Monday, 18 December 2017

Peace Networking Works

As a Doukhobor, I have striven to develop a personal network among people for peace, particularly where I live in Ottawa. I often attend peace events, lectures and meetings with The Society of FriendsOttawa Peace Festival, Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CPI), No War/Paix, and other efforts promoting world peace.

In 2007 I was invited to attend the First Global Nonkilling Leadership Forum where I met over 30 participants from 20 countries. I presented my paper: Tolstoy and the Doukhobors and expanded my peace network.

P.V. Rajagopal addressing a panel discussion:
'Mahatma Gandhi Today: In India and the World',
Carleton University, June 23, 2017.

There I met and befriended many like-minded people for peace including Dr. S. Jeyapragasam and P.V. Rajagopal, co-editors of Ahimsa Nonviolence, journal of the International Gandhian Institute for Nonviolence and Peace (IGISP), India. Since then, P.V. has visited Canada where we met again on several occasions. During our conversations he invited me to contribute articles to this international journal.

In the latest issue of Ahimsa Nonviolence (May-August 2017), two of my short articles were published at the beginning and end of the journal.
  1. 'What I have learned from peace activism in the world', pages 84-85
  2. 'Remember peace and nuclear disarmament on "Remembrance Day"', pages 158-159 — Excerpt from my blog post on 13 Nov 2017.

Comments by email

After I sent the link of the journal (PDF) to my peace network on December 1st, I got 8 replies:

Dr. S. Jeyapragasam, India
Dear Brother,
I thank you for your email. I admire and appreciate your continued noble work for Peace and Nonviolence. Let us remain in touch. 
With gratitude, regards and prayers.
Bill Bhaneja, Ottawa, Ontario
Thank you so much for this empowering piece and the work you have been doing all these years holding light to truth and building bridges for peace. It has been a privilege to work side by side over the past decade. Also, wonderful to see after a long time the PDF copy of Ahimsa Nonviolence, your article rightfully deserved the lead in this issue.
In Unity of Peace.
Hon. Douglas Roche, Edmonton, Alberta
Thank you for sharing your wonderful article, which I read with great appreciation. I am grateful for all you do to keep us focused on the peace issues. 
All the best.
John and Barb Taylor, Vancouver, British Columbia
Thank you for your many contributions toward peace. I remember you from a Peace and Disarmament conference in Ottawa in the mid-1980s. I was there from Halifax as a member of Voice of Women. Afterwards, you sent me an envelope of photos from the event, which I still have.
I read with interest your article at the beginning of the Ahimsa Nonviolence journal cited below. If we still had our Vancouver WILPF Peacelines journal, I would ask for permission to reprint it. Even more, I appreciated your photo report from the Peace observance of Remembrance Day in Ottawa on Nov. 11, 2017. I was unable to copy and reprint it, so urge all those interested to click on your Spirit Wrestlers website and scroll to the bottom three pages to view it.
Just as Professor Thompson "said that ‘this was the best Remembrance Day’ that he [had] experienced,” I was encouraged by the Peace Poppy campaign in Vancouver last month. For the second year in a row, a ceremony of placing white poppy wreathes, “Let Peace Be Their Memorial,” was held at the Seaforth Peace Park in Vancouver. I had the feeling that afternoon that despite our smaller numbers, we were beginning to turn a corner in more people understanding that “To remember is to end all wars.”
Ken Bilsky, Ottawa, Ontario
A nice article on peace activism and your efforts: 'Koozma Blinded by the Might...'
Until we change the economic system 180 degrees and have a PUBLIC banking system that respects all life and shares the resources of the earth in a sustainable way with everyone, we will continue to struggle and people will suffer unnecessarily. The Capitalist system is trashing the planet and the US Military Industrial Complex is sending us into more and more wars which could end in a nuclear winter. Canada is lock step with the USA and NATO in beating the war drums and creating more carbon instead of less.
The geo-engineering that has been going on the last 50 years to slow down global warming by spraying our atmosphere is compounding the problem along with the heavy use of carbon based fuels which is driving the drastic climate change chaos. A double edged sword of problems and concern for most life on this planet.
Our oceans have become the sewers of the earth, our ancient forests are less than 5% of all the trees and our ancient grasslands are less than 1% of what they were just a few hundred years ago. The ship hasn't turned around yet. It will take a major change in consciousness and the violence ingrained in our capitalist culture will need to be washed away as our 'Modus operandi' for human conflicts. Along with that we need to treat all life with respect and understanding. The mammals, birds, fish, insects etc, deserve their own space on this planet if we want to keep a diversity of species and the continuation of a healthy life cycle. Instead we are adding more and more toxins into the system and are surprised by the negative effects. We are truly deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to earth management using symbiotic and holistic principals.
I think self ownership is a subject that we have to start debating more along with the need for local autonomy and a respect for freedom to control our own destiny. Patents need to be short and quickly move into the Commons so that everyone can modify, improve, innovate and benefit from new ideas. As we connect the dots, we see that everything we do has an effect and we need to be more aware and mindful of what we are doing to our mother.
Time is short to make such drastic changes and realistically Gaia, born from chaos, is not going anywhere but we definitely are. 
Peace, love and resistance.
Lawrence Klippenstein, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Thanks very much for your Christmas note on peace and congrats for 60 years of work on it! My involvement may be more like 40 years and not as much writing to show for it. Right now it is has to do with promotion of my book Peace and War and giving verbal encouragement like I am doing now. I am in fact working on a second edition of my book with the CDs and paperbacks I did produce all gone but one of each.
Miguel Figueroa, Canadian Peace Congress
Thank you very much for sending us this link to your article published in Ahimsa Nonviolence. We appreciate the spirit and passion of your message, and your continuing commitment to the cause of peace.
Max Zbitnoff, Boston, Massachusetts., USA
Here's to you and your 60+ years of peace making. It has been a pleasure and privilege to know you.   [In 1995, Max created a T-shirt in honour of the Spirit-Wrestlers / Doukhobor arms-burning centenary.]

Readers may leave comments below.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

150 Canadian Stories of Peace — the book

Ottawa, Canada. Dec. 13, 2017 — In recognition of Canada’s 150 years of Confederation, a collection of stories — told by ordinary Canadians aged 4 to 88 — is released. The Anthology 150 Canadian Stories of Peace was compiled by Gordon Breedyk, Mony Dojeiji, Evelyn Voigt, and Koozma J. Tarasoff.

Read it free online at

‘We wanted to hear the voices of Canadians, and how they are contributing to a culture of peace,’ says Mony Dojeiji, member of the volunteer committee who gathered these stories. ‘The main criteria were that the stories be true and concise, fitting on one page.

From almost 200 submissions, 150 were chosen by an independent review committee for this book. We are honoured to bring them to you.’

There are stories expressed in prose, poetry and song. Stories that are joyful and funny. Stories that are sad and heart-wrenching. All inspire and invite reflection.

Stories take place in the schoolyard, homes and communities, and on the international scene, documenting Canada’s role in development and diplomacy.

The online book website links to a blog (for comments) and 17 story categories (shown here in alphabetical order):
  1. ADR/ Restorative Justice/ Mediation
  2. Business/ Private Sector
  3. Children and Youth
  4. Education
  5. Environment
  6. Family/ Relationship
  7. French/ Francais
  8. Heath/ Medical
  9. Indigenous/ First Nations
  10. Innovation/ Cutting Edge
  11. International/ Development Assistance
  12. NGO's/ Civil Society/ Co-op/ Unions
  13. Protest/ Activism
  14. Spirituality/ Inner Peace/ Reflections
  15. The Arts
  16. United Nations/ Peacekeeping/ Governance
  17. Women in Peace
The 4 organizers (listed below) believe that ALL stories of peace are important and have chosen to make them ALL available for free viewing on

Submission of stories is not closed. Readers are invited to submit their stories which could be added to the website.

The book can be purchased at in paperback and Kindle e-book, or by contacting the organizers in Ottawa at Images available upon request.

Project Organizers
More Information

Monday, 13 November 2017

Remember peace and nuclear disarmament on ‘Remembrance Day’

Peace and nuclear disarmament was the theme of a Remembrance Day meeting at The Canadian Tribute to Human Rights (Human Rights Memorial) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on 11 November 2017.

Morgan Gay, Pacifi organizer, speaks at The Canadian Tribute to Human Rights.
About 25 people observed two minutes of silence to remember all victims of all wars around the world, current and past; and to learn from the past, work for peace and tackle the causes of war. The event was organized by Pacifi17 photos of this event.

Our ‘peace’ group was miniscule compared to the thousands who were at the ‘official’ event at the National War Memorial near Parliament Hill, 600 metres north of us on the same street.

After gathering at the monument, we walked 2 blocks south to the Fox & Feather Pub and Grill to relax and hear historian Dr. David Thompson, University of Ottawa, explain the origins of Remembrance Day and efforts by veterans to promote peace. He listed five lessons from the anti-war vets:
  1. The importance of veterans in peace making.
  2. Postwar experience matters.
  3. Respecting veteran intelligence in discerning the causes of war by colonialism and 20th century capitalism is useful.
  4. There is recognition that one can be anti-war, but not pacifist.
  5. The battle is for peace, freedom and economic equality.
A rich discussion followed. These are some of the many noteworthy comments.
  • The white poppies that the activists wore symbolized all soldiers and civilians, as compared to the red poppies which generally relate to the military dead. White poppies have been around since 1933.
  • A Moslem fellow from Somalia asked: ‘What is peace? By the gun, or Gandhian peace?”
  • J. S. Woodsworth was cited as a hero for peace because he had the courage to stand up in the Canadian House of Commons in 1939 to oppose Canada going into war.
  • ‘What is freedom and democracy?” Is it freedom to starve?
  • A Quaker from out of town suggested that war is ‘counterproductive’; that in today’s world, it threatens our ability to deal with climate change and the future of our civilization.
  • A prominent Canadian poet Henry Beissel said that peace is complicated. Economic corporate interests rule the world including hijacking the mainstream media, and making us consumers of extreme capitalism. ‘I despise Remembrance Day because it glorifies wars, resulting in perpetual indoctrination of our youth for wars….What freedoms are we protecting? Canada has not been attacked for 200 years….We are closer to war today than in 1948. I am not sure what to do?’ More than ever before, said Dr. Beissel, we need more cooperation to deal with issues of equality, injustice, and local services. To achieve this, we have a huge opportunity if we decide to stop wars and divert resources to urgent human needs.
  • Perhaps a backlash to President Donald Trump will lead us away from emphasis on violence and wars?
  • A Pakistani man: ‘If we survive, it will be through sheer luck.’
  • It was noticed that Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reneged on his promise to follow through with voting reforms resulting in a loss of democracy. Does this mean that all politicians are vulnerable to lying when pressured by corporate interests which fund the particular party?
  • ‘I’m not cynical, not pessimistic, but believe that humans have the intelligence to survive.’
  • ‘Who is the real hero: the soldier or the peacemaker?’
  • The annual anti-militaristic demonstration at CANSEC near the Ottawa International Airport has been successful in holding up cars for several kilometres and getting the message out that disarmament is the way of the future. Pacifi organizers invite activists to continue this action in May 2018.
Following the 1.5 hour afternoon session, Thompson said that ‘this was the best Remembrance Day’ that he experienced in his life. I was impressed, too.

I wanted to title this story with ‘Armistice Day’ because I prefer the original historic name, but most people have forgotten it. In my opinion as a Doukhobor, the meaning of the holiday was changed with the new name. I do not want to remember war with red poppies, rather to remember peace symbolized with white poppies, meaning no more wars.


By Tarasoff:
Green, Roedy. Six reasons why I despise Remembrance Day, Canadian Mind Products.

Moorghen, Sandra, "Should we still wear the poppy?", Opinion, Issuu, 11 November 2013, page 11.

Gary G. Kohls, MD, ‘Changing the “War No More” Sentiment of Armistice Day to the War-Glorifying Propaganda of Veterans Day’. 13 November 2017, in Transcend Media Service.

War With Russia: Two Great American Myths. 11 November 2017, in Saker.

Peace Pledge Union. 'Alternative Remembrance Sunday Ceremony hears from people suffering in current wars'. 11 November 2017.

Mairead Maguire, Peace Laureate. 'Prospects for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament'. Presentation to the International Symposium on Nuclear Weapons at the Vatican, Rome, 10-11 Nov 2017: The Peace Process in Northern Ireland. Posted in Global Research, November 14, 2017.

David Swanson. 'A New Armistice Day'. November 8, 2017.

Jay Janson. 'Buried History: 27 Million Died in Russia Because Wall Street Built Up Hitler's Wehrmacht to Knock Out Soviet Union'. Posted in The Greenville Post, August 8, 2017.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Huge Doukhobor Book Collection for Sale

A total of about 266 books about Doukhobors of the highest quality are for sale in Vancouver, B.C. as a lot. You may never see a Doukhobor book collection like this again.

For 24 years I have built it under the guidance of the B.C. Doukhobor community including the Russian program at the Castlegar school.

In my travels to sell books to the schools in the Kootenay region of B.C. I have met many Doukhobor people and I came to deeply admire their ideological commitments.

These items are for sale for the regular market price which is over $100 for some books. As a collection it is clearly worth much more, but if an institution or university or individual wants to buy the entire collection (with multiple copies of each book) the price of each item will remain the same.

Buying the collection or even just one copy of each will save a huge amount of acquisitions time and the huge payroll costs of purchasing each title individually.

The government now has the funds for support now of our wonderful Canadian Doukhobor culture and history. But you will need to hire the right grant writer.

I do not have the time to make or provide a list of these books. I want the buyer to visit and see the great quality of this collection.

The collection can be viewed at 1818 Quebec street (near Main St.), Vancouver, B.C.

David Ellis, bookseller
Text: 604 916 6081 —

Koozma adds

For other sources of Doukhobor and Slavic books

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Q80: Two Streams of Doukhobors?

Are there two Streams of Doukhobors? 
Apostolic and Inclusivist?

Bill Kanigan of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and his son Kim Kanigan, Queensland, Australia, posted a paper in The Dove April 2017, pages 5-15, 'The Two Streams of Doukhobor Faith'.

Kanigans describe two streams: Apostolic and Inclusivist.

Generally, the 'Apostolic Doukhobors' are grounded in a central belief in Jesus Christ including the Christian belief in arising and being born again, in erasing sins, in the existence of god, and a belief in the creationist myth.

'Inclusivist Doukhobors' reject much or most of organized churchism whether this is the bible, its rituals, and its mythology, and instead base most of their beliefs on the universal truths of love and god within.  

Does this categorization help the process of understanding Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobors?

Answer by Koozma

The proposed dichotomy of 'two streams' of Doukhobors is too simplistic and encourages splintering. We are much more complex and diverse, as Doukhobors testified in Chapters 13-14, Traditional Doukhobor Folkways, 1977 (Revised 2017).

Though I support the effort to understand Doukhobor heritage (and Bill's and Kim's work is most welcomed and should continue), their dual categorization fails to recognize the real Doukhobor genius as a social movement in human development. I believe that describing Doukhobors in terms of these two streams leads to fake news and divisions which discourage understanding of what Doukhobors really stand for.

The best description of contemporary Doukhobors (in my assessment) are those who have long dropped their chains of churchism in favour of a new paradigm of morality based on love and compassion for life. They tend to be ahead of the curve of human progress by rejecting the mythology of organized religions. Their nonkilling ethic is a call for nonviolence and a world without wars.

Readers should know that Bill's wife is Roman Catholic, which provides him with the opportunity to better understand the Orthodox and Protestant faiths.  Also know that my wife, Kristina, is Orthodox, which has not changed my Doukhobor beliefs from before we got married.

More by K.J. Tarasoff
Update: February 8, 2018

See all Questions and Answers.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Books and Videos about Russia

While writing my Book Review: Romanov, Introduction to Canadian Studies, I wished that such a book existed about Russia that was as interesting and fair as Dr. Romanov had written about Canada. So we began searching for such a book. In the meantime the Oliver Stone documentary about Putin appeared.

My recommendations for books and videos about Russia

Russia: A Reading Guide', Center on Global Interests (CGI), August 30, 2016
— 12 experts share the 50 books that shaped their understanding of Russia. Only one book is mentioned by two people.

Richardson, Paul E. & Mikhail Mondasov. The Spine of Russia, July 2016, 200 pages.
— In the Fall of 2015, a Russian and American journalist travelled 6,000 kilometers from Russia’s northwestern corner in the Arctic to Sochi, in the tropical climes of the Black Sea. The group tells the stories of Russians whose life and work is taking the country forward, and what they feel patriotic about, what is important to them.

Stone, Oliver. (book) The Putin Interviews: Oliver Stone Interviews Vladimir Putin, Skyhorse Publishing Inc, June 16, 2017, 288 pages. — Transcripts of all 20 hours from video.

Stone, Oliver. (video) ‘The Putin Interviews’, (4 hours total video) Showtime cable TV, June 12-15, 2017.

More books about Russia

To be fair to my list of books above, I include lists below recommended by journalists. I feel that many (not all) of these books are biased, because they seem to be limited in scope, often stuck in a paradigm of one ‘super policeman state’ rather than respecting wider regional players.

Basulto, Dominic. 'The 7 Best Books of Summer 2016 for the Avid Russia Watcher', Medium, June 16, 2016. — Former columnist for The Washington Post’s “Innovations”

Begley, Sarah. '9 Books That Can Help You Understand Russia Right Now', Time magazine, February 15, 2017.

Elkin, Dimitri. 'Top 10 books on Russia in 2016', Russia Direct, December 30, 2016. — The best books of 2016 include those that take a closer look at U.S.-Russia relations during the Cold War and perestroika, enabling readers to better understand the current Putin era.

Honig, Michael. 'Top 10 books on Vladimir Putin's Russia', The Guardian, April 20, 2016.

Lebedev, Sergei. '10 Books That Explain Russia Today', Publishers Weekly, February 19, 2016 — Lebedev, who was born in Moscow in 1981, picks 10 books that explain Russia's complicated past and present.

Weafer, Chris. 'Six ‘must-read’ books on Russia from last 25 years', Johnson's Russia List, September 10, 2015.

'The Top 10 Summer Books for Russia Watchers', The Moscow Times, July 2, 2015.

Readers:  Enter your recommendations in Comments, below.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Russia Trip 2017 by US Citizen Group

'Grass root' Citizen Diplomacy

Since 1984, the Center for Citizen Initiatives has built 1000s of person-to-person bridges between Russia and the USA. Here's what they did this year.

In May 2017 a volunteer delegation of 30 American citizens flew to Moscow to meet Russian citizens. They divided into groups for meetings in 10 locations — Moscow, Volgograd, Kazan (Tatarstan), Krasnodar, Novosibirsk (Siberia), Yekaterinburg; the Crimean cities Simferopol, Yalta and Sevastopol; and gathered in St. Petersburg before returning home.

Link to map

Observations and Facts
  • Western sanctions have hurt sectors of Russia’s economy but encouraged agricultural production.
  • Some Russian oligarchs are making major infrastructure investments.
  • There has been a resurgence of [state] religion in Russia. 
  • Russia increasingly looks east. [to China]
  • Russia is a capitalist country with a strong state sector.
  • There is some nostalgia for the former Soviet Union with its communist ideals.
  • There is a range of media supporting both government and opposition parties.
  • Public transportation is impressive.
  • President Putin is popular.
Russians and Americans meet in Yekaterinburg, June 2015

Current Political Tension
  • [Skepticism] about Russian “meddling” in the U.S. election.
  • There is a strong desire to improve relations with the U.S.
  • Western media reports about Crimea are hugely distorted.
  • Russians know and fear war.
  • Russians see themselves being threatened.
  • Russians want to de-escalate international tensions. [Met with Gorbachev]
Original article

Monday, 29 May 2017

Q79: Different Doukhobor groups?

Jack Tarasoff, Calgary AB writes:

Our family is having a family re-union, and I was asked to make a short presentation about the different groups of Doukhobors, i.e. their titles, major beliefs and positions. J.J. Verigin has offered some help, but I feel I need a little more for the family.

Jack was former chairman of the Council of Doukhobors in Canada.

Answer by Koozma

Doukhobor groups and personal identities and affiliations varied by time, place, environment and individuals. People could form new groups, intermarry, and join and leave groups. Our social evolution since 1886 (death of Luker'ia Kalmykova) has evolved in many directions — primarily from Russian heterodox to a multi-faceted religious and social movements.

However, the 1895 arms burning and the dropping of sectarian roots towards a nonkilling social movement ethic has remained stable as the defining element of Doukhoborism in the 21st Century. This evolution has encapsulated Lev N. Tolstoy's attempt at a real reformation in the formal church as well as a strong message to the military-industrial complex to get rid of wars once and for all.

Here are some useful references:
The category 'Sons of Freedom' is omitted because historically they opted out of the Canadian Doukhobor movement. In recent years, some descendants have reconciled and begun to join in with Community Doukhobors from whom their ancestors split.

All of this should help you designing your talk on the Doukhobors.

See all Questions and Answers.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

GREETINGS: 70th USCC Youth Festival

“Celebrating 70 Years ~ A Journey for Peace ~ Past, Present Future”
Grand Forks and Castlegar, British Columbia
May 19-22, 2017 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Spirit —

Congratulations to the USCC, volunteers and visitors who made the annual Doukhobor Youth Festivals happen!

70 years is a lifetime for many people.
Well done our pioneering and younger friends!
In these many years, there have been many achievements:
  • You have shown that cooperation is possible in a world of run-away capitalism and that the road to a ‘win-win’ scenario is important for the sustainability of human life on Earth.
  • By bringing people together, you have achieved a unity of spirit and built bridges of understanding between the East and the West. You have reminded us that we are living in One World where ‘respect’ is a golden word.
  • By bringing together songs from the heart you have made the wider world more beautiful.
  • Finally, and most important, you remind us of the mission statement of our ancestors who sought to develop a world without wars. Burning weapons in 1895 is another way of saying that today we need to work actively to drastically reduce our military industrial complex, get rid of NATO, and encourage the development of an architecture for peace — such as setting up a Department of Peace in Canada’s parliament.
You have made us Doukhobors and non-Doukhobors proud by celebrating our unity of spirit and friendship, the beauty of song, the sound of joy, the sharing of wisdom for a nonkilling society, and the hope for a world at peace.

— Koozma J. Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova, Ottawa, Canada.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

New Russian Thesis on Doukhobor Singing

Anastasia Vladimirovna Zernina
Зернина Анастасия Владимировна
'Singing Tradition of the Doukhobors in Rostov province: Denominational and Regional Aspects', is the translated title of a fresh doctoral thesis by Anastasia V. Zernina, 2017. Rostov, Russian Federation.

She did her field work and research in 2012-2016 among Doukhobor and Molokan villages in Tselinsky district, Rostov province, Russian Federation.

Her work focuses on Doukhobor oral traditions of burial, marriage, beliefs (ideology), calendar events, and singing (religious, worldly), with many references to neighboring Molokane. The phrase "Doukhobors and Molokans" appears about 26 times in the text.

The Russian title: 'Певческая Традиция Духоборов Ростовской Области: Конфессиональный и Региональный аспекты' is online in PDF, and abstract in a separate PDF. It was submitted in 2017 to the C.V. Rakhmanninov State Conservatory, Rostov-na-donu («Ростовская государственная консерватория им. С. В. Рахманинова»).

Table 1 (page 74), 'Singing repertoire of Rostov Dukhobors', summarizes her categorization of all songs, shown below translated.

Click on chart to ENLARGE

Half of the thesis pages (129 to 251) are Bibliography (231 references, 15 Canadian) and Appendixes. Missing in Bibliography are:
Dr. O'Brien-Rothe's analysis is similar to Zernina's in that both report the origin of Spiritual Christian religious song melodies are evolved adaptations of Orthodox church chants and old Russian folk music. Solemn drawn-out (protyazhennaya) singing of religious hymns, like Oche nash, was developed to comply with the Russian law against "infecting" heterodox faiths, to sound non-sensible to an Orthodox who might hear the very slow singing. Doukhobors and Molokane only sing spiritual verses during Sunday service, but Pryguny and Dukh-i-zhizniki added melodies from faster folk song genres, especially for ecstatic spiritual jumping. Zealous Dukh-i-zhizniki in the U.S.A. and Australia scorn singing Russian folk song lyrics for entertainment, though they adapted folk song melodies to their own spiritual words.

A long 24-page chart (pages 164-187) lists 380 songs logged for her study — 157 (41%) religious, and 223 (59%) worldly folk songs. The chart has columns for Song number, Title (first words), Variants, Source (religious) or Author (folk songs), Recording location, and Notes. Below is a summary count of each category in this chart.

Religious chants (157)
  • Psalms (35)
  • Spiritual verses (15)
  • Stishki (spiritual songs) (105)
  • Prayers (2)
Folk songs (223)
  • Lyrical - slow (115)
  • Lyrical - fast (32)
  • Romance (58)
  • Lullabies (10)
  • Chastushki (7)

2 stishki are borrowed from Molokane (page 173, numbers 81 and 91, Dukh-i-zhzinik Sionskii pesennik 64 and 129)

32 examples (including 2 variants) of musically notated songs with lyrics are shown (pages 189 to 244). Maybe a talented reader will record this sheet music for those of us who cannot read music to help create the first notated songbook with audio.

At the end (pages 245+), 91 informants interviewed from 1930 through 2012 are listed alphabetically by 8 villages (82 count) and 1 city (9 count), with the year and location of birth shown for 85 people, not the year interviewed. One man, Vasilii P. Lisichkin, was born among Molokane.

Though many high quality maps of Russia exist online, Zernina reports that she cannot use them because they are not "officially published", per rules for theses in Russia. She apologizes for the inaccurate, approximate Soviet era map on page 163, which was the only map she could use. Here's a list of better maps:


Monday, 1 May 2017

150 Canadian Stories of Peace

Many Canadians reading this have dedicated all or part of their lives for peace, in many ways. For Canada 150 we invite you to submit your stories about building peace in yourself, your home, community and/or beyond. Website: 150 Canadian Stories of Peace.

150 submitted stories will be published this year in a book. More stories may be published in future editions.

Read Book

150 Canadian Stories of Peace: An Anthology Paperback – November 23, 2017 – is available from

  • Share a time when you chose peace over hatred, love over fear, nonviolence over violence, non-killing over killing.
  • Did you build bridges across people of differing ideologies and beliefs?
  • Do you have a story from your culture that inspires actions of peace?
  • Do your beliefs help you or others be at peace even when surrounded by war?
  • How did you stop a bully?

  • No age limit.
  • Language: English or French.
  • Submission deadline: August 31, 2017.
  • Focus on stories by Canadians at home or abroad.
  • Everything to be on one-side of one letter-size page.
  • Photos and illustrations may be published, no guarantee.
  • Your story must be true. Don’t be afraid to speak from the heart.
  • You may use a pen name (fictitious), but must reveal your real name to us.
  • Additional information (video, YouTube, and written) might be used for publicity, not the book.
  • About 1page, maximum 3,650 characters counting spaces, Times New Roman 12 font, including story title, author’s name/pen name, and 1-line bio info (latter if desired by the author).

More information

Send submissions (one page) and questions to

  • Ms. Evelyn Voigt, (613) 721-9829 OR
  • Ms. Mony Dojeiji, (613) 793-1633


Monday, 24 April 2017

Doukhobor Heritage Days, 15-16 July 2017

By Elder Mae Popoff, librarian(retired), Saskatoon, SK.
'Proud to be a choir member'.

Doukhobor Heritage Days is a celebration of Canada's 150th birthday and the 100-year history of the Doukhobor Prayer Home at the National Doukhobor Heritage Village (NDHV) in Verigin (Veregin), Saskatchewan.

The celebration will be held at NDHV on the weekend of 15-16 July 2017. See photos from the 2007 Festival.

The Saskatchewan Doukhobor Choir will participate at Heritage Days during the program, entertainment and the Doukhobor Prayer Service. The Doukhobor brothers and sisters combine voices in spiritual community and song, accented by food supplies and friendliness.

Saskatchewan Doukhobor Choir

Front Row: left to right Sonia Tarasoff, Mae Popoff, Gloria Stushnoff, Eileen Konkin, Lucille Dergosoff and her sister Melvina, Linda Osachoff, Verna Thompson.

Back Row: left to right Lydia Cherkas, Dorothy Ozeroff, Verna Negraeff, Bill Kalmakoff, Lorne Negraeff, Harvey Kazakoff Fred Konkin, Bill Kanigan

Mitch Ozeroff, choir director, was unable to attend.

Since choir members reside across a 250 mile range, in Saskatoon, Langham, Canora, Kamsack, Pelly, Veregin, Blaine Lake; we meet about half way at Watson, a central location for singing practices.


Friday, 21 April 2017

      ‘Canada Should Get Out of NATO’

Submitted by artist Ingrid Style, Quebec

The case against war in a nutshell was posted in this 2015 Scientific American blog by John Horgan. The collateral killing of kids and civilians exceeds perceived enemy deaths, and the financial cost is enormous, robbing society of food, shelter and life.

Those ‘glorious’ ‘justified’ wars my generation was brought up on, celebrated by Kipling, and Buchan, were represented as men fighting ‘for love of king and country’. At the time of the first world war, the death of children wasn’t even considered. The thing was pictured a bit like a sporting event. Two armies bravely duking it out on the battlefield.

By Alexey Talimonov, Russia. 

This changed with the 1940s bombing of Dresden and London. But the violence was still romanticised by Hemingway and Mailer and Hollywood.

Today, children are victims not only of bombings, but forced to take part in the carnage. Countless more will die from malnutrition and disease.

And that doesn’t take into account the healthcare, nutrition and education they are deprived of because of $16 million bombs being tossed around like confetti.

We all know this. Why don’t we act?

Rather than pay more money to the American war machine, Canada should get out of NATO.

This evil game must CAN be done!
World Beyond

Related stories on

2006 Sep 4 — Toward a Culture of Peace. Quaker Murray Thomson reaches out to Doukhobors.
2008 Mar 12 — On Poverty, War and Peace — A call to action.
2008 Oct 24— Traditional Peace Groups Explore Withdrawal from NATO, by Murray Thomson.
2009 Dec 3 — Doukhobor-Quaker Connections.
2012 Jan 20 — Why Glorify War?
2012 Jan 20 — Do U.S. Bases Threaten World Peace?
2012 Apr 8 — Guns, Fighter Jets and Democracy in Canada.
2012 Jul 23 — Canada: a Warrior or Peaceful Nation?
2013 May 3 — Book Review — Editorial: The End of War.
2013 Mar 29 — War — The Slavery of Our Times.
2014 Jan 18 — 1963, A Glimmer of Peace Turns into a Perpetual War, by Ken Bilsky Billings.
2014 Mar 26 — Demonize War Not People!
2014 Jun 9 — Avoiding Another Cold War.
2015 Jun 15 — Profits From Continuous Wars Threaten Civilization.
2015 Dec 4 — War in Ukraine and NATO.
2016 May 30 — Peace Protestors at CANSEC 2016.
2016 Jun 16 — Canada — Stop Aggression Abroad!
2016 Jul 2 — Appeal: No to War. No to NATO.
2016 Jul 10 — Systemic War, NATO and Racial Violence in USA.
2016 Aug 6 — No More Hiroshimas, No More Wars!
2017 Jan 25 — NATO is Obsolete.

Monday, 17 April 2017

'Canadian Doukhobor Culture'
   Presented at Russian Conference

Dr. Anosova, Ottawa, 2010.
Phenomenology of the culture of modern Canadian Doukhobors is the title of a paper presented by Dr. Irina A. Anosova at the 6th Canadian Conference held at the University of St. Petersburg, Russia, on April 7, 2017.

Click for her abstract in Russian and English.

She is a professor in the Department of Philosophy, Culture and Arts, St. Petersburg University, Russian Federation.

'The conference was attended by scientists from the universities of many Russian cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Volgograd, Saratov, Tambov, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk), as well as from Canada and Estonia. ... various historical, social, legal and economic aspects of the development of Canada and its society were discussed.' ('Научный сотрудник Эконома выступил на VI Канадских чтениях', Institute News, Plekhanov Socioeconomic Institute, Saratov. Requires Russian fonts to be installed in your browser.)

This major event is held every 5 years for all researchers of history, politics, economy and culture of Canada. Scientists from more than 10 cities of Russia and Canada submitted [24] reports on the history, politics, domestic development and its role in contemporary international relations. (Делегация историко-филологического факультета посетила VI Канадские чтения в Санкт-Петербурге, Faculty News, Chelyabinsk State University.)

Dr. I. M. Nokhrin, Dean of Political Science and International Relations, Chelyabinsk State
University, describes the Canadian national identity and political system in the colonial era.

'150 Years of the Canadian Federation: From a British Dominion to a Global Player' was the theme of this year's 2-day international conference held April 7-8, 2017. See conference program in Russian and English.

The event was co-sponsored by the Institute for US and Canadian Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; the Russian Association for Canadian Studies; and the 'Moscow-Quebec' Educational and Scientific Center Russian State University for the Humanities.

Dr. Anosova first encountered Doukhobors while researching Lev. N. Tolstoy for her PhD thesis. Her focus on Doukhobors began in 1989, and has not stopped. In 2010, many Canadian Doukhobors met and hosted her North American field research tour. 2010 photo album.

Some of her work published on

2006Canada is the Second Motherland of the Doukhobors: The Philosophy of Love as the Way for Cultural Integration

2009Three Canadian Scholars Presented at Russian Conference: Donskov, Glagoleva, Tarasoff

2010Doukhobors of Western Canada 2010: Field Research for "The Canadian Doukhobors Present Lifestyle as the Synthesis of Russian and Canadian Cultural Traditions"

2017 — 'Canadian Doukhobor Culture' Presented at Russian Conference — Abstract (Russian, English)

2019 Lev Tolstoy and American Philosophy — With 24 PowerPoint slides.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Doukhobor Singer Peter N. Voykin Dies

An outstanding Western Canadian Doukhobor singer, Peter N. Voykin (1931 - 2017), died in early April 2017 at his home in Castlegar, British Columbia.

He was 86 years old.

For the funeral service April 13th, at the Brilliant Cultural Centre in Castlegar, BC, Koozma J. Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova prepared the following letter:

To:   Lucy Voykin and daughter Catherine Markin
        Castlegar, British Columbia

With much sadness I and my wife Kristina Kristova heard about the passing of our dear friend Peter N. Voykin, Doukhobor activist and stalwart singer. Peter was an outgoing, friendly and jovial person with a deep voice who appeared to be singing all of his life.

For over 45 years he helped preserve the traditional mode of Doukhobor singing. People liked him very much. When he and wife Lucy held a series of Choir Workshops on the Canadian prairies in 1991 and 1992, one of the participants wrote: ‘They set up our societies into high gear in how to sing. And they inspired us how to sing from the heart.’

Peter Voykin was an ambassador of peace for his ancestors. In 1995 he directed the Voices for Peace Choir that toured across Canada, the United Nations in New York, and Russia. The Choir stopped in Ottawa and performed at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. With Kristina we were honoured when they visited our home. With over 100 people present, Peter led the choir to several songs. It was a memorable moment for all of us, our children, our neighbours and friends.

On his tour around the world, Peter and the Doukhobors in the choir proclaimed a new world order with Love, Non-violence, Equality and Brotherhood.

In mid-January 1996 Peter was again in Ottawa with Lucy, and with their dear friends John J. and Laura Verigin. As a quartet, they performed at the very impressive opening of the Spirit Wrestlers exhibition in the Canadian Museum of Civilization. They concluded with three songs in Russian, English and French. The audience of almost 1,000 gave them a standing applause.

Peter N. Voykin has made his mark as an outstanding person, Doukhobor activist, singer and supporter of peace. He walked his talk and will be missed and remembered by all!

May he rest in peace….
Koozma and Kristina

More in biography of Peter N. Voykin, from my book Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002): pages 84-85, 89.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Kamsack dom sold for yoga

184 Queen Elizabeth Blvd.

The Independent Doukhobor dom [meeting hall] in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, is being sold this month, March 2017, which is about 62 years since it was constructed. Satellite map.

The sale was expected to be final this week, said Fred Konkin of Pelly, chair of the society.

Val Ritchie from Yorkton is buying the building where she will be holding her yoga classes in Kamsack.
Konkin cited an aging congregation, now numbering fewer than 20, and the rising costs of maintaining such a building. He said the building had been kept up through membership fees and donations.

'The Kamsack Society of Independent Doukhobors will continue, much like they do in Benito and Pelly, we just won’t have a building,' he said, adding that members will be using other Doukhobor meeting halls, most likely the one in Veregin for meetings services, at the National Doukhobor Heritage Village, 8 miles west.

Konkin explained that the building has been emptied of its effects, such as pictures, and were moved to Veregin. 'It’s sad,' said Lydia Cherkas, a member. 'Our forefathers were active and Doukhobor families spread all over Canada. The belief remains, but the numbers are dwindling.'

A 60th anniversary was celebrated here on December 13, 2015, when Mike Chutskoff of Kamsack, the only living member of the society who had volunteered time during the construction of the building, had the honour of cutting an anniversary cake.

'The Society of Doukhobors of Kamsack and District opened its new [meeting hall], valued at $15,000 in an impressive but brief opening ceremony on June 22, 1955,' said an item in the Kamsack Times. The ceremonies climaxed more than 11 months of toil by volunteer labourers and a final rush week of putting the finishing touches to a project which had been conceived 42 months earlier, it said. The opening began with a ... meeting service led by N.W. Cazakoff and emcee for the event had been William Chutskoff, chair of the building committee.

Edited from: Kamsack Doukhobor Society sells its prayer home, Kamsack Times, March 20, 2017.

Koozma: I object to the word 'prayer' used 7 times in this article. Q44: 'Community Centre' or 'Prayer House'? Do Doukhobors meet in a 'Community/ Cultural Centre' or 'Prayer House'?

Also see: Doukhobors celebrate 60th anniversary of Kamsack Prayer Home, Kamsack Times, January 12, 2016.

Update 2021 April 19

In 2018 the building was converted to a dental clinic. Jon Kalmakoff posted a history. From 970 members in 1918, to less than 20 active members in 2017.

[Photo] Staff of the new River Valley Dental clinic on opening day. Kamsack Times, October 17, 2018, page 1.

Kamsack Doukhobor Prayer Home, 1955-2017, by Jonathan Kalmakoff, Facebook: Doukhobors in Canada, February 5, 2021.