Speaker Series #1
Truth and Reconciliation in Canada and Beyond

Justice with Unci (Grandmother in Lakota), Deloria Bighorn

Deloria Bighorn is, in her own words, a mother, wife, grandmother, school counsellor, social worker, president of the Friendship Centre in Duncan, B.C., member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’í’s of Canada, maker of pyjamas for grandsons, beadwork creator, friend.

Ms. Bighorn is a firm believer in the crucial need for truth and reconciliation across the globe. In her opening address as emcee at a special dinner, film, and talking circle sponsored by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada in 2015 to honour the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, she said, “Unity among the Aboriginal peoples, unity with the rest of Canadian society, and unity with all the peoples of the world is vital if justice and social well-being are to be assured.”

At a symposium titled “Rethinking the relationship between spirituality and reconciliation” at the University of Victoria in March 2018, Ms. Bighorn spoke on behalf of the Bahá’í Community of Canada. She laid out her hopes for the gathering thus: “We are here to create a world in which the suffering of the people is diminished and the nobility of people is enhanced. Our work is to re-create society with principles of justice and oneness.”

Bahá'ís embrace unity in diversity and the oneness of humanity. Soon after the introduction of the Bahá'í Faith to Canada in the late 1800s, individuals from varied backgrounds, including First Nations peoples, became Bahá'ís. The adoption of the newest world religion has continued over the ensuing decades from coast to coast to coast, and work to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization is ongoing—work, as noted in a letter to the Bahá'ís of Canada by National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Perry Bellegarde, “towards a new era of peace, justice and reconciliation.” Click here to view the full letter.

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Podcast from Deloria Bighorn's talk — January 27, 2019
with brief introduction by Barry Sams

Reconciliation Talking Points

Deloria prepared a set of talking points that were printed and handed out to those in attendance. Click here to view a PDF version.

Speaker Series, #2
The Environment: From Local to Global

Dr. Arthur Dahl

Dr. Arthur Dahl is a marine biologist and global environmentalist who has written widely on ecology, sustainability, ethics, spirituality, and global governance. He has more than fifty years' experience in the environment field, ranging from small islands—including a summer of research at the Friday Harbor Laboratory here in the Salish Sea—to the UN Environment Programme. He drafted the Oceans and Coastal Areas chapter of Agenda 21, the UN action plan for sustainable development, and contributed to the Sustainable Development Goals. He also organized the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and coordinated the UN System-Wide Earthwatch.

Global environmental problems like climate change, loss of biodiversity, and land and coastal zone degradation are now having immediate local impacts; on small islands such as the Pender Islands, environmental limits are especially close. Recognizing that the global problems touch directly on issues like our lifestyle choices and on our values in terms of social effects, especially on the poor and on future generations, Dr. Dahl will talk about the need for a fundamental transition in our society and economy, both materially and spiritually. He believes that the transition must start now, in our local communities, as community solidarity will be the best protection for whatever lies ahead globally.

Dr. Dahl will be joining us live via videoconferencing from his home in Switzerland.

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Dr. Arthur Dahl's Talk — Recorded February 24, 2019