kairos header

April 2014


- KAIROS Youth Delegation- Final TRC Reflection
- KAIROS Partner and Honorary Witness Naty Atz Sunuc Video Message to the TRC
- On the Road to Justice Tour Makes A Stop at KAIROS
- IPCC Warns that Climate Change is Deepening Poverty
- Executive Director Jennifer Henry's letter to the Toronto Star re: missing and murdered Indigenous women
- Join KAIROS at Calling Lakes for a Watershed Discipleship Retreat
- Cahoots - A Festival on Faith, Justice and Do It Yourself! May 29 – June 1st


KAIROS’ Young Adult Delegation to the TRC National Event in Edmonton


Inventory Clearance: The 'You Just Pay the Shipping' Event


Psalm 23 and Wisteria: a chance for new beginnings or right relationships?
- by Carmen Landsdowne

KAIROS Youth Delegation- Final TRC Reflection

TRC Banner

Over the past week the four of us had the distinct honour to travel from our respective places to Edmonton - Treaty 6 territory - to listen, learn, hurt, and be inspired to action at the final National Event for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on Residential Schools. We heard courageous survivors tell their stories of pain, struggle, resistance and perseverance in a system which sought to “kill the indian in the child”. We would like to honour those who showed great courage and resilience in participating in this experience of truth telling.

Given that this was the final TRC national event, the KAIROS young adult engagement team is asking the question: well… what’s next? How has the ongoing process of truth telling informed the path forward for reconciliation? To echo the words of Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the TRC: “If you thought the truth part was hard, reconciliation is going to be a lot harder.”

As settlers on behalf of whom treaties were signed, we have a covenantal obligation to live in right relationship with Indigenous peoples. As Christians, we understand that covenants are sacred agreements, and this means we have a responsibility to honour them. Honouring treaties is critical to the process of reconciliation, as authentic reconciliation requires going back to the root of our broken relationship and healing that brokenness from its point of origin.

Throughout the event, we offered reflections based on the themes of solidarity, surviving and thriving, and wisdom. We believe that these thoughts can help guide us in that effort to honour the treaties and heal that trust that has been so severely wounded. In terms of solidarity, we have an obligation to listen to guidance and leadership from Indigenous people of all generations on this journey to reconciliation. Let us accept and rejoice in our role as supporters of an invigorated movement, in whatever form that role might take. We also need to recognize that creating space for surviving and thriving requires decolonizing the institutions that continue to oppress Indigenous peoples in systemic ways, including the justice, mental and physical health, and child welfare systems, as well as the various systems associated with the extraction of natural resources.  This requires us to hold our elected leaders responsible for ongoing inequities in our country’s institutions, as well as to be creative in living out justice in our communitiest. We need to build relationships which honour different forms of wisdom. The truth telling process has been empowering for many, and in order to move forward, we must continue to let those diverse truths shape our hearts and minds.

We know that the road to reconciliation is a long and difficult one that involves much work, self-reflection and pain. We know too, however, that Indigenous people are reaching out to us, speaking their truths and courageously offering their stories, in the hope of building relationships based on mutuality and trust. Are we ready to offer back our hands, overcome fear and guilt, and allow ourselves to be transformed by the power of authentic relationship? The four of us are, and hope that you are ready to join us.

Truth, Reconciliation & Equity: They Matter to Us

TRC Blog

We Are Part of a Sacred Covenant

As KAIROS youth delegate Elyse Brazel explains, in their expression of reconciliation, the 4Rs Youth Summit promised to keep the sacred fires burning and the drums beating beyond the mandate of the TRC.

Surviving, Thriving, and Refusing to “Get Over It”

As KAIROS youth delegate Kaitlyn Duthie-Kannikkatt explains in her blog on Day 3 of the TRC National Event in Edmonton, residential school trauma is not something you can “just get over”!

Thoughts on Solidarity at the TRC

On Day 2 of the TRC National Event in Edmonton, KAIROS youth delegate Elizabeth Kessler explores the meaning of solidarity.

Truth and reconciliation and our hopeful shared future

I am attending the seventh and final National Event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Edmonton (March 27-30). I have been at all but one of these events. I know to prepare myself, that the listening will be heart wrenching work. But I also know that I am about to witness unimaginable resilience, which I believe holds the key to a hopeful shared future.

TRC Reflection Day 1- Wisdom

On Day 1 of the TRC National Event in Edmonton, KAIROS youth delegates Elyse Brazel and Jesse Root reflect on how acknowledging the existence of many “truths” is an important step on the road to reconciliation.

KAIROS Gears Up for the TRC’s Alberta National Event

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC’s) Alberta National Event is taking place in Edmonton from March 27-30 and KAIROS will be well represented by the Executive Director, three staff, a youth delegation and countless KAIROS volunteers.

Faithfully Preparing for the TRC Hearing in Edmonton

Jesse Root is currently interning at KAIROS as part of his program requirements for his Master of Arts degree in Immigration and Settlement Studies.

KAIROS Partner and Honorary Witness Naty Atz Sunuc Video Message to the TRC

As an Honorary Witness to the TRC National Event in Vancouver last September, KAIROS partner Naty Atz Sunuc was invited by the Commissioners to attend the National TRC National Event in Edmonton. Work and family commitments in Guatemala prevented her from attending, but she sent this video message.

In her message, Naty talks about the TRC’s profound impact on her, and about her covenant as an Honorary Witness to continue to work for truth, reconciliation and justice for her Indigenous brothers and sisters in Canada. She stresses that in order to realize genuine justice and reconciliation, Canada and Canadians must address the ongoing violation of Indigenous peoples’ human rights, especially those linked to resource extraction. Naty’s video message is part of the official records of the TRC.

For more information please contact:
Rachel Warden,
Gender Justice and Latin American Partnership Coordinator
416-463-5312 x 242
Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933

On the Road to Justice Tour Makes A Stop at KAIROS

Guatemalan visitors who are part of the On the Road to Justice Tour stopped by the KAIROS office to meet with staff on March 20, the start of their Canadian tour. Among them was Rafael Maldonado from the Guatemalan Centre for Environmental, Social, and Legal Action (CALAS), Oscar Morales, Coordinator of the Committee in Defense of Life and Peace in San Rafael Las Flores, and Celeste Gutierrez from the local committee in Defense of Life of the parish in Santa Rosa. Organized by Mining Watch Canada and NISGUA (Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala), the tour was an opportunity for these courageous community leaders to speak about their experience with the Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources, and how they are seeking justice in Canada. We met with these partners and visited their communities during the Guatemala study tour in November 2013.

On the Road to Justice

The visitors spoke about how the company and the government, despite a favourable decision by the Constitutional Court, did not recognize the results of a municipal consultation in Santa Rosa in which over 98% of the community voted to oppose the mine. They described violence and repression, including how the company’s former security manager, an ex-military official from Peru, allegedly ordered security guards to fire at protestors outside the mine last April 27, injuring at least 8 people.  They spoke about the criminalization of their leaders, including church leaders, and how since September 2012 about 70 people have been slapped with unfounded criminal charges and are facing distress, hardship and time in jail. They explained that all this is happening while the former head of security for the company, who is accused of ordering guards to open fire on protestors, has avoided prison by arguing that he is sick. They emphasized the important role of the church, and of faith, and how the local church has been targeted and the priest criminalized for supporting and accompanying community opposition. 
They also challenged us to do something with their testimonies. Their experience is why the Open for Justice campaign is so important. These communities need laws that allow access to Canadian courts for people who have been harmed by the international operations of Canadian companies, and they need an effective, mandatory extractive sector Ombudsman. 

If you have not already done so, please sign the online petition and write to your MP.  Your address is all that is needed. Once you have signed, find out how you can organize a meeting with your MP.  When you write to and meet with you MP, share the testimonies of these Guatemalan visitors from San Rafael and Santa Rosa, who have asked us all to join them On the Road to Justice.

More Background

- 'On the Road for Justice' Speaking Tour Brings Attention to Canada's Role in Guatemala Mining Conflict
- On the Road to Justice – Videos Online!

For more information please contact:
Rachel Warden,
Gender Justice and Latin American Partnership Coordinator
416-463-5312 x 242
Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933

IPCC Warns Climate Change Deepening Poverty

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report is the most dire to date. It warns that the mostly negative impacts of climate warming will only get worse. According to the report, climate change will reduce fresh water availability, submerge coastlines and small island states, and reduce fishery yields, which will disproportionately affect disadvantaged populations. More frequent and intense heat waves will exacerbate existing health problems and increase the transmission of food- and water borne diseases, while projected population displacements will increase the risks of violent conflicts.

The report emphasizes that climate change has had an impact on food security, noting that “climate change has negatively affected wheat and maize yields for many regions,” and argues that further warming, droughts, floods, and precipitation variability will increase food insecurity “particularly for poorer populations in urban and rural settings.”

Since more than 500 authors, including officials from 115 countries, had to sign off on every word, the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers offers only a limited range of proposals for adaptation and building resilience. For example, there is no target for the amount of financing that industrialized countries owe to developing countries for the climate debt that is a result of their excessive greenhouse gas emissions. Reportedly, a reference to the US$100 billion per annum promised at the Copenhagen climate conference was removed from the Summary document at the insistence of the United States and other Northern countries.
On a more positive note, the report says “Indigenous, local and traditional knowledge systems and practices, including Indigenous peoples’ holistic view of community and environment, are a major resource for adapting to climate change,” and it suggests integrating these knowledge systems with modern science to improve adaptation practices.


The IPCC Report on Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – Summary for Policy Maker

A description of the report’s discussion of poverty and food issues

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

Executive Director Jennifer Henry's letter to the Toronto Star re: missing and murdered Indigenous women"

My grief in reading "Conservatives reject inquiry for murdered, missing aboriginal women", Saturday, March 8, 2014, was magnified by the fact it appeared on International Women's Day.  On this day, when women around the world renew their call for "bread and roses, too," the call from Indigenous women and their allies for a national inquiry into what is a national crisis is rejected.  When Aboriginal women in Canada are "three times as likely" to be targets of violence a public inquiry leading to a systemic action plan is not only required but essential, and long overdue.  This International Women's Day I dream of a time when Aboriginal women in Canada can live without fear. Is that really too much to ask?

Letter to the Editor of the Toronto Star, Jennifer Henry

International Womens Day

Join KAIROS at Calling Lakes for a Watershed Discipleship Retreat

Coming Into the Watershed:   A Watershed Discipleship Retreat
Friday, May 9 (6pm supper) to Sunday, May 11 (1 pm)
Calling Lakes Centre, Fort Qu’Appelle, SK
Sponsored by KAIROS and the Calling Lakes Centre

A watershed is an area of land whose lakes and rivers all drain out to a common body of water. It can be as small as the Lower Qu’Appelle (the local watershed where Calling Lakes is located) or as big as the Hudson Bay watershed, which stretches from the BC-Alberta border across the prairies and Canadian Shield to the Quebec-Labrador border, and North to parts of Baffin Island.

But the word “watershed” also refers to time, as in a “watershed moment” – the time when it becomes clear that something is changing, or has to change.

KAIROS’ “Watershed Discipleship” program explores both these meanings of watershed through the lenses of ecological justice and Indigenous Rights. What are the watersheds we live in? With whom and what do we share those spaces? How can this awareness deepen our connection to our home place? How do watersheds connect us, both locally and globally? What threatens our watersheds, and how will we work together to protect them?

Calling Lakes

Qu’Appelle Valley, Lower Qu’Appelle Watershed, Saskatchewan. Photo: Sara Stratton

We’ll explore all these issues in this retreat, incorporating activities such as teachings from Indigenous leaders, biblical and theological explorations, field trips in the Lower Qu’Appelle watershed, sharing stories of our own watersheds, and time for reflection and worship.  You’ll learn how watersheds are an important way to root yourself geographically and spiritually, and you’ll obtain skills to take back home to help others explore  and protect the richness of your own watershed.

Please join us in this learning experience for all, organizers and leaders included, as we work towards right relationship with one another and with the land.

Registration: $200 (subsidized by KAIROS). To register, contact the Calling Lakes Centre:  http://www.callinglakes.ca

For more information please contact:
Sara Stratton
Member Relations/Movement Building Coordinator
416-463-5312 x241
Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933 x 241

Join Us
donate to KAIROS

social media

facebook twitter youtube google+ RSS


KAIROS’ Young Adult
Delegation to the TRC
National Event in Edmonton

KAIROS TRC Youth Delegates

KAIROS was privileged to have an enthusiastic and dedicated delegation of four young adults attend the final TRC National Event in Edmonton on its behalf. Kaitlyn Duthie-Kannikkatt is a newly christened Winnipegger working on her Masters in Development Practice with a focus on Indigenous Development at the University of Winnipeg. She has been involved with KAIROS for several years as co-chair of the Sustainability Circle.

Elyse Brazel is a community builder, artist, face-painter and graduate student at the Vancouver School of Theology. She is working towards her MA in Indigenous and Inter-religious Studies. Her work has included living in community and working with refugee claimants at Romero House in Toronto, working with young adults on interfaith social justice projects in Ottawa, organizing the youth delegation to the World Religious Leaders Summit in Winnipeg, and leading arts-based First Nations-Settler reconciliation circles with Hummingbird Ministries in preparation for the Vancouver TRC.

Jesse Root is a researcher, learner, and graduate student at Ryerson University in the Masters in Immigration and Settlement Studies Program. His research interest is in the building of relationships between Indigenous and migrant communities in Canada. He is involved in this work through KAIROS as co-chair of the Dignity and Rights Circle.

Elizabeth Kessler has been involved in the climate justice movement, the student movement, and the radical disability movement in Vancouver and in Ontario. She is the coordinator of the Student Christian Movement-Vancouver, a newly formed group of students of faith that is looking at ways to work in solidarity with social movements on Coast Salish Territory. She is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa and the University of British Columbia.

The delegation has been active on social media, Tweeting, Facebooking and posting blogs. Click here to read their impressions and reflections on the KAIROS TRC blog.


Inventory Clearance:
The 'You Just Pay the Shipping' Event


We’re spring cleaning.
Everything must go!
Select posters, books and DVD’s are FREE until May 20!

You just pay the shipping for these great educational and worship resources. Some of our most popular resources are also reduced. Spruce up your classrooms and offices with great posters showing diversity and commitment to justice. Take this opportunity to stock your personal, school, or church library with some great justice reflections and worship resources you will want to have at your fingertips.

Place your order here: http://www.kairoscanada.org/shop/


- KAIROS Worship in Celebration of Earth Day (April 22)
- Creating a Climate for Justice Action Guide
- Borderless DVD and Study Guide
- Trading Rights Cards and Teacher’s Guide (separately or as a set)
- Africa’s Blessing, Africa’s Curse in English or French
- Our Oil Dilemma: Reflections and Queries
- Making it Matter: Truth, Reconciliation, and Equity Workshop and Worship
- Connecting the Drops: Church leaders’ delegation to the tar sands DVD
- UNDRIPardy Game Show DVD
- Fuelling Conflict Map


- In Peace and Friendship - $5
- Blanket Exercise (print) - $12

For more information please contact:
Shannon Neufeldt
Board Relations and Resource Promotion
416-463-5312 ext. 222


Check our Events page for details!

April 7 - Ottawa, 7 pm: Gabrielle Fayant at Lenten Series - Seeking Right Relationships
April 7 - Ottawa, 8 pm: Premiere of 'Defensora'
April 14 - Victoria, 6 pm: Caring for All Creation
April 15 - Vancouver, 6 pm: Caring for All Creation
April 26 - Guelph, 9 am: Christian Life in Evolution
April 28 - Victoria, 6 pm: Caring for All Creation
April 29 - Vancouver, 6 pm: Caring for All Creation
May 12 - Victoria, 6 pm: Caring for All Creation
May 13 - Vancouver, 6 pm: Caring for All Creation
May 29-June 1 - Sauble Beach, ON: Cahoots Festival

A Festival on Faith, Justice
and Do It Yourself!
May 29 – June 1st


The Student Christian Movement and the Beansprout Collective have organized Cahoots- a Festival on Faith, Justice and Do It Yourself! May 29 – June 1st. There will be workshops, skill sharing, music, art, and more - all nestled together at Silver Lake Mennonite Camp in Sauble Beach, Ontario.

Cahoots will explore how faith communities struggle for justice. How do we stay resilient and strong to oppose injustice while building a new world? What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus in this age of injustice, cuts to essential social services, destruction of our land and the poisoning of our water by multinationals, deportation of migrants and refugees, and the further industrialization of our prison system?

At Cahoots, we will ask questions together, listen to unique and remarkable people, sing freedom songs, practice skills, and create together as a diverse community of faith.

Tickets are $55 before April 15th.


Download the Poster

In the News

Investigate missing women
Toronto Star, March 11: Letter to the Editor by Jennifer Henry

Season of Lent highlights ethic of self-restraint
Vancouver Sun, March 14: Douglas Todd

On World Water Day, a moment for the watersheds
Rabble.ca, March 22: Sara Stratton

Flaherty failed to go after big fish
Toronto Star Letter to the Editor, March 23: John Dillon

With Oliver in, don’t count income-splitting out
Globe & Mail, March 28: Gerald Caplan

Spirited Reflections

Bone-Dry – by Margaret Evans

This spring, Margaret Evans will begin her term representing the Presbyterian Church in Canada on the Dignity and Rights Circle. In this week’s Spirited Reflection she offers thoughts on the lectionary text from Ezekiel. Are we too being called to breathe new life into dry bones?

A Garland Instead of Ashes – by Stephen Allen

Stephen Allen, KAIROS Board member and Associate Secretary for Justice Ministries of The Presbyterian Church, reflects on Isaiah 61 and a history of seeking justice. “We live with the tension between the values of the year of the Lord’s favour and the values of this world.“ Here we also find a piece of Stephen`s personal story.

Decisions, Decisions – by Cindy Bourgeois

“A few years ago I ran into Josh, whom I knew to be homeless. I met Josh at the free dinners hosted by my church. We chatted for a bit and when we were about to part he hit me up for a couple of bucks…” What would you do? Why? Does it matter? United Church minister and seeker of Basilea Theou, Cindy Bourgeois, offers a down-to-earth reflection on what we do with a toonie and the systemic injustice within which we make our decisions.

Mountain-top Moments and the Valleys of Reconciliation – by Marcie Gibson

Marcie Gibson offers a timely reflection this week commenting on both the TRC and this week’s Gospel reading. She is a young diaconal minister, in ministry with Kahnawake United Church on Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, near Montréal, Québec, has been involved in various social justice concerns over the years, and attended the April 2013 TRC event in Montréal as a volunteer.


Psalm 23 and Wisteria: a chance for new beginnings or right relationships?

- by Carmen Landsdowne

First Nations theologian and ordained minister Carmen Lansdowne has written a very personal Lenten reflection. Her openness and honesty call us into our own Lenten journeys, to examine our own hearts, to pay attention to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission event this week, and to act on what we know to be true.

Mountain Top view

Click here to make a donation to KAIROS today.

For more information, please visit our website:


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