This year, September 21-22 OCAD University hosts the #NoWar2018 conference, the annual international peace conference held by World Beyond War. We are proposing a workshop and possibly a panel or talk to share the workshop’s outcomes at this event. Last year at this time DwD held a track of dialogue events toward the recovery of a Canadian peace movement. In January we held a session to size up the possibility of a peace series. In the spring we held sessions to develop a design brief for a Canadian People’s Foreign Policy.
Our first in a series of workshops was held to scope out the message, framing, goals, potential impact, and to start connecting DwD and creative communities for the shared purpose of advancing Canada’s rightful position as a centre for peace and well-being, here and as an example to the world. For decades Canada had cultivated a “positive myth” or sociopolitical image of a country of peacekeepers and diplomats. Last year at this time DwD held a track of dialogue events to inquire and act to recover a Canadian peace movement. In January we held a session to size up the possibility of a peace series. In the spring we held sessions to develop a “design brief” for a Canadian People’s Foreign Policy.
There are several foundations for creating a “new moral myth” as a guiding vision for a future Canada we can believe in. All of these contributions to a New Canadian Myth promote peace at home and in the world.
- Canada as Caring for All People – Refuse to play games with other nations because of covert ethnic and economic rivalries embedded in politics (such as the baseless Cold War II)
- Canada is an Indigenous Nation, in relation to others – Canada was settled on an inherently and original indigenous land. We dishonour all our relations by provoking violence to others as settlers, when we have not reconciled our original violence to indigenous people. We have no moral right to wage global colonialism in the name of “democracy” while continuing to undemocratically exploit the resources of the colonized land which we have taken from dishonoured treaties.
- Canada Stands for Ecological Balance – We care for the earth as well as the people whose lives are dependent on it. The militaries of the world are the single largest abusers of the shared planetary environment which all life requires to live. The military is an unregulated global and local polluter without a policy to remediate ecosystems or compensate nature’s victims of violence between humans. The renewed threats of nuclear destruction (from the US and others) have erased any possible comity between our defense establishments and climate change or environmental activism. The environmental justice must acknowledge the necessity of moving to a peace-led politics.
The conference workshop will of course make a political statement – but it is not of any current party. The emerging peace movement on this continent is no longer led by the left (or the right). Its also time we retire these divisions within society, for issues that affect us all, as we are all lessened and hurt by a continuing reliance on the war economy to feed economic growth demands. We are inclusive, planetary and of North America / Turtle Island, and will remain open to all political positions, cultures, viewpoints, creeds, and faiths that wish to build a future of peace for Canadians.
The conference workshop might help us learn to develop our own counter-narrative for leading debate and public discourses,sustaining essential life-affirming, inviolable and pro-cultural values in Canadian policy.