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January 2013



- KAIROS Solidarity with Chief Spence, Idle No More & Indigenous Rights
- Who is the Government of Canada Listening To?
- KAIROS Nation-to-Nation Bike Tour
- The Campaign to Erode Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
- Congolese massacre victims denied justice in Anvil Mining lawsuit
- Colombia can now buy prohibited automatic firearms from Canada
- 22nd Annual Women's March for missing and murdered Indigenous women
- KAIROS Victoria Appears Before Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel


Remember the Land: Global Ecumenical Voices on Mining


Yolanda Becerra: Popular Feminist Organization (Colombia)


An Open Letter from Chief Shining Turtle
Idle No More: A Moment of Possibility - Sue Wilson, CSJ

KAIROS Solidarity with Chief Spence,
Idle No More & Indigenous Rights

Decisive action towards a new relationship is possible in this kairos moment.

J. Henry presents solidarity blanket

KAIROS Executive Director Jennifer Henry in presentation of solidarity gift for Chief Theresa Spence

The Idle No More movement and Chief Theresa Spence's sacred fast have created space for conversations about the true meaning of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Over the past six weeks, KAIROS’ response to this invitation to walk with Indigenous peoples towards an end to the violation of their rights and for the protection of the earth, has included participating in round dances, letter writing, prayers and fasting. On January 6, KAIROS assembled an ecumenical delegation which offered prayers and gifts to Chief Theresa Spence on Victoria Island.

On this new page of our website you will find more information about all these actions, a collection of solidarity letters from our members and partner organizations, and additional resources to help deepen your understanding of this powerful, hopeful and troubling kairos moment.

Click here to go to KAIROS' Solidarity page.

Who is the Government of Canada listening to?

A slew of new legislation that undermines both Indigenous rights and environmental protection in Canada points to the fact that the petroleum and pipeline industries have the power to change the Government of Canada’s legislative agenda, and overrule the Governments constitutional obligations to consult with Aboriginal peoples when their rights are at stake.

The Idle No More grassroots movement has brought much needed attention to these changes (in particular Bill C-45), emphasizing that they pose significant concerns in the areas of Indigenous rights and environmental protection.

Click here to read the full article.

Oiled maple leaf

Nation to Nation Bike Tour

When: July 27 – August 25
Who: Tour Members Ranging in Age from 18 - 30ish
Where: South-Eastern Ontario

Apply now

KAIROS has teamed with the Otesha Project - a youth-led charitable organization that seeks to empower youth to be part of positive social change through cycling tours - to host the Nation to Nation bicycle tour.

The tour will explore the interactions of our ancestors and how our past is intertwined with our future. Where have we come from? How does our shared history impact where we are today? What are our dreams for generations yet to come? These are just some of the questions we will explore during our bike tour.

Otesha bike tour

Click here to learn more about the Nation to Nation Tour

The Campaign to Erode Aboriginal and Treaty Rights

"For almost 15 years, the federal Department of Justice has conducted a campaign to erode the constitutional and legal status of Aboriginal and Treaty rights in Canada." So begins a statement signed by over 50 lawyers and academics and almost 2 dozen human rights, First Nations and faith based organisations.

The document, released on January 29, traces the process of the erosion of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights through the court system, culminating in the 'Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act'. This new proposed law "explicitly states that Aboriginal and Treaty rights deemed to be in conflict with the law's stated objective will not be respected. In a cynical legal twist Aboriginal peoples, desperate for safe water, will be forced to agree to the new regime in order to be eligible for federal funding for improved water services.

As the article states, Parliament must not surrender its responsibility to respect and protect Aboriginal and Treaty rights to Department of Justice officials.

Dirty Water

Click here to read
'The Campaign to Erode Aboriginal and Treaty Rights '

Congolese massacre victims denied justice in Anvil Mining lawsuit

On November 1, a group of Congolese citizens who had launched a class action lawsuit in a Quebec court against Anvil Mining Ltd., were turned down by the Supreme Court of Canada in their appeal of a lower court ruling disallowing their case on the grounds that it was outside Canada's jurisdiction. Their suit alleges that the company was complicit in widespread atrocities committed during an October 2004 raid by the Congolese military, and its defeat has widespread implications for other international victims of human rights abuses connected to Canadian companies abroad.

Countering this defeat was the tabling of private member's bill C-323 in October 2011. This bill would grant foreign plaintiffs, seeking redress for human rights violations,standing in the Federal Court of Canada.

Bill C-23

Read the full article
'Congolese massacre victims denied justice in Anvil Mining lawsuit'

Colombia can now buy prohibited automatic firearms from Canada

On December 12, the Government of Canada eased its ban on the sale of automatic weapons (banned in Canada) to Colombia, a country that has suffered decades of violent conflict and serious human rights violations.

The brief on this situation includes links to a CBC report, a joint submission by Amnesty International and Project Ploughshares, and a London Free Press article.

Click here to read
Colombia can now buy prohibited automatic firearms from Canada

Colombian victims

22nd Annual Women's March for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Their Spirit Lives Within Us

On February 14, KAIROS will join Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups from across Canada in remembering and honouring our missing and murdered sisters in Canada and to demand justice. According to research by the Native Women’s Association of Canada under the Sisters in Spirit initiative, over 600 Indigenous women have been murdered or have gone missing, most over the last 20 years. Many of these crimes and disappearances remain unsolved.

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KAIROS 40th Anniversary

kairos 40TH



Remember the Land:
Global Ecumenical
Voices on Mining

Remember the Land

Canada is home to 75% of the world's mining and exploration companies. Canadian stock exchanges raise 40% of all mineral exploration capital worldwide.

In May 2011, 150 people --church leaders and grass roots activists-- from around the world gathered in Toronto to consider the impact of Canadian mining in their communities.

Remember the Land is the story of that gathering -- the story of peoples from the Global South who are engaged in struggles in protect the land that they know and love; the land that sustains them materially, culturally and spiritually; the land that has its own deep, inherent worth.

This 11 minute video features rich theological reflection and offers a number of action opportunities for individuals and churches.

KAIROS has created educational resources to help you use the video in your church or community.
Go to our online store to order a copy of the video with 4 page study guide.

You can also view the video online and download the Study Guide.

If you’d like to go a little further, you can also download the following related resources:
Community Mapping Activity
Find Your Voice: Workshop on Free, Prior, and Informed Consent

If you’re planning a public screening of the video, please use one of our posters:
PDF Fillable Form Poster for Remember the Land
Blank Poster for Remember the Land

As well, be sure to let us know of your event, and we will help publicize it!
Please send event info to Education and Campaigns Coordinator Sara Stratton.


Yolanda Becerra
Popular Feminist Organization (OFP)

Rev. Rex Reyes

Yolanda is a well known-human rights defender and leader of the grassroots women’s movement in Colombia. She is the national director of the Popular Women’s Organization (OFP), based in Barrancabermeja and a founding member of the social movement of women against the war and for peace in Colombia. KAIROS has been a partner of OFP for over a decade.

Regionally, Yolanda is a member of the network of human rights workers in Magdalena Medio which includes active participation of the diocese, social movements and unions. She is also a member of the regional social forum. Internationally, Yolanda has travelled extensively in Latin America, Europe and North America, bringing concrete testimonies of the impacts of human rights violations and the war on women in Colombia and calling for international solidarity and support. She has participated in meetings of the World March of Women and Women in Black. Yolanda has been recognized nationally and internationally for her courageous work in human rights and as a leader of the women’s movement. Among other awards, she received the prestigious Per Anger human rights prize from Sweden in 2007 and was nominated as one of the 1,000 women to receive the Nobel Peace prize in the campaign One Thousand Women and one Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

The OFP has been instrumental in setting up recent Women’s Courts for Justice, Territory and Peace. These are symbolic tribunals that are an alternative form of justice that make visible human rights violations against women. In a context where those who commit violence can expect near-total impunity, these courts are a deeply significant forum.

Briefing Papers

Policy Briefing Paper #33 – Signposts for a New Financial Architecture

Policy Briefing Paper #32 – Tax Reform for Equity and Sustainability

Spirited Reflections

To Build and to Plant - a reflection by Rev. Brian McIntosh

Journeys of Light and Shadow – A reflection by Sister Elizabeth Davis

Reflection on an Ecumenical Solidarity Visit to Chief Spence - Jennifer Henry



Two reflections on Idle No More

The Idle No More movement has been much in the news, and it has sparked both hopeful reflection and hostile responses. We invite you into some personal or group reflection through two different voices:

One is from Chief Shining Turtle of Whitefish River First Nation. In this open letter he offers non-Indigenous Canadians his perspective on Idle No More, using a gentle, challenging invitation to include all people in the conversation about treaties and our common future.

The other is from Sr. Sue Wilson, the vice-chair of the KAIROS Board and a Sister of St Joseph. She reflects on Idle No More from an ethical and spiritual point of view, and closes with some questions for personal reflection.

"If we do not walk through the door that this crisis has opened, there is certainly no viable or moral way forward for Canada. We will all be diminished."
- Anglican Church of Canada.

An Open Letter to my Non-Aboriginal Neighbours
Chief Shining Turtle, Whitefish River First Nation

"These 'Idle No More' drums are not just for us: they beat for you... We are all diminished, we are all poorer, when the sacred promises made in the treaties are broken... Our drums also beat for you, not just ourselves, because the legislation we are protesting does not just harm us - it hurts you and your children and your grandchildren... The 'Omnibus' budget bills passed by the government, and which we are protesting, change over 100 Canadian laws in ways which will irreparably harm the water, the fish, our fellow creatures, and the earth that we all rely on for life."

Idle No More: A Moment of Possibility
by Sue Wilson, CSJ, from the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada

"Idle No More can take us even further if we will let it: Is it not challenging us to learn to live, choose and act from an awareness of our connection to the whole? Is it not stretching us to create structures that enable all of us to flourish, Indigenous peoples and settlers, land and water, trees and animals?

The issues that are being raised are calling us to trust the depth of our interrelatedness. Indeed, such issues can draw us into the spiritual depths of communion if we will open ourselves to be changed by the voices we hear. An ethic of communion implores us to engage the issues of our day in a way that acknowledges ourselves as part of the problem and part of the solution.