The April 30 conference on “Fostering A Culture of Peace” and “Contributing to Social Justice” brought together over 40 people to discuss how these issues can contribute to making Grand Forks a vibrant, peaceful and socially-just community.
The conference opened with an Indigenous land acknowledgement and prayer followed by presentations by the Rotary Club of Grand Forks (now designated as a Peacebuilder Club), John J Verigin Jr. speaking on behalf of the Doukhobor community and a representative of the Baha’í Faith, the organizing body of the conference.
Participants then broke into small groups that resulted in rich conversations. Eagle feathers wrapped in leather that were gifted to the conference were utilized as a “talking feathers,” honouring an Indigenous process that provides for everyone’s voice to be heard.
Following a borscht lunch, and an Indigenous drum circle, the Grand Forks Choral Society and the Doukhobor Community Choir provided food for the heart and soul, uplifting spirits with their beautiful messages of inclusivity and respect for the human family as one and for all living things.
A planned collective art project to create several beautiful peace murals had to be postponed due to the illness of the lead artist. Look for an announcement in early June for a new date and place – children, youth and adults are all welcome to participate.