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Roll with the Declaration - What Next?
KAIROS Fall Regional Meetings
Congratulations Republic of South Sudan
Walk 4 Justice Continues its Journey
Hiding all the Doubts and Fears Inside


Lawsuits on Mining-related Abuses Will Test Limits of Canadian Law
ILO adopts the Domestic Workers Convention
Tearing Down the Bil'in Wall - a Victory for Human Rights in Palestine

The Banners

Ottawa Organizing Committee, and all our bannermakers on the Roll

Faith and Forced Migration - Alfredo Barahona

Roll with the Declaration - What Next?

KAIROS' Roll with the Declaration action across Canada from July 14 to 19, and in Ottawa on June 20, was an enormous success! Thank you to everyone who participated, and please take some time to enjoy the photos,  our blog and Facebook page!

By the numbers
36 national endorsing organizations.
6 train routes spanning the country.
4 Aboriginal elders riding the trains.
25 train station banner send-offs at all hours of the day and night.
300 handmade community banners created by thousands of people.
1 banner 1 kilometre long.
400 people representing all who couldn’t be there in person.
26 people on the Ottawa planning committee.

The gifts of Indigenous cultures expressed through a pipe ceremony, sacred fire, Philippine dancers, drumming, throat singing, Métis fiddling, and Three Sisters soup for the feast. Challenging speakers at Victoria Island, Parliament Hill and the Human Rights Monument who pushed us towards right relations and called on us to pay attention to land rights, truth and reconciliation, violence against women, and equal funding for Indigenous children.

UNDRIP - Ottawa

Photo by Ben Wolfe

A public witness to right relations in which thousands across the land participated.

It was a profound and joyful celebration of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And it is a call for the peoples and government of Canada to put the Declaration into action in full collaboration with Indigenous peoples.  In 2011-12 this work will continue for the KAIROS community and our partners; watch for more details late in the summer.

We’re continuing to update the blog with reflections and photos and we welcome yours. Please consider writing a few paragraphs that share why you and your community chose to get involved with banner-making. Why are Indigenous peoples’ rights important to you?
Again, thank you for your commitment, your energy and your creativity. This action was just the beginning.

For more information please contact:
Julie Graham,
Education and Campaigns Coordinator for Dignity and Rights,
1 877 403 8933 x233


Ed Bianchi,
Indigenous Rights Program Coordinator,
613 235 9956 x221.

KAIROS Fall Regional Meetings

This past year, KAIROS supporters all across the country have held events, participated in actions, and called for justice for the Earth and all human beings.  This fall we will come together as KAIROS, both those who are new and those who have long been part of this ecumenical movement for social justice.  Please join the KAIROS network at this year’s regional meetings taking place all across the country as we continue our campaign on Indigenous rights and explore a range of justice concerns.  These gatherings are a time for sharing stories, building relationships, networking, participating in workshops and building momentum for faith based action for the coming year.  All are invited and subsidies are available, just ask!  Please check the events page for updates on locations and for more information as it becomes available.  

Kairos regional Meeting - 2011

2011 Regional meeting dates and locations:

Prairies North:
September 23-September 25 at Queen’s Retreat House in Saskatoon, SK.
For information: Dick Peters, dickpet@sasktel.net

September 23-September 25 at the Tatamagouche Centre in Tatamagouche, NS.
For information: Bev McDonald, pharmin@ns.sympatico.ca

Great Lakes - St. Lawrence: 
September 30-October 2 at Mount Mary Retreat Centre in Ancaster, ON.
Theme: "The Land, Our Life: Food, Faith, & Dignity”. 
To register online, please go to: http://www.surveymonkey.com/GLSL2011  
For information: Pierre Paradis, pparadis000@sympatico.ca

October 21-October 23 at the YWCA Hotel in Vancouver, BC.
For information: Ben Taal, btaal@shaw.ca

October 21-October 22 in Winnipeg, MB.
For information: Fletcher Stewart, fletch1@mymts.net


For more information please contact:

Caroline Foster
Companions & Communities
416-463-5312 ext. 221
1-877-403-8933 (toll free)

Congratulations Republic of South Sudan!

South Sudan flag

KAIROS joins the World Council of Churches and KAIROS partners - the All Africa Conference of Churches and the Sudan Council of Churches -in congratulating the churches, citizens and government of South Sudan on the birth of the Republic of South Sudan on July 9, 2011.

The Republic of South Sudan becomes the 193rd and newest country recognized by the United Nations and the 54th U.N. member state in Africa. Secession and independence from the Republic of Sudan (Khartoum) was voted for by an overwhelming majority of southern Sudanese in a January 2011 referendum provided for in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 concluding decades of civil war between the north and south costing some 2.5 million lives.

KAIROS and its predecessor ecumenical coalitions have partnered with the Sudan Council of Churches for more than 20 year in the areas of peace building and human rights, and continue that work focusing on women and peace building, good governance, and transparency of oil revenues on which the Government of South Sudan will heavily rely to address decades of under development.

Please see the congratulatory letter by the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches to the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Walk 4 Justice Continues its Journey for Missing and Murdered Women - Please Support the Walkers

Sisters in Spirit

Between July and September you may have a chance to visit with Walk 4 Justice volunteers. They are walking along two routes from BC to Ottawa to raise community awareness of the continued abduction and murder of women in Canada, with special attention to the alarmingly high rate of violence directed at Indigenous women. KAIROS supporters involved with our years of support for Sisters in Spirit will be familiar both with the horrendous rates of violence confronting Indigenous women and with the continuing resistance to it.

Founded by Bernie Williams and Gladys Radek, both of whom have lost family members to violence, the Walk seeks to raise awareness, gather information, and bring together support for social, policy and policing changes.  The Walk’s 2011 Mission Statement notes that “Since our first walk, conditions have not improved for women in Canada. In our view, they have worsened. Women in Canada are still being raped, tortured, sold for sexual slavery and murdered at an alarming rate. ...Aboriginal Women, our life-givers and their children, our future, are still suffering from generations of Canadian policy. "

"We are walking for justice, closure, equality and accountability.... We are walking to call for a National Missing and Murdered Women’s Symposium to be held in Vancouver, BC.... We are walking for a National Missing and Murdered Women’s Public Inquiry so that each and every woman who has been missing or murdered in the past 4 decades is accounted for. We need our governments, leadership, police and judicial system to stand accountable for the serious flaws in the systems that make all women targets in this country. They need to listen to the families of these missing and murdered women. We need to address the obvious racism and discrimination that has made Aboriginal women the most vulnerable in the nation. We need to take actions to provide better safety nets and to stop this ongoing violence against our women and children and all women.”

KAIROS will be directly involved in the Ottawa national event around September 19. Please keep the Walk in your prayers and consider bringing their work to the attention of your faith community.

Please check out Gladys’ and Bernie’s Walk 4 Justice route schedules, and under Partners and Supporters find the ever-growing list of contacts for local hosts. Please consider hosting, attending and promoting events, and helping to meet the logistical needs of the Walk.


For more information please contact:
Julie Graham,
Education and Campaigns Coordinator for Dignity and Rights, jgraham@kairoscanada.org
1 877 403 8933 x233.

“Hiding all the doubts and fears inside …”
Meeting Analyn Aryo, Author of 'Nanny Tales'

When you hear words like “terminator,” “pianist,” and “DH,” you might think about movies and baseball: a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, a movie directed by Roman Polanski, and baseball games made memorable by the quick thinking of players such as Paul Molitor. For Analyn Aryo, the author of Nanny Tales: Voices from the Diary of an Overseas Filipina Worker, the same terms refer to a reality far from what most of us are likely to experience. “Terminators” are employers who terminate their helpers in exactly three months and “pianists” are employers who use their fingers in search of a speck of dust. And “DH” is not the designated hitter of American League baseball, but a domestic helper in a wealthy country such as ours. Analyn Aryo dedicates her book “to the millions of Filipino Domestic Caregivers in Hong Kong, Canada and beyond.”

Analyn Aryo & Tom Sagar

Analyn Aryo & Tom Sagar

I met Analyn Aryo through my involvement with KAIROS. On May 12, 2011, I was invited to offer a few words of solidarity on behalf of the Great Lakes – Saint Lawrence Region at a Saturday evening Mother’s Day celebration of the Independent Women Workers Association (iWWorkers). This was a well-organized event for Toronto-based live-in caregivers and their friends. The evening focused on celebrating being together as a community. The event featured food, musical and cultural entertainment plus a contest to determine the “Mother of the Year.” The program for all of these activities was interspersed with encouraging comments from a supportive community at large. Analyn was in attendance and her book available for purchase.

Her story is like that of so many others from her homeland. In Analyn’s case, she left the Cordillera region of the Philippines in 2005 for Hong Kong and then, in 2007, came to Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program. Being a writer, however, is clearly her dream. While studying for her degree in agriculture, she was editor-in-chief at the state university she attended in the Philippines. During her two years in Hong Kong, she wrote a prize-winning newspaper editorial and a play, Migrant Collective, which was staged there.

In the chapter titled “A Nanny’s Winter Tale,” Lily, having been released from employment after three months, spends a Sunday afternoon in a strange country, looking for another job relying on a far-from-reliable public transportation system, in the depths of a Canadian winter, wearing clothes inadequate for the climate. Consequently, in other parts of Nanny Tales, we learn about the reality of the multiple interview process that RUA’s (Released Upon Arrivals) face in order to gain employment. Under the Canadian live-in Caregiver Program, the participant must, within a three year period, complete 24 months of employment in order to be eligible for permanent residence.

The title of this piece is taken from the conclusion of one of Analyn’s poems which opens with the words: “Put your big smiles on, / Square shoulders / Even if it weighs you down.”

You can purchase Nanny Tales here >>

By Tom Sagar,
Regional Representative,
KAIROS Great Lakes – Saint Lawrence

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Over the winter, hundreds of communities and thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds worked on banners expressing their support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and honouring the traditional Indigenous territories on which we all live and work. Native Friendship Centres, community groups, churches, student groups, schools, union locals and more took the time to make incredibly diverse and creative banners.

 In April banners started arriving in Toronto and Ottawa by mail and in person. Between June 14 and 20, over 20 public events at train stations gathered hundreds more banners from the four directions, as people rode the rails on six separate train routes to collect the banners and carry them to Parliament Hill.

On June 20, together we were part of an historic event in Ottawa, in which hundreds of people stood in solidarity with Canada’s Indigenous peoples to demand implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Together 400 people carried 300 banners through the streets of Ottawa. When joined together, the banners stretched over a kilometre.

The banners are true works of art, and behind each one is an entire community. They highlight so many of the rights enshrined in the Declaration - education, treaty and land rights, freedom from violence, access to clean water, and respect for the Earth.  They are a powerful witness to the longing for right relationship.

We wish we could thank everyone individually for the creativity, time, and talent you offered to make banners, and for the spirit and time you offered in all of the ways you participated in this action. Your efforts are a wonderful gift to KAIROS and to the work of building right relationship. We will now offer these gifts back to Canadians and all global citizens who stand up for Indigenous rights. Some banners will travel with us to Truth and Reconciliation Commission events or church and NGO gatherings, some will be offered to the Human Rights Museum, some to Indigenous rights groups. The KAIROS community will bring these banners with us as we advocate for Indigenous rights in Canada and globally, and others will decorate our offices to remind us daily of this important cause.

Without your hard work, support, and solidarity we could not have made the impact we did in Ottawa. For those of you who made banners or attended the event, see the great photos of your efforts on our Flickr slideshow! On our blog are stories from the train journeys, more slideshows and a thank you to the Ottawa planning committee. Please take a minute to read these. In the fall, a video will be available and our collective work on moving the Declaration from paper to action will continue. Please join us.


Lawsuits on mining-related abuses will test limits of Canadian law

KAIROS' Ian Thomson reports on four groundbreaking lawsuits brought to Canadian courts, three from Latin America and one from the Congo, alleging human rights violations linked to Canadian mining companies abroad.

Read the full article >>


ILO recognizes “significant contributions of domestic workers to the global economy” by adopting the Domestic Workers Convention

The International Labour Organization has finally adopted the Domestic Workers Convention, which recognizes the rights of domestic workers (traditionally grossly undervalued and carried out by disadvantaged and vulnerable commuinities) to be treated as any other workers. This includes the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, as well as many other rights.

Read the full article >>


Tearing Down the Bil'in Wall
Since 2005 Palestinian villagers have resisted the route of the Israeli separation wall which cut them off from their land. In September the Israeli Court of Justice ruled that the wall was not designed for security purposes, and last month Israel began to tear down this section of the contentious wall. However, there is still much work to be done.

Read the full article >>


Faith and Forced Migration

Alfredo Barahona gives a passionate account of his own forced exodus from El Salvador to Costa Rica in 1980, relating his journey then to the killings and kidnapping in Mexico of thousands of migrants occurring today. Underlying these forced migrations is the devastation of Mother Earth, and the resulting necessity of families to leave their homes to make a living.


The Blanket Exercise with ELCIC

KAIROS' Indigenous Rights Program Coordinator Ed Bianchi doing the Blanket Exercise with delegates at the National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. (Thanks to the ELCIC's Trina Gallop for the fantastic video!)

Delegates at Convention also voted on a motion to, as a church, work towards right relationships with Indigenous Peoples!

Congrats to the ELCIC, and thanks to Ed for his great work on this workshop.



The Roll with the Declaration Day of Action Ottawa Organization Committee

We all know just how many people it takes to pull off a public event. Ottawa is the scene of enough public events that extra planning and attention to security questions is needed, especially since the day moved between three national sites. Taking on such an event is no easy task, and the KAIROS community across the land relied on Ottawa folks to pull it all off.

For many months, the Ottawa local planning committee was hard at work, dealing with everything from permits to water and food to music. And above all, they planned an agenda that encompassed Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples and included a sacred Indigenous site, the House of Commons, a monument to the human rights for which we strive, and a feast. On top of that, the committee worked hard to promoting the event through faith and Indigenous networks, including leafleting at area powwows.

The result: a complex event was absolutely flawless and joyful, leaving hundreds of people free to simply enjoy the moment, make some noise, and ensure that all who made banners were also present in spirit.

Ottawa Crew

From left to right:
Pei-Ju Wang, Rick Balson, Bonnie Dillon, Jenny Prosser, Sue Taylor, Ed Bianchi, Tracey Paetzold, Deborah Tagornak, Helen Smith
Missing from the photo but not forgotten:
Sylvia Smith, Murray Angus, Joyce Hardman, Bertie Mo, Paul Kompass, Daryold Winker, Carol Garceau, Ann Salmon, Paul Durber, Andrea Prazmowski, Janet Scollard, Liz Nieman, and all the CPJers, including Joe Gunn, Chandra Pasma, Karri Munn-Venn, David Pollack and Daniela Ljomov.

As Ed Says: An amazing bunch, to say the least!


KAIROS Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
310 Dupont St. Suite 200, Toronto, ON, Canada M5R 1V9
Tel: 416-463-5312 | Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933| Fax: 416-463-5569