms.
Unmarked graves at Residential Schools
In response to the discovery of unmarked graves we are grieving alongside all Indigenous peoples whose children never made it home from residential school, and with all residential school survivors and their families, who have carried this trauma for so long.
Residential schools were instrumental to Canada’s genocide of Indigenous peoples. Even knowing this and reading the TRC’s final report that devoted an entire volume to Canada’s Residential Schools, Missing Children, and Unmarked Burials, we are still greatly disturbed as we continue to learn of these horrific discoveries.
We recognize that what has been discovered thus far are not isolated and we expect that there will be similar discoveries of children’s remains at other residential school sites.
CFSC has refrained from making a longer statement on this issue as we think it is most useful to listen to Indigenous peoples and to amplify their voices.
One voice worth hearing is that of Wanda Gabriel, a professor of social work at McGill University and a citizen of Kanehsatà:ke, Kanieke’ha:ke nation. Wanda provided The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples with a short video discussing intergenerational trauma, its impacts for Indigenous peoples, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Petition to stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline
The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project (TMX) is new fossil fuel infrastructure that will result in an increase in fossil fuel emissions at a time when the science is abundantly clear that we need to move away from burning fossil fuels in order to maintain a livable planet for present and future generations.
Friends in Vancouver are actively working to oppose TMX and Vancouver Meeting supports House of Commons Petition e-3541. It calls upon the House to immediately stop the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline, as outlined in Motion M-94 and instead to invest in a made-in-Canada Green New Deal. Those eligible are encouraged to sign petition e-3541 if so led.
Stop excluding military pollution from climate agreements
CFSC has signed a petition to the countries meeting at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in November. The petition states:
“The 2015 Paris Agreement left cutting military greenhouse gas emissions to the discretion of individual nations. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change obliges signatories to publish annual greenhouse gas emissions, but military emissions reporting is voluntary and often not included.”
The petition calls for “strict greenhouse gas emissions limits that make no exception for militarism.” It is open for individual and organizational signatures.
Write to encourage those imprisoned for reasons of conscience
Since 2017 CFSC has partnered with the Israeli human rights group Mesarvot, which provides advice and support to young Israelis who refuse conscription into the military. Many of these young people wind up imprisoned because of their conscientious objection to military service. One thing that we can each do is to take a few minutes and let them know that they aren’t alone. Find updates and links to write to conscientious objectors.
CFSC also continues to experience a concern for Canada’s role in the Israel/Palestine situation. One important area is how the situation is covered by Canadian media. See this recent joint letter (PDF) expressing multiple issues with coverage decisions by the CBC.
We also recently endorsed an event on the arms trade between Canada and Israel called Hidden in Plain Sight: Uncovering the Israel-Canada Weapons and Security Trade.
Peace workshops set to begin again in September
Get ready for the next round of CFSC’s six-week-long workshop series based on our award-winning book Are We Done Fighting? The interactive learning series is back by popular demand. Find out more and register for free. You can also contact us to order your copy of Are We Done Fighting? for just $20, shipping included.
Call on Canada to stop arming Saudi Arabia
A new tool from the Canada-wide Peace and Justice Network (of which CFSC is a founding member) makes it easy for Canadians to email their Members of Parliament to ask that Canada 1) stop arming Saudi Arabia and 2) support factories to convert from deadly weapons production to peaceful green production so that jobs aren’t lost.