Archive for January, 2014

A Gaza Doctor’s Journey

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

 

A Gaza Doctor’s Journey

 Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, author of “I Shall Not Hate, a Gaza Doctor’s Journey” was the guest lecturer at the St. Jerome’s University/Scarboro Missions lecture on Sunday, January 19, 2014. Some of Our Lady’s Missionaries joined about 200 people in the chapel at Scarboro Missions to hear Dr. Abuelaish’s story of personal tragedy, faith and commitment to peace and reconciliation.

 After the death of his three daughters and young niece by Israeli shells in Gaza in 2009, Dr. Abuelaish has continued to call for understanding and working together rather than hatred and violence. He spoke of humanity that we all share and that all religions value, of the need to connect “heart to heart”, to ask questions and understand rather than blame so that people can come together as equals for the future of all.

 Dr. Abuelaish pointed out the importance of knowing the history of people in order to understand them. He also emphasized his strong belief in the importance of the education and role of women if we want to live in harmony and leave a legacy of peace for our children.

 A standing ovation at the close of the lecture expressed our appreciation for the message that inspired and challenged, giving much matter for reflection on our own personal commitment.

 Sister Frances Brady,olm

 

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

 

Guests

Guests

 

The Doctrine of Discovery

Monday, January 20th, 2014

OLM and OLM Partners met for their first gathering of 2014 at Leander House in Toronto on the sunny, mild Sunday afternoon of January 12, 2014.

 We began by watching a music video by American, Colby Jeffers and Awu Donson of the Cameroons.  Their song, “We Can Change the World,” was accompanied by stunning visuals that included a multitude of quotes by persons who have changed our world with love and peaceful resistance to injustice.

 Guest speaker Chris Sabas was welcomed by all. Chris is a full time member of the Aboriginal Justice Team and was the Team Leader of the Christian Peacemaker Teams in New Brunswick in the fall of 2013.  Before joining the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), Chris was a practicing Attorney in the United States. Chris’ friend Rachel from the New Brunswick group accompanied her.

 Chris’s presentation to us was a follow-up from our October meeting. We had then heard from Mr. Murray Lumley, a committed activist, advocate for  Indigenous Peoples and member of CPT.  Murray is committed to helping the Elsipogtog First Nations in their fight against fracking in their communities in Northern New Brunswick. 

 In continuation, Chris introduced us to the Doctrine of Discovery.

The Doctrine of Discovery is an international legal principle constructed by European Christian nations in the fifteenth century when North America and other colonial states were being “discovered” by European explorers. It was designed to justify their dominance to Indigenous Peoples, their lands and territorial resources in the Non-Christian nations around the world.  Its application continues today and sets the foundation of the laws in colonial states – the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. 

 Chris gave us an overview of the chain of command here in Canada. For example, The Governor General is the Queen’s representative in Canada and the Queen is Head of the Commonwealth; running parallel to this is the Canadian Parliament with the Prime Minister at its head. This extensive bureaucracy represents the mountains which First Nation Peoples must climb to simply address and exercise guaranteed rights to their lands and resources.

 First Nation Chiefs face insurmountable obstacles in their struggle to hold on to the land and natural resources that they assert as their own. The normal recourse has become protests, demonstrations, clashes with authorities, arrests, and other measures of last resort in defense of their birthright which is being increasingly threatened by the likes of big oil and logging and development companies. Most unfortunately, our large government structures have not been of much support. This may be due to the continued application of the unjust and absurd Doctrine of Discovery principle.

 Chris encouraged those present to keep informed on local environmental issues and to call local MPP’s or MP’s to show support for the plight of  First Nations peoples. 

 The United Nations Declaration on Rights for Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was also discussed. It is an international instrument adopted by the UN on September 13, 2007 to ensure the rights that “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous Peoples of the World.”

 UNDRIP deals with a wide spectrum of Indigenous rights, and much has and is being written on this subject and how it should shape the actions of our leaders

 We look forward to hearing from Chris again as we continue our own journey of discovery and to respect the rights and equality for Indigenous Peoples.

Mary Edmunds, OLM Partner

Follow this link to watch the music video we used as our opening reflection:

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ubC01IsCUE

 

The Doctrine of Discovery

The Doctrine of Discovery


 

 

Listening to Chris

Listening to Chris

 

 

 

 

Chris Sabas from CPT

Chris Sabas from CPT

 

Partners with OLM

Partners with OLM

OLMs and Partners with OLM

OLMs and Partners with OLM