On October 25th at noon, Radomir Bilash will talk about the 130 year history of Ukrainians in Canada. The meeting will be held over Zoom at this link.
We celebrated the UN Day of Peace on Sept. 21 at Government House and were once again blessed with a beautiful blue sky. Speakers were our board members (president) Guy Blood, Rev. Audrey Brooks & Rebecca Wright and Vivian Giang, president of the United Nations Association in Canada, Edmonton chapter. Paula Kirman and the Raging Grannies sang and it was an inspiring event. Please take a look at our Facebook page.
Members of all faiths and ethnic groups were invited to participate in the 13th Annual Genocide Memorial Service, on Zoom at 10:30 Sunday, July 11, 2021, sponsored by the Unitarian Church of Edmonton, The Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action, and the Westwood Unitarian Congregation.
The Genocide Memorial Service began with Treaty Six acknowledgement. Representatives from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, First Nations and other faiths are invited to tell us how genocide affected their people. Prayers, songs and readings are interspersed throughout the program. Inscribed memorial stones along with their stories were presented to the audience. Later, they were placed in a memorial garden at 9916-154 Street, where they can be viewed. The stones witness, honor and name those who died violent deaths because of wars, racism, gender identity, greed, slavery, ethnic cleansing and appropriation of Indigenous lands.Continue reading “13th Annual Genocide Memorial Service”
In 2008 we began a monthly “Lunch & Learn” program with a presentation of local interest followed by a lively discussion. It is continuing on Zoom, we’ll offer the learning part and you bring your lunch. On Tuesday May 25 at noon, we continued the program with a talk by Mike Van Boom, Edmonton’s first housing ambassador.Continue reading “Lunch & Learn: Mike Van Boom”
The following is the text of a letter sent, by both e-mail and physical mail, to represent the Edmonton Interfaith Centre’s position regarding Bill C-15 to the four Senators that represent Alberta in the Senate of Canada:
Dear Senators Black, LaBoucane-Benson, Simons and Tannas:
It has come to our attention that Bill C-15 is currently before the Senate. We want to encourage you to pass it.
The importance of this Bill cannot be overstated. As we understand it, Bill C-15 asks the Government of Canada to examine all laws to discover where any prejudice towards indigenous peoples may occur and change those laws so that they conform with the requirements of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This quote is from a summary statement, “Bill C-15 would affirm UNDRIP’s application to Canadian law, to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with UNDRIP and provide a framework for Canada’s implementation of UNDRIP. The principles set out in the bill are a benchmark for Canada’s conduct going forward.“
Indigenous people in Canada have suffered for many years under laws that seemed reasonable and necessary at the time. These laws have proven to be arbitrary, discriminatory and prejudicial. Acknowledging the injustice of these laws requires the passing of Bill C-15.
We also understand that a full 60% of Canadian people support this bill and want you to approve it so that discriminatory laws can be corrected.
It’s a national embarrassment that Canada, known for its fair-mindedness and support of Human Rights around the world, would be treating its own indigenous citizens so poorly. This problem has to be fixed.
Please support working for the right thing to do, freeing indigenous people from the oppressive laws that have caused them considerable harm and suffering for so long.
Vote to Pass C-15!
Thanks for your consideration,
Guy Blood, President, and the Board of Directors of the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education & Action
On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, the Faith in the Declaration Coalition, “a coalition of Canadian faith houses and organizations working together to support the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [UNDRIP]”, presented an online conversation and learning event regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Bill C-15, which is currently awaiting second reading in Parliament, and intended to bring Canadian law into line with the UNDRIP. The conversation can be seen in its entirety here. For more information on Faith in the Declaration and how to support the implementation of Declaration Legislation, please visit https://www.faithinthedeclaration.ca/
The Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation (CMEF) and the Edmonton Interfaith Centre (EIC) held a panel discussion over Zoom on Sunday March 21 from 1 to 2:30 for the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD), on the topic of “Confronting Inherent Racism”.
Speakers were Dr. Chaldeans Mensah, Beryl Scott and Dr. Alvin Finkel, and we are grateful for the added participation of Elder Pauline Paulson and moderator Harriet Tinka.Continue reading “Panel Discussion – Confronting Inherent Racism”
On March 8 we continued our new virtual “Lunch & Learn” with a very informative talk by Gary St. Armand, CEO of the Bissell Centre. This 100+ year old agency has a simple goal: a Community Without Poverty. Gary spoke about how they are working toward this ambitious aim in these challenging times as well as his own background which makes him ideally suited for the job.
On Tuesday, February 23rd, the Parliament of the World’s Religions hosted a special observance of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week on the theme of healing and loving our neighbors.
The program featured the participation of Chicago faith leaders reflecting on “How do we as communities and individuals heal and build better together?”. While the PWR is based in Chicago, this discussion of reaching across lines of difference, and having a collective conversation about our shared truth, resonate strongly with the Edmonton Interfaith Centre’s mission.