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CMU part of historic commitment to advancing Indigenous education and reconciliation

Manitoba’s education sector units in effort to follow Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) joined five other Manitoba universities, three colleges, and the Manitoba School Boards Association in a landmark signing of the Indigenous Education Blueprint on December 18.

CMU President Cheryl Pauls (centre) with leaders of Manitoba’s universities, colleges, and Manitoba’s school boards photo: University of Manitoba
CMU President Cheryl Pauls (centre) with leaders of Manitoba’s universities, colleges, and Manitoba’s school boards
photo: University of Manitoba

Working together in unprecedented fashion, the participating institutions developed and are now committed to the plan, which acts upon the recommendations the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presented this past summer.

The Blueprint commits the participating institutions to concrete practices in order to respect, celebrate, and support Indigenous peoples, knowledge, and success.

“The story has always been told by someone else. Now it’s your turn, and today we honour that,” Elder Harry Bone said during his opening remarks at the signing ceremony.

Steven Heinrichs, Director of Indigenous Relations with Mennonite Church Canada, was in attendance to witness the signing.

“CMU took an amazing step today in the pursuit of right relations with host peoples,” Heinrichs said. “This isn’t only good for Indigenous peoples. It can help us settlers in the paths of decolonization and bring us life. I’m looking forward to seeing how CMU will grow into this.”

Indigenous Education Blueprint_037
CMU President Cheryl Pauls signs the Indigenous Education Blueprint alongside Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology President & CEO Paul Holden
photo: University of Manitoba

CMU President Cheryl Pauls participated in the signing ceremony on behalf of the university.

She cites a number of events and initiatives, such as CMU’s partnership with the Peguis First Nation post-secondary transition program and hosting of community forums to discuss the possibilities of an urban reserve at the Kapyong Barracks, as examples where CMU has already cultivated Indigenous-settler relationships.

“We are proud to be a part of this historic commitment,” Pauls said. “CMU’s mission statement places significant importance on reconciliation in our church and society. Through education, reconciliation can be fostered, understood, and turned into a new reality.”

Moving ahead, there will be numerous all-faculty conversations at CMU to engage the Indigenous Education Blueprint.

These conversations will identify opportunities where programs and courses can be enlivened in light of the Blueprint, particularly within Peace and Conflict Studies at CMU’s Shaftesbury campus and Conflict Resolution Studies at the Menno Simons College campus in downtown Winnipeg.

In addition to CMU, the educational partners that signed the historic Blueprint include: University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, Université de Saint-Boniface, University College of the North, Red River College, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Assiniboine Community College, and Manitoba School Boards Association.

BY SIGNING THE INDIGENOUS EDUCATION BLUEPRINT, CMU and OTHER SIGNATORIES COMMIT TO:

  1. Engaging with Indigenous peoples in respectful and reciprocal relationships and to realize the right to self-determination, and to advance reconciliation, language and culture through education, research and skill development;
  2. IEBBringing Indigenous knowledge, languages and intellectual traditions, models and approaches into curriculum and pedagogy;
  3. Promoting research and learning that reflects the history and contemporary context of the lives of Indigenous peoples;
  4. Increasing access to services, programs, and supports to Indigenous students, to ensure a learning environment is established that fosters learner success;
  5. Collaborating to increase student mobility to better serve the needs of Indigenous students;
  6. Building school and campus communities that are free of racism, value diversity and foster cultural safety;
  7. Increasing and measuring Indigenous school and post-secondary participation and success rates;
  8. Showcasing successes of Indigenous students and educators;
  9. Reflecting the diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures in Manitoba through institutional governance and staffing policies and practices; and
  10. Engaging governments and the private and public sectors to increase labour market opportunities for Indigenous graduates.

Media coverage of December 18 signing:
Winnipeg Free Press, CBC, Globe and Mail, The Metro News, CJOB AM 680The Brandon Sun

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About CMU

A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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Indigenous Education Blueprint Signing Ceremony

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December 18 event invitation

VIEW VIDEO OF THE EVENT

Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions and school boards are working together to make our province a global centre of excellence for Indigenous education, research, languages and cultures. Together we have developed and committed to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint, making excellence in Indigenous education a priority. Through this partnership, we are acting on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s recommendations, and are taking steps that will advance reconciliation in Manitoba, and across Canada.

The Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint is just the beginning of a conversation. We look forward to working with more partners and organizations on initiatives and programs that will advance Indigenous education that will translate into success for Indigenous students and families, and enhance the lives of all Manitobans.

Please join us Friday, December 18, 2015 as six universities, three colleges, and the Manitoba School Boards Association come together on Treaty One Territory and the homeland of the Métis Nation to sign the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 9.04.28 AM

 

AGENDA

  • Emcees: Deborah Young, Executive Lead Indigenous Achievement, U of M and Wab Kinew, Associate Vice-President Indigenous Affairs, U of W
  • Elder Harry Bone
  • Honour Song – Justina McKay
  • Minister of Education and Advanced Learning, Hon. James Allum
  • David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor, U of M — Welcoming remarks on behalf of COPUM
  • Paul Vogt, President and CEO, Red River College
  • Ken Cameron, President, Manitoba School Boards Association
  • Student remarks
  • Signing ceremony with all Blueprint partners
  • Photo opportunity
  • Event closing
  • Feast to follow

PARKING INFORMATION

For more information please contact Ruth Shead: ruth.shead@umanitoba.ca or 204-474-6747.

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CMU Press to launch new book about Mennonite woman’s refugee experience

Author hopes book ‘will help readers enter into the lives of people who become refugees’

CMU Press is proud to announce the publication of its latest title, To and From Nowhere, written by Winnipeg author Hedy Leonora Martens.

In this gripping and moving novel, protagonist Greta Enns and her family struggle to exist in the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1976 after being displaced by Stalin along with thousands of Russian Germans, Mennonites, and other ethnic groups.

To and From Nowhere is the second of two books by Winnipeg writer Hedy Leonora Martens that tell the life story of Greta Enns.
To and From Nowhere is the second of two books by Winnipeg writer Hedy Leonora Martens that tell the life story of Greta Enns.

CMU Press and Martens will celebrate the publication of To and From Nowhere with a book launch on Monday, December 7 at 7:00 PM in the atrium at McNally Robinson (1120 Grant Ave.). Everyone is invited to attend this free event.

“I hope this book will help readers enter into the lives of people who become refugees,” Martens says, adding that it wasn’t just Mennonites that Stalin displaced.

“Many nationalities were exiled, torn from their homes, some of them never to return. They were wiped off the map as if they never existed, which is why the book is called To and From Nowhere.”

Greta was a real person who belonged to Martens’ extended family.

Based on painstaking historical research and interviews with Greta and her family, To and From Nowhere tells a harrowing and beautiful story in the unusual style that Martens has fused, combining narrative, biography, poetry, history, and personal reflection.

To and From Nowhere is the conclusion of a two-part project that began with the publication of Martens’ 2010 novel, Favoured Among Women, which the Winnipeg Free Press called a “detailed and touching portrait of a Mennonite woman during the harsh early years of Soviet Russia.”

Dr. Sue Sorensen, Associate Professor of English at CMU, served as editor for both Favoured Among Women and To and From Nowhere.

Sorensen calls the new book unique and adds that readers will gain insight into history—especially war—and at the same time be moved by the details of a real family’s day-to-day existence.

Martens, a retired family therapist, spent three decades working on Greta Enns’ story.
Martens, a retired family therapist, spent three decades working on Greta Enns’ story.

“In addition to that, you are drawn into the author’s process as she herself comments on her interactions with the material she is writing about,” Sorensen says. “There’s a beautiful resonance to all these different voices and writing styles living side-by-side in the book.”

Sorensen adds that Martens has a gift for bringing characters to life. “Because of Hedy’s skill I felt like I also had met Greta,” she says.

CMU Press is pleased to publish To and From Nowhere, says General Editor Dr. Paul Doerksen.

“Hedy has provided an invaluable contribution by bringing to view the experience of particular characters, allowing us to both witness and imagine some of the experiences which enable us to deepen our own understanding of historical circumstances, personal encounters, struggles of faith, and so on,” Doerksen says.

“While the book focuses on particularities, nonetheless it has the capacity to speak to a reading audience that is much broader than any single ethnic or religious group.”

Martens, a retired family therapist, recently celebrated her 80th birthday. She is looking forward to the December 7 book launch after working on Greta’s story for three decades.

“It feels really good to have completed this,” she says.

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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CMU Students Express Gratitude to Donors, Churches, and Manitoba Government on Tuition Freedom Day

TFDTuition Freedom Day celebrates the generosity of donors, churches, and the Manitoba Government in supporting education at Canadian Mennonite University.

Taking place November 30, 2015 at 11:30 AM in CMU’s Chapel (600 Shaftesbury Blvd.), Tuition Freedom Day marks the end of the fiscal year paid for by student tuition, and the beginning of the year made possible by grants and donations from the Manitoba government, churches, and individual donors.

Ron Penner will address the student body on behalf of CMU’s church constituency, speaking of their broad commitment to CMU because of its allegiance to Anabaptist-Mennonite perspectives on Scripture and the Christian faith that combines justice, peace, discipleship, evangelism, and community. Ron and his wife Ruth were both students of founding college MBBC, after which time Ron served as lead pastor at Braeside Evangelical Mennonite Church until his retirement. Today Penner serves as an executive with the Mennonite World Conference.

Hugo Peters, an alumnus of founding college CMBC, will speak as a representative of CMU’s donors. Peters expresses profound appreciation for the foundation CMBC provided during his post-secondary years before becoming a high school teacher first in Virden, MB and then at Transcona Collegiate in Winnipeg. Peters supports CMU with a recognition for the need for a faith-based university that cultivates and validates a broad range of ministries and a world view beyond the immediate.

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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Event planned to celebrate books published by CMU faculty

‘The CMU faculty is doing very significant work,’ says vice president

CMU faculty who will be a part of the book celebration. From top-left; Froese; Doerksen; Gerbrandt; Sorenson
Among the published CMU faculty to be featured in the December 9 book celebration are (clockwise from top-left) Froese, Doerksen, Sorensen, and Gerbrandt.

Peacebuilding in Laos, the history of Mennonites in California, Deuteronomy, and the portrayal of clergy in pop culture—recent books by faculty from Canadian Mennonite University cover a wide range of topics.

The university will recognize faculty who have published work in the last year-and-a-half at a special celebration happening on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 3:00 PM.

The celebration will take place at folio café in Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.). Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend.

In addition to selling and signing their books, CMU faculty will give brief presentations about their work.

“The CMU faculty is doing very significant work,” says Dr. Dietrich Bartel, Interim Vice President Academic. “We want to highlight that.”

The event will celebrate the following books:

  • Deuteronomy (Herald Press, 2015) by Dr. Gerald E. Gerbrandt, President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Bible. The 29th volume in the Believers Church Bible Commentary series, Deuteronomy examines divine grace and the practices of justice and right living.
  • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding in Laos: Perspective for Today’s World (Routledge, 2015) by Dr. Stephanie Stobbe, Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution Studies. Using the case study of Laos, a small country that has seen brutal poverty and violence, this book examines the power of traditional and indigenous conflict resolution systems as a tool for social justice.
  • The Outsiders’ Gaze: Life and Labour on the Mennonite West Reserve 1874-1922 (Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society, 2015), co-edited by Dr. Adolf Ens, Professor Emeritus of History and Theology. This book is a perspective of Mennonites through the eyes of outsiders from 1874-1922 when 7,000 Mennonites emigrated from southern Russia and settled in Manitoba.
  • Inner Peace Through Conflict Transformation (2015) by Dr. Paul Redekop, Professor Emeritus of Conflict Resolution Studies. This is a groundbreaking guide that aids readers in achieving a more peaceful relationship with themselves by applying basic strategies of conflict resolution to inner conflict.
  • James and Paul: The Politics of Identity at the Turn of the Ages (Fortress Press, 2015) by Dr. V. George Shillington, Professor Emeritus of Biblical and Theological Studies. This book seeks to understand the different but complementary missions of the apostle Paul and James of Jerusalem.
  • Voices of Harmony & Dissent: How Peacebuilders are Changing Their Worlds (CMU Press, 2015), co-edited by Dr. Jarem Sawatsky, Professor Emeritus of Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies and Valerie Smith, Co-Director of CMU’s Canadian School of Peacebuilding. This book explores the stories, theory, and tools of 16 peace leaders, trainers, and activists from around the world.
  • California Mennonites (John Hopkins University Press, 2015) by Dr. Brian Froese, Associate Professor of History. This book examines the Mennonite experience in the Golden State, from the 19th century migrants who came in search of sunshine and fertile soil to the evangelically oriented, partially assimilated Mennonites of today.
  • Toward an Anabaptist Political Theology: Law, Order, and Civil Society (Wipf and Stock, 2014), edited by Dr. Paul Doerksen, Associate Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies. This collection of essays by the late theologian Dr. A. James Reimer pursues the investigation of theological realities that are to serve as the engine of a political theology that seeks to articulate both a critical and a positive-constructive approach to public/political life and institutions.
  • The Collar: Reading Christian Ministry in Fiction, Television, and Film (Cascade, 2014) by Dr. Sue Sorensen, Associate Professor of English. This is a wide-ranging study of the many ways Christian ministers have been represented on page and screen. Ranging across several nations, denominations, and eras, The Collar is an inquiry into pastoral passion, frustration, and fallibility. 

Because each author has a background in teaching and is also involved in a church community, their work will appeal to a variety of readers, including lay readers, pastors, teachers, and more.

 “These writers are not just speaking to other scholars,” says Dr. Vic Froese, Library Director at CMU, who is organizing the December 9 event. “They are aware that there is an audience that has a more practical interest in what they have written.”

Froese is looking forward to the celebration.

“I hope that people who attend learn more about the excellence we have here on our faculty,” he says, adding that the event is also meant to recognize the hard work of CMU’s professors. “We want to express our appreciation to them and congratulate them on a job well done.”

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program. 

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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CMU Opera Workshop class presents The Aria: A Study of the Staged Solo

Course, concert allow students to learn the art of stagecraft

Canadian Mennonite University’s Opera and Musical Theatre Workshop is proud to present The Aria: A Study of the Staged Solo.

The concerts features more than 15 striking solo performances from more than 10 different opera and musical theatre productions.

Directed by CMU Instructor of Music David Klassen, the production runs for two shows: Thursday, December 3 at 7:30 PM and Friday, December 4 at 7:30 PM.

ariaThe performances will take place in the Laudamus Auditorium (500 Shaftesbury Blvd.). Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students, and available at the door. Tickets may also be reserved by calling 204-487-3300.

The show includes performances of “Dalla sua pace” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, “Caro nome” from Verdi’s Rigoletto, “Juliette’s Waltz” from Gounod’s Romeo and Juliette, a handful of hits by Gilbert and Sullivan, and more.

Klassen is looking forward to seeing his 10 students perform.

“I’m always really, really proud of what it is they produce,” Klassen says. “My hope is that the audience comes along on the journey and can see their hard work.”

The Opera and Musical Theatre Workshop course is made available to students of all skill levels and gives them an understanding of the energy and effort required to communicate when performing operatic works.

“Every year I try to build something that fits the skill level and make up of the student body in the class,” says Klassen, who has taught the course for the past 10 years. “What I decided to do this year was take a stagecraft approach.”

That meant teaching the students stage skills such as directing and blocking. Each student is involved in at least three pieces: one they star in, one they direct, and one in which they portray a secondary character.

“What I really hope my students take with them is the confidence in their ability to understand and stage musical pieces on their own,” Klassen says.

The course is valuable because it empowers students to think for themselves about the pieces they are performing, says Nolan Kehler, a fourth-year Music student who has participated in the Opera and Musical Theatre Workshop each year he’s been at CMU.

“David asks questions like, ‘How is your character feeling in this scene?’ and ‘Why is your character moving the way he is?’” Kehler says. “All the questions make you think about what you’re doing on stage.”

CMU’s small student body gives students wishing to participate in Opera and Musical Theatre Workshop an advantage.

Larger universities typically draw from their graduate programs when staging productions like The Aria: A Study of the Staged Solo. At CMU, even non-music students are able to take the course.

Students in the course mount a full-scale production every second year, and present scenes from a variety of different works in the years in between.

“Alternating between a full production and scenes means more people get a chance to be a leading character and get into a leading character’s mindset,” Kehler says. “That kind of opportunity is pretty huge.”

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Community invited to celebrate 15th annual Christmas at CMU

Annual create-your-own-concert event features more than 100 musicians

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) invites the community to celebrate the start of Advent at its 15th annual Christmas at CMU concert event.

Christmas at CMU takes place on Saturday, November 28 at the university (500 Shaftesbury Blvd.). There are two concerts: one at 2:00 PM and the other at 7:00 PM. Admission for both concerts is free, and all are welcome to attend.

Rudy Schellenberg, Professor Emeritus of Music and one of the event’s key organizers, is joyfully anticipating the concerts.

“It’s really an intergenerational event, which is the great thing about it,” Schellenberg says. “There’s something for everybody.”

More than 100 performers are involved in the event, which features CMU choirs; vocal and instrumental jazz; a classical guitar ensemble; and performances by the university’s music faculty.

Christmas at CMU is a multi-generational, interactive event that allows family, friends, and neighbours of all ages to mingle in CMU’s beautiful heritage building.

Part of the event’s appeal is that people who attend do not have to sit in the same spot for an hour-and-a-half.

Music ensembles will be stationed in different parts of the university, allowing attendees to create their own concert by walking around the festively decorated campus—all while enjoying hot apple cider and cookies.

ChristmasCMUHighlights of this year’s event include Making Room for the Angel’s Song, a multimedia monologue taking place in CMU’s Great Hall. Based on Luke 1:26–38 with music from George Crumb’s A Little Suite for Christmas, the piece will feature CMU President Cheryl Pauls on piano.

Meanwhile, Dietrich Bartel, Associate Professor of Music, will read How the Grinch Stole Christmas in CMU’s Faculty & Staff Lounge, with CMU student Jesse Dollimont performing musical selections from the famed 1966 animated TV special to accompany him.

Following that performance, all children and parents are welcome to make music with Rebecca Harder, a CMU alumna and instructor with the university’s Community School of Music and the Arts.

Christmas at CMU will end with an audience carol sing in the Loewen Athletic Centre, an annual tradition that always culminates with everyone singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

“There’s something universal about the Hallelujah Chorus that is a great summation of the purpose of this event,” Schellenberg says. “It’s a highlight every year.”

Since it was first held in 2001, Christmas at CMU has become an important event on the university’s calendar. Each of the two concerts draws approximately 700 people.

Alumni and friends from Saskatchewan, Alberta, and even southern Ontario travel to Winnipeg to attend.

“Christmas at CMU is our gift to the constituency that supports the university and to the community at large,” Schellenberg says. “It is a thank you for all the donations and students that CMU benefits from.”

While Schellenberg is co-organizing this year’s event, his retirement this past spring means he will not be conducting any of the ensembles.

“For the first time, I’ll be able to walk the halls and enjoy the music along with the audience,” Schellenberg says. “I think I’ll come to both concerts.”

For the complete Christmas at CMU schedule, please visit www.cmu.ca/christmas.

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program. 

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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Youth Learn About Indigenous and Settler Relations at Peace It Together Conference

“A Meeting Place: Hearing God in Indigenous Voices” was the topic of Peace It Together (PIT) 2015, Canadian Mennonite University’s youth conference, which took place October 23-25, 2015.

The conference focused on making Biblical and Anabaptist themes of peace and justice relevant for today.

Seventy-five youth, youth sponsors, and pastors from across Canada gathered to hear stories from Indigenous and settler speakers, participate in acts of peace, and build new friendships.

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The KAIROS blanket exercise, facilitated by MCC Canada’s Sue Eagle and Miriam Sainnawap with MCC Canada, kicked off the national youth conference

“It was a very valuable experience to be surrounded by likeminded people,” says Marnie Klassen, a grade 12 student from Abbotsford, BC. “It was so good to have meaningful conversations in an open space—to be open to questioning with both head and heart.”

The weekend began with the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, a workshop that explores the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Sue Eagle and Miriam Sainnawap, coordinators of Indigenous Neighbours with MCC Canada, led the workshop, which helps participants understand how the colonization of land impacts those were here before settlers arrived.

Steve Heinrichs, Director of Indigenous Relations at Mennonite Church Canada, and his daughter Abby, shared about settler colonialism and the importance of learning the stories of both Indigenous and settler peoples.

“If you want to love someone, you need to know their story. If you want to know someone, you need to learn their story,” said Heinrichs.

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Larry Monkman, an elder with the council of elders at Winnipeg’s Circle of Life Thunderbird House speaks to PIT participants

Christy Anderson (CMU ’11) shared about the impact colonialism has on her life as an inter-generational Residential School Survivor.

Clairissa Kelly and Wayne Mason spoke about the Peguis First Nation Indigenous Transition Program that CMU is hosting this year. Kelly, Mason, and Della Mason sang ceremonial songs of healing, love, and thankfulness.

Participants had the opportunity to take part in one of six ‘acts of peace’ including: learning about seed-saving at the CMU Farm; learning about solidarity activism and creating a solidarity activism art peace; going on a prayer walk through the Canadian Museum for Human Rights; hearing from an elder at the Circle of Life Thunderbird House; visiting Indigenous Family Centre and beading medicine bags; or learning about Christian Peacemaker Teams’ work on Turtle Island.

Activities such as square dancing, outdoor games, karaoke, and a scavenger hunt provided additional opportunities for youth to get to know each other.

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PIT participants discussed how to take what was learned and apply the lessons to their daily lives

Krista Loewen, Associate Pastor of Wildwood Mennonite Church in Saskatoon, SK, says “Attending PIT reignited a passion for justice within me as a peacebuilder. I was reminded that working to build relationships with my Indigenous neighbours is integral to my faith and how I feel called to live in this world as a follower of Christ.”
The weekend closed with a sharing circle, providing participants with an opportunity to speak about what they will take away from the conference.

“I am inspired and challenged to go home to a place whose land I know it should be, to step out of my comfort zone, and to build relationships,” says Klassen.

Youth from Wildwood Mennonite Church also attended: “My youth were pushed to reimagine the history and legacy of Mennonites in Canada—most notably having to reconcile the fact that Mennonites were given stolen Indigenous land to farm and live to this day,” says Loewen.

“The youth were also challenged to emotionally connect to this topic that they had learned about in school…and hopefully use their thoughts and emotions to inspire others to consider their relationships with their Indigenous neighbours.”

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program. 

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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Discussion exploring the development of Kapyong Barracks continues at CMU

An upcoming event at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) will continue the discussion about what at urban reserve at Kapyong Barracks might look like.

F2FSliderMediaThe community is invited to “An Urban Reserve at Kapyong: Imagining a Future,” CMU’s latest Face2Face discussion, on Wednesday, November 4. The event starts at 7:00 PM in Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.). Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Co-presented with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba (TRCM), this event will focus on three main questions:

  • What might the possibility of an urban reserve at Kapyong Barracks mean for all of us?
  • Can we name our questions and apprehensions and, in conversation, begin to shape a shared vision for this initiative in this area of our city?
  • What might we imagine and do together to make this work for the benefit of all?

Participants in the discussion include Chief Dennis Meeches of Long Plain First Nation, which is located southwest of Portage la Prairie and operates two urban reserves; Harry Finnigan, former head of planning at the City of Winnipeg and a leader in community/regional planning and revitalization; and Andrew Holtman, a member of the Tuxedo Community Centre’s board of directors.

David Balzer, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media at CMU, will moderate the event along with Jamie Wilson, Commissioner for the TRCM.

The event is a follow-up to two panel discussions CMU has hosted since March 2014 that explored the opportunities and practical challenges of an urban reserve at Kapyong Barracks.

These events have provided a chance for conversation between people who live in the area and the First Nations who want the land.

The last discussion, held this past March, drew hundreds of people.

“Conversations have movement, so the November 4 event grew out of the two previous conversations,” Balzer says, adding that he is looking forward to co-moderating the event with Wilson. “There’s a different tone when you’ve got two people sharing the leadership, so to speak, of the evening… That will be really good.”

Formerly a Canadian Forces base, Kapyong Barracks was vacated in 2004. The Department of National Defence declared the 159-acre site, located on Kenaston Boulevard, surplus.

Several First Nations have argued that under a treaty land entitlement process, they are allowed to negotiate for federal property that has been declared surplus.

As a result, they have laid claim to Kapyong. They have fought with the Canadian government in court for the past eight years, with the latest decision coming down this past August in favour of the First Nations.

A September 2015 Winnipeg Free Press article reports that several First Nations chiefs are hopeful a deal to buy Kapyong Barracks can be done within a year.

Although construction on the land is years away, it is looking more likely now than it was this past March at the last Face2Face discussion on this topic that Kapyong will indeed be turned into an urban reserve.

“Last time we met, it was kind of in theory that we might be living together as neighbours,” Balzer says. “Now you can actually imagine it and this is the community coming together and having a conversation about how we might live together. That’s very different in my mind.”

Started in 2013, Face2Face is a series of conversations organized by CMU, designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.

“An Urban Reserve at Kapyong: Imagining a Future” is the second of four Face2Face events CMU will host during the 2015-16 school year. For details, visit www.cmu.ca/face2face.

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program. 

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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Events News Releases

CMU’s School of Music brings 18th century Germany to Winnipeg

Canadian Mennonite University’s School of Music presents Bachtoberfest: An Evening in Leipzig.

2015.Bach.poster.red_This presentation of Bachtoberfest, the second biennial Bach event at CMU, will take classical music lovers back to 18th century Germany with performances by music faculty, students, alumni, and guests led by Dr. Janet Brenneman and Rosemarie van der Hooft.

The evening will start in CMU’s Laudamus Auditorum for Vespers at Thomaskirche, where Bach’s uplifting Cantata BWV 70 Wachet, Betet, Betet, Wachet will be presented in its liturgical setting with readings and reflections by Dr. Sue Sorensen and Dr. Dietrich Bartel. Then, as was customary upon leaving the Thomaskirche, the audience will make its way to Zimmermann’s Kaffeehaus in CMU’s Great Hall to enjoy coffee and German desserts while listening to portions of popular secular works—the Goldberg Variations and the Hunting Cantata, as well as arrangements of Bach for jazz guitar duo.

Bachtoberfest: An Evening in Leipzig will take place on Sunday, October 25 at 7:00 PM at 500 Shaftesbury Blvd. General admission is $10, $5 for students. Everyone is welcome to attend.

For further information, contact Rosemarie van der Hooft at rvanderhooft@cmu.ca.

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program. 

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2