Blog Archive

When Mennonites were banned

October 9, 2020 Thirdway

Written by Brian Dyck In March 1922, Gerhard Ens, my step great-grandfather, made a trip to Ottawa from his home in Rosthern, Saskatchewan. He was part of a five-person delegation to meet the newly elected Liberal Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King. This was a follow-up meeting to remind King of the promise he made at a meeting 10 months earlier that if his party formed the government he would rescind an Order in Council from June 1919 that barred landing in Canada of “…any immigrant of the Doukobor [sic], Hutterite or Mennonite class.”[i]  King kept his word and quietly […]

Peace to end conflict-related hunger 

November 1, 2019 Thirdway

  Four times! She seemed about 60 years old and this was her fourth time as a Southern Sudanese refugee in Northern Uganda. I could not wrap my mind around that. Part of me wanted to sit with her and ask for the specifics. How old are you? Where exactly are you from? When were you first a refugee and for how long? What are the other dates for when you were a refugee? Do you have a family? Where are they? And on and on, I may have asked, for as long as she was willing to answer. But […]

Strangers becoming Neighbours

June 1, 2018 Thirdway

Stories of Peace Strangers becoming Neighbours By Donna Schulz Music continues to be the catalyst for growth in the relationship between Mennonite Church Saskatchewan and its Indigenous neighbours. On Earth Day, April 22, 2018, Mennonites and members of the Muskeg Lake community gathered for An Afternoon of Song at Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic Church in Marcelin on the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. The program opened with a drum group and dancers from the Big River First Nation. Harry Lafond of Muskeg Lake welcomed guests and explained the meaning of the Cree songs and dances. Dolores Sand, also of […]

The risky business of mining

January 29, 2016 Thirdway

By Charissa Zehr Democracy, transparency and good governance become catchphrases during political campaigns and election cycles. In Haiti, these issues contribute to the deepening debate around mining. As the legitimacy of Haiti’s government continues to be questioned, some of Mennonite Central Committee’s partner organizations have expressed concerns that a proposed mining law could be passed by presidential decree without consent of the legislative branch and, more importantly, without consulting the Haitian people. In 2013, the World Bank provided technical support to Haiti’s government to update the country’s mining law, making it more attractive to the Canadian and U.S. mining companies […]

Hopes and concerns: Canada’s involvement in Haiti

December 1, 2015 Thirdway

By Rebekah Sears, MCC Ottawa Office policy analyst I love watching our Canadian political processes unfold: elections, tracking the promises, critiquing the results, the whole game of politics. In a time of transition – a change in Prime Minister and also a change in the governing party – there are endless things to watch and monitor: who is in charge of what file, what are the governing party’s plans and promises, when can we expect results? For us at MCC’s Ottawa Office, some of the files in which we are especially interested include those relating to Canada’s role in the […]

Restoring beauty through reconciliation and unity

July 11, 2015 Thirdway

By Matt Hershey On June 18 Pope Francis issued an important document on the church’s call to care for creation. The 184-page encyclical was titled, Laudato si’, which means “Praise be to you.” The phrase originates from a poem and prayer by Saint Francis of Assisi that praises God for the creation of the different creatures and aspects of the Earth. The subtitle of the encyclical, On Care for Our Common Home, stretches beyond Catholicism – it is a message to us all. It is a critique of consumerism, irresponsible development, environmental degradation and climate change. Pope Francis calls for […]

Lost Treasures?

May 8, 2015 Jerry L. Holsopple

Lost and Found: Buena Vista Social Club Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes Two recent musical releases dig into hidden gems and leftovers to create new albums. Lost and Found, from the Buena Vista Social Club, and Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes. On Lost and Found you will experience a wonderful mix, from Manuel Guajiro Mirabel’s trumpet solos of “Habenero,” taken from the vaults when it didn’t make it onto a planned solo album in 2004, to the infectious live tune that starts the album, featuring Ibrahim Ferrer and more than a dozen other musicians. […]

Promoting sustainable peace for Colombia–A reorienting strategy

April 30, 2015 Sara Ritchie

In 2000, the Clinton administration enacted Plan Colombia, the $1.3 billion aid package to help Colombia in efforts to reduce drug production. Profits from the drug trade have fueled various actors in Colombia’s ongoing guerilla warfare, which began in 1964. In the first ten years of Plan Colombia alone, the U.S. provided more than $8 billion with nearly 80 percent of funding going towards military and police assistance, according to Amnesty International. This militaristic approach continued well past the Plan’s ten year anniversary as the U.S. continues to pour money into Colombian military and police forces and ineffective aerial fumigation […]