Archives: Testimonials

Bruce McIvor

Bruce McIvor attends UCV with his family.

Dr. Bruce McIvor, Lawyer and Historian, Principal, First Peoples Law Corporation. Dr. Bruce McIvor is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation, a law firm dedicated to defending and advancing Aboriginal title, Aboriginal rights and Treaty rights. His work includes both litigation and negotiation on behalf of Indigenous Peoples across Canada. Bruce is dedicated to public education. He recently published the third edition of his collection of essays entitled First Peoples Law: Essays in Canadian Law and Decolonization. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law where he teaches the constitutional law of Aboriginal and Treaty rights. Bruce is a proud Métis from the Red River in Manitoba. He holds a law degree, a Ph.D. in Aboriginal and environmental history and is a Fulbright Scholar. Bruce, a member of the bar in British Columbia and Ontario, is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading practitioner of Aboriginal law in Canada.

First Peoples Law: Essays on Canadian Law and Decolonization, Bruce’s collection of essays, can be
downloaded for free from our website. Bruce also regularly holds free workshops for Indigenous people
throughout Canada on current issues in Aboriginal law.
Bruce is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading practitioner of Aboriginal law in Canada. He is a proud Métis from the Red River in Manitoba. Bruce holds a law degree, a Ph.D. in Aboriginal and environmental history, and is a Fulbright Scholar.

Scroll down to download his book of essays on First Peoples Law.

Here’s what his website says:

For me, advocacy is bred in the bone.

My ancestors experienced the disloyalty of the French and British, the Acadian Explusion, the conquest of New France, the dispossession at Red River and government’s refusal to honour the numbered Treaties.

I was focused on working for social justice through an academic career in history until I began working in the law with Louise Mandell, Q.C. (Mandell Pinder) and Stuart Rush, Q.C. (Rush Crane Guenther) on what I expected to be a temporary basis. That was over 15 years ago. Louise and Stuart introduced me to a world of principled, high quality legal advocacy that led me back to university for a law degree.

First Peoples Law combines my passions for law, history and social justice. Most importantly, it allows me to work with other committed professionals in supporting Indigenous Peoples’ ongoing struggle for respect and justice.

Email Bruce

Bruce’s Linkedin profile

Download Bruce’s Bio & CV

Click here to download your free pdf copy, order a paperback copy or do both: https://www.firstpeopleslaw.com/public-edu…/publications.php

We have a limited number of free paperback copies available for non-profit Indigenous organizations in Canada available for the cost of shipping–email us for details enquire@firstpeopleslaw.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABORIGINAL TITLE

The Age of Recognition: The Significance of the Tsilhqot’in Decision

The Downside of the Tsilhqot’in Decision

TREATIES

Is Canada No Longer Responsible for Historical Treaties?

Provinces Burdened with Responsibility for Fulfilling Treaty Promises

What Tsilhqot’in and Grassy Narrows Mean for Treaty First Nations

The Piecemeal Infringement of Treaty Rights

THE METIS

A New Legal Remedy for Indigenous People

The Duty to Consult—A Second-Best Alternative

What Does the Daniels Decision Mean?

THE DUTY TO CONSULT

Provinces’ Have Every Right to Set Conditions on Pipelines

A Pipeline Too Far: How to Stop Kinder Morgan

The Inadequacy of Environmental Assessments

Environmental Assessments and the Duty to Consult

Is the Duty to Consult Clear as Mud?

The Duty to Consult—Ignore the Elephant

The Duty to Consult as an Ongoing Obligation

Breathing Life Back into the Duty to Consult

The Duty to Consult—the Groundhog Day Conundrum

Columbus’ Ghost: Past Infringements and the Duty to Consult

The Duty to Consult—A Roadblock to Direct Action

Good News for the Duty to Consult

Negotiate or Litigate?

The Duty to Consult—A Narrow Vision

How to Fulfill the Duty to Consult

TOWARDS DECOLONIZATION

Why Quebec but not Indigenous Appointments to the Supreme Court?

Canada’s Misguided Land Claims Policy

The Case for Denying Indigenous Rights

Colonialism’s Disciples: How Government Undermines Indigenous People

How the Canadian Legal System Fails Indigenous People

Indigenous Identity and Aboriginal Law: A Personal Journey

Download a free copy here: https://www.firstpeopleslaw.com/public-edu…/publications.php

Frances and Sandy

Frances and Sandy are trained in Therapeutic Touch (R) through Langara and are members and on the board of directors of the BC Therapeutic

Touch Network Society. BCTTNS    www.bctherapeutictouch.com

They will be offering 15-20 minute sessions from 3 pm on with the last appointment at 4:15pm at the annual women’s gathering in the Meditation Room. There will be a signup sheet on the door for you to book your session.

Frances is 3rd from left and Sandy is on far right in this picture taken on World Circle Dance Day.

Both are active in our circle dance gatherings. Frances frequently choreographs dances and Sandy is a new enthusiastic dancer and looking forward to more dancing in the new year.

Laurie Anderson

“What are you curious about?” my coach asked at the beginning of 2019 and then suggested I follow that query to see where it would lead.  And so, I began noticing what sparked my curiosity.

Growing up on a farm, I felt an early, deep sense of connection with the natural world and her cycles and rhythyms.  Living non-urbanly for most of my life kept my connection to nature strong and vibrant but living in the city had dulled this awareness.

So, getting curious again, I searched the web for nature-based spirituality in Vancouver and was delighted to find the monthly Earth Spirit Circle gatherings and Paganism 101 course at UCV.  

Within these groups, I discovered people who use earth based and pagan practices in their lives to explore the magic and mystery of the cosmos as well as use ritual to tap into unseen realities and contribute to positive personal and societal change.  It is comforting to feel that I have found people who ‘speak my language’ even if our dialects and idioms may vary.

I invite you to come to an Earth Spirit Circle gathering.  We’re a welcoming, fun bunch and you might just find yourself curious about new ways to honour the divine in yourself, in nature, and throughout the cosmos.

Blessings to you and yours,

Laurie Anderson

 

Wendy Bryan

Mary Bennett, ever the careful listener, heard me say, more than once, how I love the Fire Communion. Of course, I was immediately recruited to help with the service. What fires me up ? no apologies for the pun. .  . this service gives us strength to honour and embrace letting go, putting aside, clearing out, saying goodbye with gratitude, no easy task. In community together, the power of shared ritual enhances and strengthens our intentions. It’s palpable. Together we are left with space we have created. And space invites joyous promises to take root, It  can be as pivotal in our personal lives, as it is intended to be. Self-care together. Works for me. I’m grateful.

Wendy will be coordinating the ritual around burning our symbolic sprig of rosemary to let the past year go.

As a “night school junkie”, this fall Wendy signed up for: Paganism 101 and Wicca 101 as well as a six-week astrology course. She says she’s not sure how much paganism will form part of her spiritual practice in the future, but she’s interested so (as usual) she’s diving in.

Wendy’s been attending UCV since 2002 when she took a course on “Building Your Own Theology” with Rev. Andy Backus. She is always a positive and enthusiastic presence. Currently she serves on the lay chaplaincy committee and welcoming table where she enjoys making visitors feel at home.

Wendy lives on a boat in False Creek. You might enjoy reading this article about her:

https://boatingvancouver.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/a-boat-with-a-roof-you-can-dance-on/

Here’s an excerpt:

“My visit to Inside Passage at Spruce Harbour Marina was sparked by meeting the current owner, Wendy Bryan, briefly at Granville Island. The vibrant owner epitomizes why people enjoy yachting; she is full of energy, enthusiasm, and adventure, three attributes the help one make the most of the boating lifestyle. When I heard that Inside Passage was the boat she had recently purchased, it came as no surprise. Both the boat and the new owner seem to defy age, showing that a history founded on classic taste and a future set toward adventure can make for a stunning combination.”

 

Jodie Miller

We’re happy for her, but sad for us: Jodie is moving to Salt Spring Island.

The Salt Spring Unitarians are already welcoming Jodie on their facebook group, so she’ll have a ready-made community to join there. She assures us she’ll be back fairly regularly and will keep in touch.

Jodie moved to Vancouver from the UK in 2016 and has since been sharing her knowledge of esoteric traditions in astrology, tarot and divinatory arts across the local community. (more…)

Laura Imayoshi

Reverend Laura Imayoshi

laura-friedman

Rev. Imayoshi was raised attending the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. She did her undergraduate work in Religious Studies at UBC and her post graduate work at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California. Laura trained extensively with the Faithful Fools, an interfaith street ministry in San Francisco. She brought their humour, wisdom and inspiration to Vancouver to start serving in the streets as a Unitarian community minister.

What is Laura’s Ministry?

Rev. Laura Imayoshi has worked with this congregation since 2004, and was ordained here in 2007. Her ministry is about creating meaningful connections between people.  She serves in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, working to build bridges of sharing and understanding between the Downtown Eastside and the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.

Rev. Imayoshi’s ministry has been formally endorsed by the Unitarian Church of Vancouver but she is not paid or employed by the church.

What Is Community Ministry?

In the Thick of Things

A community minister is one who has chosen to build community by working in the community rather than in a parish church. There are four community ministries in Canada, of which two are in the greater Vancouver area.

Community ministry is about taking the values, principles, experience, questioning, and thoughtfulness of Unitarian Universalism and moving  outside of the walls of the church. Community ministers work wherever they are passionate – in hospitals as chaplains, building community gardens, working for legislative change, building a peace movement, running a homeless shelter… the possibilities are as diverse as the people in our congregations.

Unitarians have a rich history of community ministry. One of Vancouver’s community ministers is Reverend Laura Imayoshi.

Mairy Beam’s play Irreparable Harm? will be at Heart of the City Festival

Mairy invites you to come to the reading of Irreparable Harm? A tale of the Trans Mountain Pipelines Arrests.  It will be at the Carnegie Centre on November 8 (1 month away!) at 3 pm as part of the Heart of the City Festival.  It’s # 12 on the top picks: http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com/#top-picks
Please mark your calendars and spread the word!
There will be a full production next spring, so if you can’t make it on Nov 8, don’t despair!
Here’s more information about Mairy from the latest enewsletter from Playwrights Theatre Centre.

Featured Member

Mairy Beam headshotMairy Beam is a non-binary playwright and director who recently moved to Vancouver, giving her the opportunity to join the land and water protectors who are fighting the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Inspired by the drama in the BC Supreme Court, she has written a documentary theatre piece, Irreparable Harm? A tale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Arrests. After attending PTC’s Block P workshop, she is producing Irreparable Harm? along with the Sinister Sisters Ensemble. Her recent plays include Body Parts, produced in the New Ideas Festival in Toronto in March 2019; Out and About, produced in 2017 in Vancouver at the 4 x 3 Fest and in Toronto at Gelato Fest; The Next Marywhich was included in PinkFest 2018 in Toronto; and Let Me In, which was read as part of the 2018 Bodacious Series in North Vancouver. She has also directed several plays for Theatre Out of the Box in Toronto.

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Elizabeth Dunn

On Jan 19, I  attended ‘Raven People Rising’ at UCV. I feel honoured and truly fortunate to be able to learn more about the Heiltsuk Nation’s powerful journey to protect their territory and surrounding ocean waters. (more…)

Karen and Ralph Theroux

In February 2016, my husband Ralph and I retired and moved from New York to Vancouver. We left our friends, family, church, and colleagues and sold the house we had lived in for 40 years to follow our children (and first grandchild) west. Our daughter and daughter-in-law had attended UCV, and Kathryn Roback performed their wedding ceremony at the Radha yoga centre and vegan restaurant in 2009. As newcomers, we needed a community and UCV seemed like a good place to start.

Following where our children lead has always been a good policy, and joining this church is no exception. We love attending Sunday morning services, where we invariably learn something new about the natural world, history, social issues, famous Unitarians, and much more. And there’s always beautiful music – especially when the choir is singing.

As a member of the Worship Services Committee, I’ve discovered how much thought and planning goes into every service. Ralph signed up for the Welcome Committee and will be greeting folks and handing out bulletins on Sundays. If you don’t see us in our usual pew, it’s probably because we’ve gone to Southern California to visit our younger daughter’s family. (They attend a small UU church in Aliso Viejo.)
As the announcements promise, a lot goes on at UCV – and not only on Sunday mornings. I’ve missed my garden since trading our suburban house for an East Van condo; working on the grounds committee and labyrinth has let me keep on digging, planting, and weeding. I also attend the monthly potluck book and lunch where we discuss and swap books old and new.

Ralph and I enjoy getting to know other members while attending dinners, concerts, forums, and other special programs, as well as participating in civic events as church members. We recently joined the climate action march where we met up with several UCVers, although, thanks to the enormous crowd, we never did find the Environment Committee folks with the church banner.

Since moving here we’ve been blessed with two more grandchildren, one here and one in California–where another is on the way in January. We became permanent residents of Canada this March, and we’re determined to explore as much of this beautiful province as our grandparenting schedule allows. Coming to Vancouver has changed our lives in ways we never could have foreseen—all good—and this church, and the friendly people who are part of it, have helped make us feel this is where we belong.

John Voth still enhancing the beauty of UCV after all these years!

John Voth’s latest project is creating garden markers for the labyrinth. Mary Bennett had found a photo of something like this and John envisioned something bigger and better! He is using cedar from his Kitsilano trees and burning the letters with a burning tool.
In succeeding years in the fall he will dry them out again sand the face and refresh the letters! At 92 and going strong we expect he’ll be doing that yearly for a long time.

John first joined UCV on November 18, 1962, 57 years ago.

John Voth’s art has had numerous exhibitions at UCV. He invites members to come by his private loft gallery by appointment only. Phone: 604-738-8983

John Voth’s calling card.
Opposing finger and thumb. Artist: John Voth. photo: Keith Wilkinson