KAIROS Canada reminds us that “we are all Treaty people who share responsibility for taking action on reconciliation” with Indigenous peoples. The Canadian ecumenical justice movement notes that “without truth, justice and healing, there can be no reconciliation.” A new KAIROS resource, “Let Justice Roll” was recently distributed to regional coordinators and contacts for Association and for justice, peace and the integrity of creation. The resource focuses on implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which Canada officially adopted last year. The KAIROS website offers other resources focusing on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, human rights and ecological justice. www.kairoscanada.org
May 17 is the International Day of Families (UN) with the 2017 theme, “Families, education and well-being”. This year’s observance seeks “to raise awareness of the role of families in promoting early childhood education and lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth.” Highlighting the importance of all caregivers in families, the day also seeks to emphasize “education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles.” The observance promotes the fourth UN Sustainable Development Goal to which Canada and all member states agreed: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” (www.un.org) For families, we pray . . .
In Canada and beyond, May 17 brings the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. This year’s theme is, “Fighting Transphobia.” This phobia can be defined as any “negative attitude that could lead to directly or indirectly rejecting, or discriminating against a ‘trans person’ . . . (or) any person who does not conform to standards and representations of gender and sex.” In Quebec and the rest of Canada, although transgender people “have been better protected by the law for a few years . . . prejudices and discrimination persist in all spheres of society.” Education and awareness are essential to reduce and eliminate negative attitudes and misconceptions. This year’s campaign notes that all persons deserve respect, love and acceptance. www.transphobia.ca (with www.fondationemergence.org).
Humanitarian Crisis ~ OXFAM Canada warns the “world is standing on the brink of an unprecedented four famines” in Africa and the Middle East as temperatures rise, leading to more extreme weather events and drought. Millions of people are now at risk of starvation in northeast Nigeria, South Sudan, the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya) and Yemen. (www.oxfam.ca) We remember those who are suffering; those providing aid and care, and the UN and international community, responding to this serious crisis. Development and Peace – Caritas Canada is also receiving donations at www.devp.org.
During the month of May, Development and Peace and KAIROS Canada encourage participation in the Open for Justice Campaign for mining justice. They are partnering with the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability. Please consider signing an online letter on the KAIROS website to federal Minister of International Trade, Hon. François-Philippe Champagne. The letter calls for a human rights ombudsperson to help protect human rights internationally and improve the performance and reputation of Canada’s extractive sector. See www.kairoscanada.org For mining justice, we pray…
The Council of Canadians, New Brunswick Health Coalition and N.B. Common Front for Social Justice are opposing a for-profit plasma clinic set to open in Moncton, N.B. Permitted by the provincial Liberal government, the clinic will be operated by a private company, Canadian Plasma Resources. Those opposed believe plasma must be treated as a public resource rather than an opportunity for industry profits. With the clinic locating near a public university and social housing, there is concern the company will take advantage of students and people living in poverty seeking payment for their plasma. An online letter to federal Health Minister Jane Philpott is available at www.canadians.org. It calls the federal government to deny a licence to Canadian Plasma Resources and to safeguard the integrity of the voluntary blood and plasma collection system.
KAIROS Canada invites everyone to celebrate the second anniversary of the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action on June 2. Cultural programming and a Kitchi (“really big”) Blanket Exercise is planned on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on “unceded Algonquin territory.” The Blanket Exercise “is a visual and experiential way to represent colonization in Canada and its impact on Indigenous peoples.” The Kitchi Blanket Exercise “is also about bringing a different focus to Canada 150” in 2017. For more, see www.kairoscanada.org . . .
World Environment Day is June 5 with the 2017 theme, “Connecting People to Nature” (UN). Canada is this year’s global host as part of Canada 150 celebrations. See worldenvironmentday.global
In Canada, June 21 brings National Aboriginal Day, celebrating “the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis” peoples. www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca
PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS & TRANSFORMATION
Gracious and loving God,
forgive us for what we have done
and what we have left undone
in our country’s journey with
Our failure to live up to the treaties,
to live up to the dignity of all peoples,
to live up to your dreams of justice
have created a rupture in our nation
and a deep wound in our hearts.
Bring us a change of heart,
a restored will,
and a deepened resolve
for a renewed and hopeful future.
With your enabling and
help us to begin to live in
honour and mutual respect.
Write this covenant of right relations
on each of our hearts,
and through the power of your Spirit,
make it an enduring bond of love and justice.
In the name of the One
who loved every person,
every creature, into being,
we pray. Amen.
From KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives ~ “Let Justice Roll”
Resource at www.kairoscanada.org (Title of prayer added)
~ Warm spring and summer blessings in the Sun of Justice! ~
Taking Action offers a congratulatory letter to Hon. Louise Arbour for her new United Nations position. It is a one-page petition letter for individual signing and sending. It requires regular domestic postage.
To download the Sowing Justice April issue, click the picture below.