Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: All the way to the top--CPT Steering Committee endorses UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples)


We have described to you a mountain. We have shown you a path to the top. We call on you to do the climbing-Judge Murray Sinclair (Commissioner for Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission)

One spring day, CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team climbed a Kurdish mountain. Our partners planned the day and, at the beginning of the path, villagers came out to wave at us as we began the trek. Our vegetarian teammate graciously carried the pot of meat for the barbeque. We thought it made sense to hike partway and then lighten our load by burning the wood to cook the chicken, which we would eat with all the other food we hauled.  Although we thought we knew how to do this, it became apparent that despite our good intentions, we had no idea how the day would go. When we wanted to stop, our Kurdish partners told us to keep going— all the way to the top! 

The trail was a goat track with stones and holes in the way. We had to clamber over large rocks in the pathway. It would have been easy to turn an ankle or to fall off the side. Yet our partners told us that our goal was the top ridge, when finally we could rest, put down the burdens of the meat pot, firewood and a huge stack of bread and have a feast together. 

Now CPT is again climbing a mountain—the one described by Judge Murray Sinclair at the end of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Canada through which the world was exposed to the reality and horrors of 150 years of residential schools in Canada. The commission spent six years traveling to different parts of Canada to hear the testimony of approximately six thousand Indigenous people. They heard of children as young as three years taken away from their families and placed in residential schools to assimilate them into European settler society—a policy Justice Sinclair would declare “cultural genocide.” As a response, the commissioners of the TRC laid out ninety-four calls to action that communities and institutions on Indigenous lands can take to work for reconciliation. 

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Full-time Indigenous Peoples Solidarity field team member sought

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of: Full-time Field Team Member.  All members of CPT’s Peacemaker Corps and qualified people from outside the corps are eligible to apply.

Team: Indigenous Peoples Solidarity (IPS)

Reports to Project Support Coordinator

Status: Full-time, stipended, three year term

Stipend: $1000US/month (independent living – no “team house”)

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) – Turtle Island

Start Date: December 1, 2017

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity: CPT-IPS team visits No Dakota Access Pipeline camps


"The Creator is our weapon," a speaker said at a community meeting in the Sacred Stone Spirit camp, "and we need no other." 

Responding to an inquiry about presence at the No Dakota Access Pipeline camps near Cannonball, ND, the CPT-Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team recently organized a short trip to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to explore what support they could offer water defenders. The camps have become a gathering place for many peoples opposing the threat the Bakken oil pipeline poses to the Missouri River and other shared waterways.   

Our small delegation camped at the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp, the first of three camps to be established at Standing Rock. Ladonna Brave Bull Allard, a Lakota tribal historian on whose land the camp is located, described the objectives of the camp as protecting the water, preventing the Dakota Access Pipeline, building a community of people who care for and respect one another and the land, and bringing about a shift in world thought with regard to humans' relationship with the earth. During our time there, we heard repeatedly that "this is a camp founded on prayer."  

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Applications sought for Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Project Support Coordinator postion

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of IPS Project Support Coordinator 

Participants in the 2015 Anishinaabe Waterwalk against the Energy East pipeline

Team: Administrative Team

Reports to: Program Director

Status: Stipended, half-time, 20 hours/week

Stipend: $1,000 USD/mo

Location: Turtle Island  (Canada–preferred—or United States)

Start Date: December 1st, 2016

Application Deadline: October 30, 2016

Position Purpose: This half-time (20 hours/week) position supports CPT’s Indigenous People Solidarity Program efforts to amplify the voices of and support Indigenous nations, communities and movements in Turtle Island seeking justice and defending lands against corporate and government exploitation, as well as a commitment to undoing colonialism in churches.   

Prayers for Peacemakers September 28, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers September 28, 2016

Pray for the people of Grassy Narrows.  A recently published report by Japanese scientists noted that almost everyone they tested in the community, young and old were showing some sign of mercury poisoning.  Additionally, Health Canada is withholding the results of blood tests they performed on newborns in Grassy Narrows for mercury poisoning between 1978 and 1992.  Pray that those with the power to address this environmental racism will find it unacceptable. 

*Epixel for Peacemakers  October 2, 2016 

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?

Or cry to you "Violence!" and you will not save?

Why do you make me see wrong-doing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; 

strife and contention arise.

So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails. The wicked surround the righteous--

 therefore judgment comes forth perverted. Hakkakuk 1:2-4

 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary
 readings.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Canada Coordinator position opening at Christian Peacemaker Teams

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of Canada Coordinator.

https://persia37.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/carrie-and-chuck.jpg?w=735Reports to Communications & Engagement Director

Terms: Stipended, full-time, 40 hours/week, three-year term commitment

Compensation: Up to $2000usd/mo

Location: Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario area; office located in Waterloo

Start Date: 15 October 2016

Application Deadline: 25 September 2016; Please send resumĂ© and statement of motivation to outreach@cpt.org. Full job description available upon request.

Position Summary: This full-time (40 hours/week) administrative position supports CPT’s efforts to amplify the voices of our partners and resource the well-being of our workers.  It involves managing CPT’s Canada office including finances, engaging Canadian supporters in fundraising and advocacy for peacemaking and nurturing supportive relationships with Canadian CPTers.

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 24, 2016 Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers,  August 24, 2016  Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity

Pray for the 3,000 indigenous protectors of the land and water at encampments in North Dakota who are preventing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The North Dakota Homeland Security Director has cut off their access to drinking water today. Pray that the media will cover their courageous nonviolent witness and that people will respond to their call to stand in solidarity with them.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  August 28, 2016 
  Photo by Unicorn Riot
Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the LORD,

for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves,
cracked cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:12-13
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ SOLIDARITY: Sixty years can be four generations of living with toxic chemicals

 

Judy Da Silva presents Glen Murray and David Zimmer with a pipe 

Chrissy Swain was eleven-years-old the first time she participated in an action to bring awareness to Grassy Narrows First Nation. By then the accumulation of ten tons of mercury (waste from Dryden, ON pulp and paper mill) had been contaminating the English-Wabigoon River for three decades. When she walked onto the stage at the Canada Day concert all those years ago, the Ontario government had already been ignoring for one decade a report* advocating for remediation of the river. This report was shelved and filed away for another twenty years—bringing us to 2016.

In June 2016, Grassy Narrows again presented a scientific report describing a technique to remediate the river system, one that would reduce the mercury in the abundant fish and bring health back to the water, the people and their economy. Finally, the politicians seem to have woken up from a willful ignorance that the toxins have not naturally gone away.

Prayers for Peacemakers, July 13, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, July 13, 2016 

Give thanks that the Mennonite Church Canada has repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery, a philosophical and legal framework dating back to the fifteenth century that gives “Christian governments” the legal right to seize indigenous lands and dominate Indigenous people.  Pray that Mennonites view this as a first step in a restorative process with First Nations in Canada.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  July 17, 2016 
O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?
Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the LORD; who stand by their oath even to their hurt Psalm 15:1-4
 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

CPT INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ SOLIDARITY: Dear Settlers

 

Rezhiar Fakhir

It has not been very long since I visited the land of the Indigenous peoples. I acknowledge that it took me a very long time to write this. That was for two reasons. First, I come from a place where we have suffered from different conflicts, not just over decades but over centuries. I thought it would not be a good idea for me to write a judgment of Canadian society when we are deeply impacted by war in our own region. Second, North American history is very complicated for me even though some have told me it is very simple: the settlers came and destroyed the life of the Indigenous peoples – the story is as simple as that. Even after my first visit to Grassy Narrows, an indigenous reserve, I was not courageous enough to write this reflection. But I made a pledge to my indigenous friends that I would write about their struggle even though I am not Canadian.

My journey in Canada began when I arrived in Nelson in British Colombia to finish my course at Selkirk College in mid April. From the moment of my arrival I felt the generosity of the people of Nelson. They were very kind and welcoming. Nelson portrayed a perfect Canada in my mind. However, I began to hear from my very good friends, classmates and instructors about some problems and difficulties that Canadians faced. I met many people in Nelson who told me stories about the Indigenous peoples’ struggle. They gave me an overview of the history and the challenges of indigenous peoples in North America. One late afternoon, I even saw one of my classmates arguing with the police from Nelson about the history of colonization. Or my instructor who expressed concern about the extinction of some indigenous communities in Nelson.