Category: environment

Tamiko Suzuki – living with less stuff

Tamiko is Outreach Coordinator for our very active Environment team. Recently her laneway home was featured on the show Living Big in a Tiny Home with the title “Wabi-Sabi Modern Japanese Inspired Small Home.”

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdEsVoqbD5s

Read more about Tamiko and her involvement with the Unitarians below.

As the daughter of two non-religious scientists, I was never interested in church. As a university student in Montreal I checked out the Unitarians but decided the Sunday services got in the way of skiing, hiking or just sleeping in.  Similarly, once I had a family, Sundays were for the kids’ hockey and soccer games.It wasn’t until five years ago, my kids grown up and gone, when my husband passed away suddenly, that I found a need to find a spiritual community.

I showed up at the North Shore Unitarian church and would sit in the back then slink home after the sermon. I felt I had nothing in common with all those white-haired West Van congregants until one day I joined some church elders at lunch after the service. We were sitting quietly enjoying the soup, when one grey haired lady suddenly slammed her fist on the table and said, “Can you believe what Stephen Harper just did?”  That started a rousing discussion about what was wrong with the latest bill in Ottawa. I sat up and knew right then that I had found my church!

A year later, I moved from North Van to Vancouver and purely because I didn’t want to spend  time commuting, joined UCV. I enjoyed the sermons and the music and this time I was more proactive. I started looking for a group to meet people and be able to help out. I found the Environment Team!

More about Tamiko Suzuki

 

Marie Witt — Zero Waste Enthusiast and Communications Committee Chair

As well as being a casual caretaker and zero waste enthusiast (founder and coordinator of the 4th Saturday Mending Meetup), Marie has now been voted in by the Communications Committee as their new chair.

Here’s what Marie says about her journey at UCV.

I am a UBC Student studying cognitive psychology and moral philosophy. Very soon, I will be doing a combined Masters/PhD in social attention and ethical decision-making using virtual reality technology.

I stumbled on UCV a couple of years ago when I went searching for a farm market near my home on Oak. At the time, UCV had a little farm market and advertised on the website.
I had never heard the word “Unitarian” and had no idea what the church stood for but I was intrigued by messages of inclusivity: from the rainbow scarf worn by the minister to the Unitarian principles about the inherent worth and dignity of all people, democratic respect for our community and protection of the planet.

I was feeling very isolated at the time, and struggling to make social media (the church of my generation) create the type of community and social sharing I needed it to be. I had a hunch that what was missing from my online social world was a feeling of responsibility and service. Facebook wasn’t asking me to do hard work. The hard conversations I was having were with those who looked and sounded like me. And most importantly, there was no showing up in real life. I wasn’t getting any feedback that I was valuable to my community. The “likes” to my perfect politically correct take-downs of injustice felt so hollow and ineffective. Most of my social interactions were missing this crucial component of “living in community” which is a messy, uncomfortable, diverse, collaborative, real process.

I have always been a deeply curious person, and also extremely distrustful of doctrine or claims of ontological certainty. I walked into Sunday service extremely “on guard” for anything remotely prescriptive-religious.

The first sermon I attended was about Helen Keller riding a bicycle. Rev. Steven Epperson incorporated some feminist history of bicycle riding and a general, hopeful message about knowing courage. I walked away feeling spiritually nourished. My academic brain was buzzing. I wanted to tell all my friends that I had found a spiritual place where values lived at the center and everything else – specific beliefs were adjacent within the value of free and open exploration – an invitation to be spiritually curious on your own terms.
It took me a while to join the church officially but I finally reached out to the environment team. I am now a member of the caretaking staff and I am a newly active member of the Zero Waste team!

I am organizing monthly Stitch n’ Bitch gatherings (think: unapologetically drinking, talking and knitting in public) and monthly slow fashion mending workshops where anyone can come to repair or alter their thrifted or worn clothing using hobby machines and sergers, etc.

I am feeling around for my activism through our church but I have boundless gratitude to the people gathered here, who accept me in this space and offer me guidance and belonging. I am here to reciprocate.

Contact Marie email

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

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. Read the full testimonial.

Martha Saunders

Martha will be leading the worship service on Sunday, August 4th.

Martha joined UCV in the fall of 2018.

Martha Saunders Ph.D., taught religious studies and women’s studies for many years at Concordia University, Montreal, and at the University of Toronto, specializing in religious and environmental ethics.
Since 1995 she has been one of the long-time leaders of an independent eco-spiritual community in Toronto, called Ruah. This community lives and celebrates a spirituality inspired by the works of Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, and others, based in love of the earth and exploring what it means to “reinvent the human” (Thomas Berry) in the evolving cosmos. We believe that an Earth-based spirituality must include a spirituality of liberation that challenges us into right relationship with all other creatures.

Hanno Pinder

I became a Unitarian in 1962 in Sarnia, Ontario, then, upon arriving in Vancouver, joined UCV before the move to our present location.

UCV is my spiritual home; our principles and sources seem to fit with the conclusions I have drawn from living a long life. Especially UCVers share my concerns and fears about the present climate catastrophe.I like to think that we as a group can accomplish much more than I could do alone.

Lynn Armstrong

As a teenager in Vancouver in the 60’s, I babysat for a Unitarian family across the street so learned a bit about UCV and thought it would probably suit me better than the United Church my family was involved with. Read the full testimonial.