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How one person’s advocacy can make a difference

On May 20th, the Climate Witness Project had the privilege of hosting a book talk with professor and author Finis Dunaway. His new book, Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice, takes a look at how photographer Lenny Kohm’s grassroots advocacy alongside the Gwich’in people helped protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The following is pulled from this talk. 

Acting In Love

Recently I was asked “What caused you to care about the issue of human trafficking?”. It took me a second to respond. I heard about human trafficking for the first time when I was in the 9th grade. A woman came in and told us about what human trafficking is, how anyone could become a victim to it, the grooming tactics and how it was happening in places all around us. She told us it happens in areas near our homes and started listing off a bunch of popular places along with internet platforms.

Justice Prayers - June 9, 2021

"Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take." -Nehemiah 9:19

Cycles of Life Include Death: Can’t Cancel the Contact

Have you ever witnessed the loud street preacher or self-proclaimed prophet, standing atop a soap box on a busy street corner? Their message could span a wide range, from the spiritual warnings of the future, to past misdeeds of people, to current displeasures with systems or governments. A group of friends and I have recently walked by one such gentleman and his particular message was promoting angry retribution for people who have committed particular crimes.

A Call to Prayer and Action

In memory of 215 Indigenous Children of Creator found in unmarked graves at a residential school in Kamloops BC, on the lands of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation.

Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matthew 19:4

Justice Prayers - June 2, 2021

The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. - Isaiah 26:7 

Reading Ecclesiastes in a Pandemic

This is an excerpt from a sermon I recently preached at the CRC’s Campus Ministry at the University of Toronto (my alma mater!).

Words spoken by the wise bring them favor, 

    but the lips of fools consume them.

The words of their mouths begin in foolishness,

    and their talk ends in wicked madness;

yet fools talk on and on.

Ramblings from a Heart Exchanged

This last year I partnered with my friend Johnny Lee to help teach Christian youth about Indigenous justice through The Mustard Seed’s Seed Serve program. I usually start the conversation like this: 

Would you ever buy something from someone if you knew it was stolen? 

Most of the youth would say no way! 

What if you really wanted it? 

Still the answer was a firm no. 

Justice Prayers - May 26 2021

"I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice" - Proverbs 8:20

Indigenous Book Club

Since starting as a student intern in January for the Christian Reformed Canadian Indigenous Ministry Committee (in the middle of a pandemic!), I have already learned so much.

Having little experience previously in advocacy organizations, I am continuing to gain both hands-on experience and a peek into the inner workings of how this kind of work unfolds. As part of my work, I have also been deepening my understanding of the complex and multifaceted nature of Indigneous issues in Canada and the history of settler-Indigenous relations. 

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