“From History to Her Story” Event Honours Women of Courage and Reconciliation

By Beth Dollaga

About sixty people gathered for the pre-Truth and Reconciliation public event, “From History to Her Story: The Power of Women’s Testimony in Truth and Reconciliation”, at St. Paul’s Anglican Church on Jarvis Street in Vancouver on Sunday, September 15. Here’s a photo album of the event.

The event was sponsored by KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives and co-organized by Kairos Metro Vancouver (Vancouver-Richmond), the Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights, Women of Courage, and Migrante-BC.

Speakers and KAIROS and community leaders celebrate after the event.

Speakers and KAIROS and community leaders celebrate after the event.

First Nations people and Filipino-Canadians joined representatives from other communities and organizations to listen to the voices of women from Guatemala, the Philippines and British Columbia.

Some of the voices included Sam Claver, a youth leader and activist from the Indigenous Igorot nation in the Cordillera, Philippines. Sam was forced to leave her home and friends because of political persecution and death threats. Another speaker was Jill Harris, an elder from the Penalakut First Nation in BC, a survivor of the Indian residential school system, and a leader in justice and reconciliation work.  Naty Atz Sunuc also spoke. Naty is Maya Kaqchikel , a victim and survivor of the brutal civil war in Guatemala, a highly respected defender of Indigenous rights in Guatemala, and long time partner of KAIROS.

Together these women shared their context and the practice of reconciliation from their own personal life-experience and community struggle. They found support for each other in their work in the international solidarity movement.

“As the struggle rages, there is pain and grief. But the perspective is one of hope!”

The Migrante Cultural Collective performed an interpretative dance with the music of “Baybaylan,” a woman who is gifted to heal the spirit and body; a woman who serves the community and provides stability to the community’s social structure.

A light supper was catered by Migrante BC.

(KAIROS expresses its  deep thanks to our  community partners in Vancouver and to KAIROS Vancouver and Richmond for this event, and also thanks the many churches who opened Truth and Reconciliation Week with an ecumenical service earlier the same day.)

Filed in: Asia-Pacific, Gender Justice/Women of Courage


Share with your network:Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Email this to someone
Print this page