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July 2013


- Nation to Nation Bike Tour Gets Rolling
- After Lac Mégantic, KAIROS Endorses Call to Review Hydrocarbon Transport
- Women of Courage in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Lutherans and Anglicans Issue Joint Declaration on Resource Extraction

- Elements of Justice: KAIROS Western Intergenerational Gathering 2013
- New for September: Regional Meetings and Resources
- Partners in Guatemala Question Proposed Moratorium and Demand Respect for Indigenous Rights
- Our Waters Our Life: Gathering of the Waters
- Will Obama’s Climate Speech be a Game Changer?
- Another Empty Report on Human Rights and Trade in Colombia


Department of Services to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR)


Mining Video


Remembering our partner and mentor, Pascal Kabungulu Kibembi

Nation to Nation Bike Tour

On July 27, the first-ever KAIROS and Otesha Nation to Nation Bike Tour gets underway! Twelve Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth will start in Akwesasne and end in Tyendinaga; these are Kanien’kehaka  (Mohawk) communities that share the waters of the St Lawrence and Lake Ontario. In between, the cyclists will be hosted by non-Indigenous communities and groups.

The participants will be learning and sharing as they go, offering a new version of the Blanket Exercise in the communities they visit. There’s more information available on the KAIROS site. All events are currently posted to the KAIROS calendar and we’ll be adding more information as specifics are confirmed. Nation to Nation Bike Tour events posted to this calendar are open to all.

Testing a new Blanket Exercise workshop developed by Suzanne Keeptwo that will be offered at public events during the bike tour.

After four days of programming in Akwesasne,  the tour gets underway on July 31st with smudging, Mohawk prayer and opening address, words from Grand Chief Mike Mitchell, and songs from the A’nowarakowa Arena youth group singers.  Local media will be present. Many thanks to Akwesasne radio CKON-FM 97.3 for an excellent interview on the bike tour!

In the words of the Akwesasne planners, “ This is an important event as it acknowledges a new friendship that was created and teachings shared  between Mohawk members of the community and the KAIROS  youth group. Community support will be present to meet, give thanks and to help support the visitors’ journey.”

In turn, the KAIROS community would like to say nia:wen, thank you, to the Akwesasne community for their gift of starting the group’s time together in this good way. The community and the people are showing enormous generosity to the riders and KAIROS, as ceremonies, teachings and hosting are all shared. We also offer  thanks to Tyendinaga  for hosting the end of the  tour. Without these good words and actions, we could not continue KAIROS’ commitment to a new relationship built on justice and respect.

KAIROS’ gratitude also goes to the church communities who will also host the bikers. There are Lutheran, United and Presbyterian churches along the way who are hosting and caring for the riders. Thank you!  We’ll update information about all the generous hosts as it’s confirmed.

And of course, the people who have offered donations to help cover the riders’ expenses are also very much a part of this work. Any amount helps and you can still donate!

For more information please contact:
Katy Quinn
Indigenous Rights Program Coordinator
613 235-9956 x224

After Lac Mégantic, KAIROS Endorses Call to Review Hydrocarbon Transport

In the aftermath of the train derailment and explosion at Lac Mégantic, QC, KAIROS joined 50 environmental, labour, social justice and faith organizations in Canada and the northeastern United States in calling for a comprehensive review of the transport of oil and natural gas.

Lac Megantic

Click here for more information and an opportunity to add your name to this call.

For more information on this event please contact:
Sara Stratton
Education and Campaigns Program Coordinator
416-463-5312 x241
Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933

Women of Courage - DRC Tour

Women of Courage in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

The KAIROS church delegation to the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (June 17-30), which focused on gender-based sexual violence and conflict minerals, was vital, informative and poignant. Héritiers de la Justice - which advocates for women victims and survivors of sexual violence, provides witness, accompaniment and solidarity, and works to raise awareness and understanding of the many challenges these women face - hosted the delegates from Bujumbura, Burundi, through Rwanda, to Bukavu in south Kivu eastern DRC, and then to the capital Kinchasa.

Please read a brief review of the tour here.

The delegates will reconvene in Montreal on August 27th to evaluate the tour, and to plan media and advocacy outreach for the fall.

For more information please contact:
Jim Davis,
Program Coordinator, African Partnerships and Climate Justice
416 463 5312 ext. 238
Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933

Deleages dancing with quarry workers

'Women of Courage' Home Page

'Women of Courage' Blog

'Women of Courage' 2013: DR Congo Tour

'Women of Courage Tour 2013 Delegates

DR Congo: Background Information

Women's Rights: Instruments for Lasting Peace

Lutherans and Anglicans Issue Joint Declaration on Resource Extraction

“I remember meeting members of the Lutheran Church in Peru and Argentina who shared stories of villages being impacted by mining operations. They shared with me some of their struggles to secure safe water, to preserve a healthy environment, to maintain community and lifestyle.  These friends and fellow members of the Lutheran World Federation then shared with me that the company is a Canadian mining company. And they wondered what the Canadian church was doing to address issues of rights and justice. I felt that question very deeply”
 -- The Rev. Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Sara Stratton

KAIROS Education and Campaigns Coordinator Sara Stratton urges delegates at the Lutheran Anglican Joint Assembly to consider their role in our resource extraction economy. (Photo: Trina Gallop/ELCIC)

At their historic Joint Assembly on July 4 and 5, 2013, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada engaged on just that question, and passed a resolution committing their churches to action on the impacts of resource extraction on the earth and all that is in it. KAIROS helped to animate the discussion.

Click here for more information as well as a video of the KAIROS presentation and coverage from the floor of Joint Assembly.

For more information on this event please contact:
Sara Stratton
Education and Campaigns Program Coordinator
416-463-5312 x241
Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933

Elements of Justice

KAIROS wants you!  Join us at Elements of Justice and get connected to the movement. Share your connections, learn about Indigenous rights and ecological justice, and gain fresh ideas and skills for making change happen.
This is an intergenerational event for young and not-so-young adults who want to share fresh energy and hard-won wisdom.  Look around your community.  Who has a budding interest in social justice?  Who could add a helpful perspective to the discussions?  Who would enjoy a rejuvenating weekend in Paradise Valley with 150 energetic, like-minded justice-seekers?  Invite them to join you!
Elements of Justice is taking place at the North Vancouver Outdoor School - an ecological reserve and untouched paradise – October 24-27.  Whether it is a walk through the old growth forest, yoga by the pond, or singing and storytelling around the fire pit, it will be an opportunity for rejuvenation with inspiring speakers and energizing workshops.

Christine Boyle, Director of Spirited Social Change, will open by helping us all to see the Spirit in the social change work that we do.

Christine Boyle

Register now to be a part of this growing movement.

Subsidies available for young adults, Indigenous and other racialized peoples, low income people, people with disabilities, families, and those from the farthest corners of our western regions.

For more information please contact:
Shannon Neufeldt
Network & Young Adult Coordinator
416-463-5312 x221
Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933

New for September: regional meetings and resources

Summer is not over yet, but why not enjoy a sneak preview of the exciting events and great resources we have coming up for September and October?
Three regional meetings and KAIROS’ Elements of Justice gathering for western Canada will give you lots of opportunity to connect face to face with others. And three new resources on Advent, Indigenous rights and KAIROS’ 40th anniversary will give you lots of creative ideas for your justice work.

Have a look at the flyer, and enjoy the rest of summer!

Download the Regional Meetings 2013 PDF

For more information please contact:
Julie Graham
Education and Campaign Program Coordinator
416-463-5312 x 233
Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933

Our Water Our Life

Gathering of the Waters

On Sunday, June 23, on Victoria Island, not too far from where Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence fasted for recognition of Indigenous rights, six Algonquin Kokoms (grandmothers) led a group of people from KAIROS andOttawa’s First United Church in a sacred water ceremony that included the blessing of water from congregations and communities across the country and around the world who participated in KAIROS’ Our Waters, Our Life action.

Click here for a full report and to view a slideshow of the event ... and stay tuned as Our Waters, Our Life will continue to be a focus of KAIROS action in the coming year.

For more information please contact:
Sara Stratton
Education and Campaigns Program Coordinator
416-463-5312 x241
Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933

Will Obama’s Climate Speech be a Game Changer?

On a blistering hot June day in Washington, President Obama delivered a major speech on climate change. Whether this initiative will actually represent an historical turning point will very much depend on the actions that follow his soaring rhetoric.

Although the president devoted only one short paragraph to the Keystone XL pipeline, the decision he will eventually make on whether to approve the tar sands pipeline will be a key test of whether he is serious about combating climate change.

Based on the evidence, it is clear that extracting oil from bitumen does significantly exacerbate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, there are four reasons why President Obama might still approve a permit for the Keystone XL.


Click here to read the full text.

For more information please contact:
John Dillon
Economic Justice Program Coordinator
416-463-5312 x 231
Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933

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Department of Services to Palestinian Refugees

Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan Monica Njoroge

Location: Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan
Website: http://dspr-me.org/

Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) is a body of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) that serves Palestinian and other refugees across the Middle East region. In operation since 1949, DSPR provides diverse services to people displaced from war and the ongoing Israeli Occupation, including education, training, community development and advocacy.

KAIROS supports DSPR’s work of improving the livelihoods of vulnerable rural Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank. DSPR helps communities to better manage and preserve natural resources and to protect their environments while rehabilitating community water networks.The West Bank is a water-scarce region. Cumulative rainfall has decreased substantially over the last 10 years and Palestinians are prohibited from developing water resources and infrastructure without a permit from the Israeli military, the force illegally occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem. At present, Israel uses 85% of the groundwater resources in the West Bank for Israeli needs.

When the Syrian crisis hit the Middle East region, DSPR sprung to action and developed a program to help the refugees spilling into Jordan. KAIROS  supported DSPR’s efforts to aid the refugees ,and DSPR has become a leading member of the ACT (Action by Churches Together) forum serving Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon as well as working inside Syria to offer relief to internally displaced Syrians under siege. Along with relief kits, DSPR provides necessary social and economic support through counselling and training to refugees from the crisis.

In Lebanon, KAIROS supports the work of the Joint Christian Committee for Social Service in Lebanon (JCC), a branch of the DSPR that implements valuable vocational training and livelihoods support to Palestinian refugee families. KAIROS supports the work of the vibrant Sabra Center serving the people of Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in southern Beirut; camps established in 1949 by the United Nations to aid Palestinians fleeing the violence in their homeland.

At Sabra, the JCC offers a variety of programs to provide education and training to families, including: nursery and kindergarten programs; tutoring for students who need additional support in their studies; literacy classes for illiterate youth and older women; drawing classes for children.  JCC’s vocational training courses include electronics and computer maintenance and repair, hairdressing and barber skills. Additionally, JCC runs a weekly social program for elderly women in the community.


'Remember the Land'
Video on the Ecumenical Conference 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.


Sisters in Spirit Ottawa Vigil- Oct. 4

10:30 AM Parliament Hill, 12PM March to Victoria Island, 12:30PM Feast // 5:30PM Feast at St. Andrew's Church, 7PM Parliament Hill Ottawa, ON

October 4th is a day where we honour the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. The violence experienced by Aboriginal women and girls in Canada is a national tragedy. We must take the time to give thanks to the families who have inspired the SIS movement and who are our reason we all continue to demand action.

Click here for more information.

Partners in Guatemala Question Proposed Moratorium and Demand Respect for Indigenous Rights

Guatemala checkpoint

On June 13, KAIROS signed an open letter to Guatemalan President Otto Molina Perez supporting the call by Guatemalan social movements for his government to revoke a mining license that had been recently granted to Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources. One month later, President Molina Perez floated a trial balloon: a two-year moratorium on the granting of new mining licenses.

For more information please contact:
Ian Thomson
Program Coordinator for Ecological Justice through Corporate Accountability
Rachel Warden
Latin America Partnerships Coordinator
1-877-403-8933 ext 242.

Another Empty Report on Human Rights and Trade in Colombia

Trading Rights

On Friday afternoon, June 14, the Canadian government quietly released its second report on the human rights impacts of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The report is so narrowly focused that it is silent on most human rights concerns and, significantly, it avoids any examination of Canadian investment – including oil, gas and mining. Amnesty International has described the report as “a human rights report without human rights”. Most alarming for KAIROS is that the human rights concerns from partners and communities living these realities in Colombia are not at all reflected in the report.

For more information please contact:
Rachel Warden
Latin America Partnerships Coordinator rwarden@kairoscanada.org
1-877-403-8933 ext 242.

Spirited Reflections

Truth and Mercy in the South Saskatchewan Watershed
– by Eileen Klassen Hamm

What is Transformational is Rarely Measurable
– Kathryn Robertson

The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Barry Van Dusen If the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians today
– by Rev. Allan Reeve

“Everywhere you turn there is the face of God.” 2:115 Qur’an
- Kathryn Deckert

Great Love
- Sandra Beardsall


Remembering our partner and mentor, Pascal Kabungulu Kibembi

On Sunday, June 23, KAIROS delegates to the DRC took part in a ceremonial commemoration of Pascal Kabungulu, the former Secretary General of KAIROS' partner organization, Héritiers de la Justice, based in Bukavu, eastern DRC. Pascal was murdered 8 years ago, in front of his wife and children, by armed men who declared, "We were looking for you, and today is the day of your death."

Pascal was a life-giving man of courage who struggled for human rights for all. KAIROS was honoured to be part of this commemoration.

Pascal's widow, Deborah Kitumani, wrote a very moving speech for the Commemoration which was read at the Commemoration by Pascal's sister.

Please click here to read Deborah Kitumani's speech.

Pascal Kabungulu