Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Get the Veregin Centennial Video for $25

One Hundred Years of the Veregin Doukhobor Prayer Home
Iskra, issue 2144, November 2019, page 17.

The National Doukhobor Heritage Village is pleased to announce that a six-CD recording of the historic 100th anniversary celebration of the Prayer Home, held in 2017, is complete and ready for distribution.

The production was guided by Dr. Veronika Makarova, an Associate Professor in the Department of Languages and Linguistics and the Interdisciplinary Linguistics Program Chair at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Makarova also supported the funding of this project through her research funds and the NDHV is exceedingly grateful for her leadership in this initiative.

The six CD documentary includes choir performances, the prayer service, bus tours to surrounding historic sites and other program highlights.

Those who attended this celebration will enjoy re-living the remarkable celebration of toil and peaceful life, experienced through prayer, fellowship, song and food.

The collection is available for only $25.00 for the set to cover handling costs. However, donations are always welcome to continue supporting the work of the Village.

To order this exceptional documentary series, you may: contact the Village at 306-542-4441; write to Box 99, Veregin, SK SOA 4H0; or email ndhv@yourlink.ca.

See event program, history and news:
Heritage Day – 2017 Celebration
Canada 150 / Historic Prayer Home 100 year
National Doukhobor Heritage Village Inc., Veregin, Saskatchewan

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Ron Kalmakoff back in Saskatchewan

This year, singer Ron Kalmakoff returned to his hometown of Canora, Saskatchewan, to visit family and friends; and to produce and promote his new songs and videos dedicated to his Doukhobor grandparents.

Kalmakoff signed albums at the local library.

His musical career began in Canora at age 16 when he entered the annual June Days talent show. That performance helped break his shyness. At 19 he recorded his first album, and so few were made it is now a collector's item. Local radio stations invited him to play live, which led to TV appearances and meeting a few professional country-western singers, and joining a band. He was hooked on writing and performing his own music. At age 24 he moved to British Columbia to learn and work in the music industry.

For his recent album dedicated to his grandparents, Kalmakoff revealed:
"The best way for me to describe the song is, when you start losing generations of your family who have come before you, you start analyzing who you are as a person, .. I had to make it soulful but also channel my Doukhobor roots, you can hear that in certain sections of the song. I put myself in a space while recording where I starting thinking back to some amazing voices and singing I’ve heard over the years from my culture and that helped me connect to the song.”

Ron Kalmakoff news, videos, websites

"Ron Kalmakoff", in Tarasoff, Koozma J. Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living, 2002, pages 86-87. — Biography and photo.

"Ron Kalmakoff remembers his Canora roots," by Calvin Daniels, Yorkton This Week, Kamsack Times, April 24, 2019, pages 6, 11. (Full edition on issuu.com — With ads at kamsacktimes.com)

"Successful area recording artist comes home to Canora," Kamsack Times, October 19, 2019, page 2.
(Full edition on issuu.com — With ads at kamsacktimes.com) — 3 photos.

"Ron Kalmakoff- Ever Since You Went Away" (Official Music Video) Youtube (6 min.) Oct 26, 2019. — Opens with Lord's Prayer in Russian. Walking and aerial images of Veregin and Canora SK Dedicated to his Grandparents, Lorne & Anne Dergousoff, Canora SK, with Doukhobor images and psalm.

"Ron Kalmakoff - What Brings You Home" (Official Mini Documentary Video) Youtube 14 min.) Nov 23, 2019 — In Canora and Veregin, Saskatchewan, Ron Kalmakoff talks about family and visits fans.

Ron's Website — RonKalmakoff.com
Ron's Facebook Page — Facebook.com/RonKalmakoff
Ron's Instagram — Instagram.com/ronkalmakoff

Friday, 22 November 2019

‘Saskatchewan Doukhobors’ documentary shown in Ottawa

Some 80 people attended the movie ‘We’ve Concluded Our Assembly: The Saskatchewan Doukhobors’ at the historic Mayfair Theatre on November 10, 2019, in Old Ottawa South. The 90-minute documentary was followed by a discussion led by producer-organizer Ryan Androsoff with Spirit Wrestler Productions.

Mayfair Theatre markee.                        Ryan Androsoff.

Available for sale were DVDs of the film (90 minutes), CD recordings of the Saskatchewan Doukhobor Prayer Service (42 minutes, Russian and English); and a booklet 'Song Lyrics and Credits' (Russian, transliterated Russian, English) with a list of financial contributors and acknowledgements of participants. All can be bought online and at the gift shop of the Saskatoon Western Development Museum and the Doukhobor Discovery Centre in Castlegar, BC. Donate; the Project is $20,000 short of breaking even.

In 2016, Ryan Androsoff initiated the ambitious Saskatchewan Doukhobor Living Book Project ‘with the mission of preserving the oral history and spiritual traditions of the Saskatchewan Doukhobor community for future generations’ as a soundscape, and to ‘start a conversation about the future of Doukhoborism for generations to come.’

This Project is specifically about ‘Independent Doukhobors’ in Saskatchewan, who comprise about one-fourth of all Canadian Doukhobors, and are partly organized as the Doukhobor Cultural Society of Saskatchewan (DCSS). Most descendants of Community Doukhobors in British Columbia are not the focus.

This was my third viewing of the entire project. As soon as it was available, Ryan mailed me the DVD, CD and booklet to review.

The documentary film opens with a typical Sunday gathering (called sobranie in Russian) of Independent Doukhobors in Saskatchewan. A traditional prayer service was performed by 8 men and 20 women (28 singers) who recited and sung Doukhobor psalms in Russian (translations provided).

The location was the Blaine Lake Doukhobor Community Home (which in my opinion is erroneously called the Doukhobor Prayer Home) located 80 km (50 miles) north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Blaine Lake is one of the 5 remaining active Independent Doukhobor meeting halls in Saskatchewan.

Inter-weaved throughout the 90 minutes were interviews of 30 men and women from ages 8 to 95, historic images, maps, and video clips of Doukhobor events in Saskatchewan (like the annual Doukhobor Peace Day under a tent with community picnic outdoors).

A total of 42 participated, 12 members of the choir were not interviewed. About a third are closely related family.

William Kanigan spoke with pride about one of his two sons who turned down a lucrative military contract because it would have contradicted with his heritage roots.

I enjoyed the freshness of Jonathan Kalmakoff's daughters, Katie and Emily, who told stories learned from their father, a Doukhobor genealogist and historian. Hundreds of articles, charts and maps are on his Doukhobor Genealogy Website.

The documentary ended at the sobranie with the hymn (in Russian and English): 'We've Concluded Our Assembly'. Credits followed.

Themes covered:
After the film, questions were asked about the Doukhobor migration to Canada beginning in 1899, if there was a Doukhobor meeting in Ottawa [No], about singing, and the transliteration of Russian to English.

At the end of the Question period, I thanked the producer and made the following comments:
This is a beautiful contribution to the cultural treasure of Doukhobors in Saskatchewan. The film will be remembered by children and grandchildren for years to come. They will recall that their ancestors believed in the Spirit of God within each person (based on a deep philosophy of love, truth, hospitality, and humanity), that peace is the way to a sustained future on Planet Earth. Nonviolence or nonkilling is central. Also they will remember that the collective style of life gave their ancestors strength to survive. And this attitude will likely prevail and give the new generation strength to carry on their mission into the future.

Ryan Androsoff and his team are to be greatly applauded for their efforts in creating this documentary film. Fundraising was a big challenge met by Doukhobors and others. The team interviewed 30 people who said many good things. The inclusion of several young people in the interviews is an acknowledgement that the new generation expects a voice with new changes. And the intent of the film was correct — ‘to help start a conversation about the future of Doukhoborism for generations to come.'
Topics not covered about the Doukhobor Movement in Saskatchewan
  • The real contribution of Doukhobor settlers to Saskatchewan and Canada. See my book: Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living, 2002; and search for major sources on Doukhobor pioneers in the Public Archives of Saskatchewan found on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan. Also check for ‘Saskatchewan’ articles on the Doukhobor Genealogy Website.
  • The marvelous Doukhobor bread-baking project at the Saskatoon Exhibition annually since 1955. This is a national and international door-opener on the Doukhobors.
  • The inspiring peace manifestations organized by Doukhobors, like attorney Peter G. Makaroff in the 1960s, and others — an inspiration for future generations in helping save our civilization from destruction.
  • The unique contributions of Saskatchewan Doukhobor journals of The Inquirer, The Dove, and The Doukhobor Sheaf to alternative media.
  • Classes on Doukhobor history and culture are currently taught at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon by Dr. Veronika Makarova. Also Dr. Ashleigh Androsoff teaches history courses which includes Doukhobor pioneers.


In 2016, I helped Ryan promote this project on Ottawa radio (Independent Doukhobor Project on Radio, July 20, 2016), and continued to help announce the project four more times on my website (1 Aug. 2016, 28 Oct. 2017, 20 May 2019, 27June 2019).

For over two years money was raised (crowdfunding, donors), the choir rehearsed, film and audio crews hired, and hours spent recording the meeting service, psalm singing, and interviews with many people, including me. Today, the project is about $20,000 short of covering all costs.

Donors from around the world and across Canada.
Click here to see world donor map.
Click on map pins (blue markers) to see donors names.

Dr. Ashleigh Androsoff helped with research, scripts and interviews. She is a history professor at the University of Saskatchewan, and Ryan’s 3rd cousin. See her 2011 doctoral dissertation: 'Spirit Wrestling: Identity Conflict and the Canadian “Doukhobor Problem,” 1899-1999'.

The project has cost about $57,000 to produce, of which $27,000 has been paid by grants and donors around the world. $20,000 remains to be paid. Please donate.

Ryan has promoted the project on TV, radio and newspapers, all documented on his website doukhoborlivingbook.ca and Facebook.

Doukhobor soundscape at the Western Development Museum, Saskatoon.
Each singer had a microphone, and 4 video cameras recorded simultaneously.
For the soundscape, each singer is played on a speaker on a pole at that
singer's position in the choir. Walk through this virtual sobranie.
Ryan said it is "... an immersive experience, like you were there."

Over 200 people attended the project launch on June 28, 2019, at the Western Development Museum (WDM) in Saskatoon, with a dazzling walk-through multimedia soundscape and exhibit that continued through October 20, 2019. The WDM has featured local Doukhobor history in the past, but this was the largest exhibit.

On June 29, 2019, the film was shown at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon, followed by a discussion.

DVD, CD and booklet available online from the gift shop of the Saskatoon Western Development Museum and the Doukhobor Discovery Centre in Castlegar, BC.


Wednesday, 6 November 2019

A Quaker Summary of Fighting

Book review.
  • Are you worried about increasing hate crimes?
  • Does it feel like our world is becoming more divided?
  • Do you care about peace?
In 2017 the Peace Program Coordinator and Communications Coordinator for the Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers) proposed to answer these questions scientifically by conducting a peace literature review and bibliography. He originally planned to compile a 50-page report to summarize:
  • What does science reveal about achieving interpersonal peace, avoiding conflict and hatred?
  • Do we really need to fight?
The short project continued for 2 years, and grew to 327 pages. To include as much as possible into the book, the font size was reduced, yet much had to be omitted. Perhaps a second volume will be published to compile the rest of their research.

Matthew Legge. Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division (New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, 2019): 327 pp. Copyright by Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC, Facebook).

I read the book with much interest and then attended a book launch by the author on October 23th, 2019 at the Friends’ Meeting House, Ottawa, Ontario. Some 30 people attended. A question-answer period followed.

The event was audio recorded by Ken ‘Kensky’ Billings, and posted for you on pCloud, linked from his Digileak Canada website:
Matthew Legge (pronounced: ‘Le-ZHAY’) has been on a book tour across Canada, speaking on radio, at universities, bookstores, and Friends Meeting Houses; and teaching a few workshops. See schedule at bottom of AreWeDoneFighting.com. This is his first presentation fully recorded and posted online.

My Review

This book is a 2-year cooperative effort of many people: the author Matthew Legge — an anthropology graduate from the University of Toronto — and his staff at the Quaker Centre in Toronto.

Matthew emailed to me:
‘The book has about 750 end notes that made it into the final copy. I can't say how many hundreds of books and studies I read, many hundreds did not make it into the book. I didn't do 100% of the research myself. 2 other staff and volunteers did parts and sent me things.’
The book is mostly a literature review of many sources related to avoiding violence — 'Evidence and techniques you can use right now'. The research team examined publications in psychology, anthropology and sociology of peace, mostly focusing on cultural ‘interpersonal peace issues’, not inter-government politics.

The author presents many tips for avoiding personal conflict and misunderstandings in daily living, but little about preventing WW3. The intent was to examine what is known about ‘hate and division’ in society. A very challenging aspect of war prevention!

In 24 short chapters, each ending with helpful tips, the author attempts to reach people with different educational, political, religious and cultural backgrounds. The result is a comprehensive text with many insights into the fundamental issues of hate and division, without a guarantee of what will work or not work. Although very useful as an academic study, in my opinion it fails to be a practical guide to action.


Gems I found especially useful and noteworthy:
  1. Equality is a useful ingredient in respecting people and countries. Trying to be overly superior to others will not lead us to a peaceful world. We need to acknowledge that we are all part of one world community and need to work together to survive.
  2. The understanding of ‘power over’ and ‘power-from-within’ are useful concepts in avoiding exploitation and violence (pages 23-24). Working together for a ‘win-win’ outcome would also help. 
  3. ‘....The peace virus can demand patience and perseverance, and the way we live it out makes a difference to the results we get’ (page 49). Peace virus is transmitted to children through modelling (page 126). Parents and teachers, please take note and be a model for living.
  4. The ‘creative power of silence’ can be used to begin a meeting (page 44), as is done effectively in many Quaker meetings. This is mindfulness at work.
  5. Among the communication skills, try communication instead of changing someone’s beliefs by shooting down our opponent (page. 56). Recognize, acknowledge, and even respect other views. Work together on common ground issues such as climate change, disarmament, etc.
  6. Emotions are contagious — treat them with care (p. 84). We can all be manipulated towards goodness or violence. Psychologists tell us that our interdependence and malleability shapes what we think and do. Beware of psychological warfare (page 79).
  7. Effective communication involves shared values of rapport building, careful listening and observing, and seeking truths (page 94). Take note of body language. Use humour when appropriate, but avoid humiliation (page 90).
  8. War ‘is not natural’ (page 124), but is a learned behaviour. It follows that we can learn to create a peaceful world.
  9. There is a problem today with mainstream media where the bias is towards sensationalism, such as the bomb. How about seeking good news stories?
  10. Establishing Ministries of Peace around the world is ‘an intriguing idea for improving the capacity and will to engage in prevention’ (page 228).


The 327 pages of fine print, of which 52 pages are end-notes and index with even finer print makes it very difficult to read.

Though over 1,000 books and articles are listed, many important items for peacemaking familiar to me were not listed. It appears that the author and his team did not look at my website and blog which are full of valuable aides for peacemaking. I suggest adding these 7 missing items/topics.
  1. The Center for Citizen Initiatives in California has escorted groups of “citizen diplomats” (mostly Americans) to Russia since 1984 to engage in personal dialog. President Sharon Tennison has visited Russia for 35 years and rejects the war propaganda. “Misunderstandings, fallacious accusations, flare ups and demonizing ... we see the need and possibility for changing this situation. When real people in large numbers get involved, amazing things begin to happen. Join us!” Next trip: June 2020.
  2. In June 1895 my ancestors burnt their guns as a public resolve to get rid of wars. The war / peace issue is very much part of the Doukhobor movement, and I continue to be part of that movement to create a world without wars. Since the 1950s, I have been working steadily on a study of Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobors with connections to the wider peace movement. A dozen books have been published and countless articles are in print and many more are steadily being produced in my Spirit-Wrestlers website and blog.
  3. 'A Study of Russian Organizations in the Greater Vancouver Area', 1963, my MA thesis in anthropology and sociology. During the first Cold War, I attended the University of British Columbia and studied the issues of what brings people together and what splits them apart. I found that both hot and cold wars split societies apart and cause undue suffering to humanity. If   we are to achieve a sustainable nonkilling society, this means we urgently need to get rid of the ‘scourge of war’ and make war a crime against humanity!
  4. ‘Opening Doors For Survival: A Handbook on Soviet-West Initiatives’, 1986. I produced this practical manuscript which was expanded and published in very limited numbers in 1991 by Peace Train Foundation in Ottawa, Canada as Discovering Soviet-West Cooperation. A Handbook on Soviet-West Bridge-Building Initiatives. The insights into peace-making are as valid today as they were in the 1980s.
  5. 'Doukhobor — Quaker Connections : Talk with Young Friends in Ottawa', December 6, 2009 Presentation Outline, Comments (updated 2019). Includes useful suggestions of what young Friends can do to make a contribution to society. The article also includes the story of effective peace manifestations  in Western Canada in the 1960s involving Doukhobors, Quakers, Mennonites, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and other groups. 
  6. Dr. Glenn D. Paige’s book Nonkilling Global Political Science, (2002), advanced the thesis that it is possible for humans to stop killing each other. The thesis supports the conclusion of the World Report on Violence and Health (Geneva, 2002) that human violence is a ‘preventable disease’. In November 2007, Dr. Page organized the First Global Nonkilling Leadership Forum, Hawaii, at which I presented my paper: ‘Tolstoy and the Doukhobors’. Wisdom people from around the world united to create a Nonkilling Society. The forum launched the Centre for Global Nonkilling ‘to promote change for a killing-free society’. While killing is deeply entrenched in world culture, it is not universal. Nonkilling is a new paradigm for a brave new world. The wider peace community should take note.
  7. 150 Canadian Stories for Peace — An Anthology, 2017. One of my contributions here was 'Opening Doors for Survival during the Cold War' (pages 101-102). In 1984-1985 I held 17 living room discussions on East-West bridge-building. My article concludes: ’With fake news in today’s Cold War world, are we not repeating again the dangerous lies about our northern Russian neighbours and others? When will we ever learn?’

Contact the author Matthew Legge at Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC, Quakers), 60 Lowther Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5R 1C7, Canada. Phone: 416-920-5213 Web: quakerservice.ca. Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @CFSCQuakers. Get a free chapter of CFSC's book at: AreWeDoneFighting.com

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Thursday, 3 October 2019

Talking to Youth at Global Climate Strike

By Henry Beissel,  HenryBeissel.com  (His 5th appearance on my blog)

On September 27, 2019, I joined the young folk who decided to march in Ottawa, protesting the duplicity of politicians who talk about climate change, but do nothing to prevent an ultimate environmental disaster.

128 Wellington street, at O'Conner street, next to Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
Photo by Dr. Lev Tarasov.

At first, I felt a little out of place as I walked with boys and girls whose great grandfather I could be. I also felt that some of them looked at me askance and I'm not sure that I didn't see a glint in their eyes signalling: ‘Hey, old man, we're inheriting this mess from you!’

It may just have been my conscience. It's true that I've seen the climate crisis creeping up on us for almost half a century and I have raised my voice in protest on various occasions and in various media. But it is also true that I haven't done enough to prevent this disastrous environmental crisis from spinning out of control.

Anyway, as the young folk were standing around on the hill, waving their signs and occasionally breaking into some protest slogans, I walked up to some smaller groups to thank them for having both the insight and the courage to make their voices heard against the current Climate Change. I thanked them, saying that they made one of my dreams come true, that the young would rise up against those who triggered the crisis and refused to take the necessary steps to end it.

That broke the ice, and I chatted with a number of groups and found them determined to continue protesting until the politicians would listen and introduce the changes necessary to prevent an environmental disaster.

I ended each of my conversations with a warning.
‘Don't trust the politicians’. I said, ‘they will make you all kinds of promises even while they have no intention of keeping them — so long as they can stop you marching and protesting.’
I was astonished but pleased to hear that they had no illusions about the duplicity of politicians.
‘If they think’, one of them said, ‘they can silence us with empty promises, they have another thing coming. Just wait and see!’
On the whole, my conversations with the protesters gave me new hope. They have a healthy skepticism towards politicians and they're not going to give up until there is tangible action against climate change.

My final warning to them was:
‘Action against climate change at the government level is extremely important, but ultimately we can prevent a disastrous environmental collapse only if all of us, that is all of you and the rest of the people, lower their demands on the world. You must be prepared to reduce your standard of living, you must be content with less, drive less, travel less, consume less if climate change is not to destroy us all.’
That astonished some of them and I could see I'd given them something to think about. I hope some of them realized that protesting is not enough, we must also be prepared to change our way of life to live within the limits of what nature can provide, especially for a species in a state of population explosion.


15 photos by co-marchers, sister and brother: Tamara Tarasoff and Dr. Lev Tarasov.

Videos by Ken Kensky Billings, Digileak Canada, of four groups at the Climage Strike Protest on Parliament Hill:

Saturday, 17 August 2019

1945 A-bombing of Japan Memorials

'The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively, with the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement [held August 1943 in Canada]. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.' (Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Wikipedia, accessed August 10, 2019.)

Atomic bomb mushroom clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right)
I have often reminded my readers of these mass murders during their annual August anniversaries. This is a chronological list with links to my memorial articles.

Monday, 29 July 2019

'Wake up' — Let's Prevent Nuclear War

Why is the threat of WW3 at an all time high?

The Doomsday Clock, maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947, shows the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe. During the past 3 decades it has steadily moved to an all time danger. Why? What can we do?

August 6 will be the 74th anniversary of the bloody 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. By educating ourselves about the global politics and propaganda of war, I hope we will prevent WW3 and a nuclear holocaust, by protesting war industries, writing our governments, alerting our family and friends — anything to protect future generations.

The chart (click to enlarge) shows minutes to doom. The lower, the worse. It got worse from the end of WW2 (1945) through the Korean Conflict (1951-1953), then relaxed after the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), and remained fairly steady during the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) decade (1969-1979). Again it got worse, until President Reagan (1981-1989) and Secretary/President Gorbachev of Russia (1985-1991) began peace negotiations, which ended with the breakup of the Soviet Union (1991). Since then, for nearly 3 decades, threats have steadily escalated to an all time closeness to doomsday.

How did this nearly 30-year decline happen? Evidence points to the expansion of NATO and the USA foreign policy of perpetuating wars.

I believe that Russia is not our enemy, we are. To explain, I recommend three videos online. The first is in English, and two are in Russian on YouTube.

1. The Putin Interviews : Vladimir Putin & Oliver Stone Discuss NATO, by Oliver Stone, Information Clearing House, July 22, 2019 — Many short videos with English subtitles, and text.

2. В Борьбе за Украину. Нерассказанnая История Украины;(2019) [The Struggle for Ukraine. (or) The Untold Story of Ukraine]. (Russian: 83 minutes), by Oliver Stone. (Wikipedia Russian) — The film shows how the USA and the West were directly involved in the 2014 Maidan coup in Ukraine. Snipers killed 100+ people to entice Ukraine and Western countries to blame Russia and President Putin. A tragic flop! Due to NATO circling Russia, the film concludes a higher probability of a nuclear war. Putin and his Ukrainian associate Viktor Medvedchuk are interviewed, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Ottawa, Ivan Kachanovsky, who for five years has been investigating this story.

3. Голливуд как источник мужество [Hollywood as source of manhood], Бесогон ТВ (Besogon TV), Channel 24. (Russian, 55 minutes). — Explains how Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin sold out the USSR to the West on the promise that the West was ready to help the Russians, instead the USA wanted to destroy Russia. While the USSR disarmed and became ‘pacifist’, USA did not. USA propaganda claimed to spread ‘freedom and democracy’ but murdered tens of thousands, fooling most Americans to believe they were ‘victims’ of the uncivilized ‘them’ — like heroes in a Hollywood movie. On March 1st, 2018, Putin was reelected President of the Russian Federation, with a majority 77% of the votes. Due to the broken promise, on that day Putin announced the development of superior atomic weapons, so as to wake the sleeping world up to what is happening today. Narrator Nikita Mikhalkov shows that Hollywood created fictional heroes who defeat 'Chinese, Russians, animals', and others in the interests of the American Empire. War is shown, not 'democracy'. In contrast, Putin says the real heroes were those who lost their lives defending their motherland.


Monday, 1 July 2019

Peace Trek from India to Switzerland

A year-long trek for 'Justice and Peace' begins October 2, 2019, in New Delhi, India. Participants will march about 6,214 miles for 370 Days, crossing 16 countries, to Geneva, Switzerland, arriving on the 22nd of September, 2020. A part of the trek is happening in Canada.

In the Hindi language, Jai Jagat means 'victory to the world', 'victory to the planet', 'victory to all'. It also names a series of grass-root marches — 2007, 2012, and Jai Jagat 2020 — to address poverty, discrimination, climate crisis, and healing conflict and violence — the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Details of the Jai Jagat 2020 trek were presented at a slide-lecture hosted by the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council, held at Carleton University on June 15th. About 30 attended. I took photos.

Trekkers will pass near Doukhobors in the South Caucasus, and board a ship at Batumi, Georgia, the same port where many Doukhobors left Russia beginning in 1898, eventually arriving in Canada. Most Canadian Doukhobors still use the pre-1920 Russian name Batum for Batum Oblast (province) and city. The original plan was to walk around the Black Sea through Russia and Ukraine, but Russian officials are 'not interested' in allowing this march through their territory.

Dr. Jill Carr-Harris is Canadian with Ph.D. studies from the University of Toronto, who lived for 30+ years in India. She teaches peace and Gandhian nonviolence, and is married to a like-minded Indian peace activist who is the leader of Jai Jagat 2020. She came to Canada to promote the events, raise funds, and meet with family and friends before she begins the year-long walk.

Dr. Jill Carr-Harris
Dr. Carr-Harris opened her 1-hour lecture exclaiming Jai Jaget!, a greeting used in India 'to recognize each person as a member of the universal family' — 'an act of peace'. In her first lecture slide, she labeled the trek 'A Global March for Peace'.

In 2017 she introduced the Jai Jagat 'campaign' in Ottawa, and has returned to 'update' the news and 'get some people engaged' — 'grassroots ... action'.

In 2014, I met her husband Rajagopal P. V. in Ottawa, Canada when he and Jill came to introduce their early plans for these treks.

Both husband and wife view human behaviour as basically good, but we need to support ways to assure global survival for all living things — ‘not just making money’ for ourselves. In our most difficult moments, nonviolence training teaches us to be compassionate, must be used to 'organize society', and be integrated into all the higher academic fields (sciences and humanities). 'A Gandhian perspective ... educating young people ... to get them to think about peace and nonviolence'.

Jill Carr-Harris stated that the late Murray Thomson and UN Ambassador Doug Roche are the 'grandfathers of peace' in Canada. Roche 'said we are moving from a culture of violence, a culture of war, ... into to a culture of peace ... but, there are small ups and downs'.

Her slides are not shown on the web except in this video, and are included here.

      4 Phases of the Jai Jagat Campaign
  • PHASE 1: Nonviolent training, local action and youth engagement.
  • PHASE 2: Global Peace March: from Raj Ghat, New Deli India to Geneva Switzerland with Peace Conferences along the way.
  • PHASE 3: GENEVA Action Forum & Dialogue with UN & Financial Institutions.
  • PHASE 4: Follow up Advocacy County/Local Level Action and Advocacy.

Dr. Carr-Harris reported that 50 people have committed to walk the entire 10,000 kilometers. Everyone is welcome to join and leave at any place and time. Many peace groups along the route are organizing partial marches, joining the permanent marchers for a few kilometers. Many not on the main route from India are planning local marches. some to join the movement in Geneva. European countries are accommodating marchers with special visas. Peace organizations around the world can recognize and join in the global effort. First Nations are now marching from New Brunswick to Maine, USA, before winter.

There are social media campaigns in 4 countries, including Canada. In addition to Dr. Carr-Harris, the Canadian event advisor is Dr. Anne Pearson, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (Alberta), Global Peace Centre Canada (Ontario).

     What Can People In Canada Do?
  • Working to Galvanize:
    • Social Media Unit in Atlantic Canada
    • Communication Group in Southern Ontario
    • Teachers Group in Western Canada
  • Connecting with Mahatma Gandhi Foundations in Edmonton, Hamilton and Ottawa to Raise Jai Jagat in 2nd October Program
  • Small Fundraising Efforts (For marchers)
  • Working on Marches in Canada
  • Join the March (Either the Long March of Other European Marches)
  • Sending Journalist Students to Join Marches.

Her final announcement was that a 'Peace and Non-Violence Department' is being planned in Rajasthan, India. It precedes our Canadian Peace Initiative for a similar government department.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Doukhobor Peace Day Message 2019

My Message to the Celebration Today in Verigin, Saskatchewan

Location: National Doukhobor Heritage Village, Veregin, Saskatchewan.
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2019.
Time: 11 am, followed by a Potluck lunch with speeches.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Spirit,

It was on the midnight of June 28-29 (New Style July 11-12), 1895, that 7,000 Russian Doukhobors in Transcaucasia, Russia (and now Turkey) set ablaze piles of their own and government-issued rifles, pistols and swords in the first mass protest in history against militarism and war. (Historic 1895 Burning of Guns descriptions, selections and translations)

This year 2019 marks the 124th anniversary of this momentous pioneering happening calling for hope in creating a world without wars. Stopping or starving the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction is still the way for peace in our world. Or, as we now know, Nonkilling is the way to Peace!

Today with the escalating arms race and climate crisis, the Doomsday Clock of Atomic Scientists is almost one minute to midnight. We are on the brink of destruction unless we change course, bring our troops home, close down military bases abroad, get rid of NATO, and use the tools of listening and diplomacy in finding a way to get to know the stranger, and then work cooperatively to solve our common problems.

That is the urgent message today as we celebrate Petrov Dien, or the annual Doukhobor Peace Day. Speak to your family, your neighbours, your friends, the media, as well as your Member of Parliament. We need to wake up the people at home and abroad. For our children’s sake and our grandchildren, let us act now.

This message with 2 images is copied at Transcend Media Service, 1 July 2019. So far 3 of my articles are copied at TMS.

Previous Messages

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Tribute to ‘Jack’ McIntosh (1940-2019)

John Duncan Lawrence "Jack" McINTOSH
Born: September 19, 1940 — Whitewood, SK
Died: May 29, 2019 — Richmond, BC — Age 79, cancer.

This shy bibliographer from the University of British Columbia (UBC) was a brilliant and generous scholar that many of us will miss. He was a friendly soul who wished the best for each of us regardless of our religion, politics, or education.

He was born in Saskatchewan and raised in the Castlegar area of British Columbia among Doukhobors, where he began to learn Russian from classmates at Stanley Humphries Secondary School. After studying Russian for two years at UBC, Jack studied in Russia where he attended Baptist meetings with former Molokane. Upon returning to Canada, he got ‘great on-the-job training’ translating for government, journals and the Soviet press.

His best friend from high school, Gerald (Jerry) D. Palsson (see comment below) had become a librarian and encouraged Jack to do the same. Jack entered the Librarian program at UBC, where he was employed, excelled, retired in 2001, and continued to volunteer to the end. He managed the UBC Doukhobor Collection and was a tremendous aide to Canadian Doukhobors.

Jack and I exchanged historic materials on the Doukhobors, Lev N. Tolstoy, and peace-making since the 1960s. He gifted me a copy of his 'Expanded Bibliography on the Doukhobors' that he hoped to get published, but never did. The Bibliography served me well. Whenever I needed some important source, he always mailed me a photocopy, and later emailed a file.

In the early 1980s, Jack was invited to interpret and participate in the Expanded Kootenay Committee on Intergroup Relations (EKCIR). We trusted him due to his honesty and many years of personal exposure to and knowledge of Doukhobors. Recently, Jack was impressed with Ashleigh Androsoff's observations and conclusions of the hearings. See her 2011 PhD thesis: Spirit Wrestling Identity Conflict and the Canadian “Doukhobor Problem,” 1899-1999 (pages 386, 390-392; and search for 'EKCIR').

In the early 1990s Jack was our guest during a Learned Societies conference here. He soon was in our basement looking over my history collection, and I recall how elated he was to find material for his current study.

It is remarkable that a Scottish-Canadian lad learned Russian so well, and that he boldly shared insights that others did not. In the special issue of the Canadian Ethnic Studies in 1995 about Doukhobors, he challenged the accuracy of George Woodcock’s publications.

Jack was sensitive to the oral history of the Doukhobors, and drew on his wide readings to distinguish fact from fiction. His transliteration skills were precise: borshch, pirogi, sobranie, Petrov Den’, stikhi, etc. He wrote with dedication and thoroughness.

When I needed help with the creation of a CD version of Plakun Trava: The Doukhobors, Jack volunteered corrections and suggestions.

Jack helped Jonathan Kalmakoff by translating and/or proofreading at least 19 articles and items for the Doukhobor Genealogy Website.

Jack McIntosh was a dear colleague whom I could trust in time of need. I don’t know of anyone who can fill his void.

Obituary: 'John McIntosh’, Vancouver Sun, June 8, 2019.

'Witness to the Resurrection: Celebrating the Life of Jack McIntosh, June 22, 2019'.

By Jack about Doukhobors

Unfortunately, none of his work is online, open source, except for 19 items on the Doukhobor Genealogy Website.

‘Jack McIntosh — Bibliographer (1940-2019)’. In forthcoming eBook by Koozma J. Tarasoff and Andrei Conovaloff, Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers and Friends. Submitted 2018. Proposed publication 2020.

‘Maintaining community among a small, dispersed people: Canadian Doukhobor periodical publications on the wall, in the mail and on the Internet’. In Andrew Donskov, John Woodsworth and Chad Gaffield (eds.), The Doukhobor Centenary in Canada (2000): 277-289.

‘Rarely-Cited “Gems” in the Doukhobor Bibliography: Why So Obscure? What Can be Done?’ In Canadian Ethnic Studies, vol. XXVII, No. 8, 1995: 262-269.

‘Update 1973-1993: Excerpts From the Doukhobor Bibliography, Expanded Updated Edition’. In Koozma J. Tarasoff and Robert B. Klymasz, Spirit Wrestlers. Centennial Papers in Honour of Canada’s Doukhobor Heritage (1995): 187-216.

Horvath’s Doukhobor Bibliography (in Progress). Revised and Expanded. Unpublished 1989 version, 428 pp.

Unpublished papers:
  • ‘Maintaining community among a small, dispersed people: Canadian Doukhobor periodical publications on the wall, in the mail and on the Internet', at The Doukhobor Centenary in Canada: a multi-disciplinary perspective on their unity and diversity, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario. 1999 October 22-24. — Jack generously gave half of his time to 2 guys not on the program, Jonathan Kalmakoff and Andrei Conovaloff, to show their new web sites.
  • ‘The Doukhobor Migration That Never Was’. Panel: ‘Doukhobors in Canada — 100 Years and Beyond’. Canadian Association of Slavists Meeting, Ottawa, Ontario. 1998 June 1.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Remembering Alex Ewashen (1932-2019)

EWASHEN Alex May 20, 2019 aged 87 in Creston B.C., Canada. Beloved husband of Julie, (née O'Neill), father of Alexandra and Brian. Funeral service in Creston & District Community Complex, B.C., Canada, on Saturday June 1 at 1.00 p.m (The Irish Times)

Alex Jacob Ewashen (February 21, 1932 ~ May 20, 2019)
Born in Nanton, Alberta. Passed away on May 20th, 2019 in Creston, B.C. 87 years of age. Celebration of Life: Saturday, June 1st, 2019 at 1:00pm, Creston and District Community Complex, “Creston Room”, 312 19th Ave North, Creston, B.C. (G. F. Oliver funeral Chapel)

His brother Larry reported: ‘A very moving funeral yesterday with a choir from the Kootenays.’

Lorne Eckerley. Opinon: Pangs of Loss, This is the Life, Creston Valley Advance, May 20, 2019. — Reporter and friend remembers Alex as a 'moral compass'.

Alex J. Ewashen, Obituaries, Creston Valley Advance, May 20, 2019. — Biography.

Click on image to enlarge.

A Tribute and note for his 'Celebration' on June 1, 2019

Dear Julie and children, Ewashen brothers and many friends,

Alex Ewashen was an outstanding intelligent bright person, with much curiosity, open to the world, with humour, and a good friend to all of us.

AlexEwashen_book_2014.jpegIn his book Rags To Riches...My Way (2014), which he sent to me and my wife Kristina, Alex inscribed the following words: ‘Koozma and Kristina. Thanks for being a Lifelong Friend. Alex.’

I published a review of his book in July 2015, which Alex proofread via the Internet while he was in the Republic of Georgia on the Doukhobor Heritage Tour, led by Verna Postnikoff.

Also see: Auctioneer publishes memoir, Rags to Riches, by Lorne Eckersley, Creston Valley Advance, October 2, 2014, page 3.

For us, it was a pleasure to meet Alex on many occasions, to correspond with him, and being a lifelong friend is an honour. With Kristina, we were hosted at his home and he and Julie stayed at our place during the visit of the 100-member Voices for Peace Choir to Ottawa in 1995. At one of our visits at his house, we made a nice video interview with Alex and Julie.

Alex was indeed a Doukhobor pioneer. I included him in my big book celebrating over 200 pioneers who showed the way to peace and justice in Canada and helped create a better world. He had curiosity, intelligence, compassion and valued hard work. His life was proof of his Doukhobor philosophy and beliefs. He recognized himself as ‘A Peacenik’ for most of his life and was a bridge-builder. He was creative and talented. With Larry and Bob they created a musical trio and participated in many Doukhobor and public events.

Alex was brave — not afraid to take on new adventures. In 1984, when a Quaker neighbour offered an opportunity to participate in a 50,000 km. Peace and Friendship Caravan, he signed on within a two-hour deadline notice. Then he joined a handful of concerned activists for a 3.5 month travel through 22 countries in Europe promoting Sister Cityship and student exchanges.

Alex had an interesting rich life and a beautiful family! Here are many stories to be shared…. All of us will miss him. However, the good memories will remain.

Вечная память ему. Rest in peace Alex!
With deep condolences to the whole family,

Koozma and Kristina

Stop CANSEC 2019

Peace Movement Determined to Shut Down CANSEC Arms Trade Show in Canada

OTTAWA, ONT., May 29th, 2019. — 100 peace activists paraded in front of the EY Centre entrance, adjacent to Ottawa International Airport, during Canada’s largest military trade fair, CANSEC 2019, held May 29. See 106 photos.

Protesters slowed incoming traffic to persuade some of the 11,500 registrants that Canada should sell peace not war, and stop CANSEC in the future.

Backed up traffic stopped every 30 seconds.
Police cooperated with protesters. Relations between the Ottawa City Police and the activists were cordial at the entry gate of the EY Centre. When police first met with activists on site in early that morning, the officers suggested a friendly arrangement to allow for equal time for their police work, and our peace work. Protesters could stop the traffic for 30 seconds, then allow the traffic to proceed for 30 seconds — stop and go every minute. That eventually stretched the traffic at the gate to a 100-second stall.

We were allowed to block 2 of the 3 entrances to the EY Centre. The northern entrance was used by security. Protesters divided into 2 groups, then many joined to hear the speakers. The protest lasted about 2 hours.

This arrangement slowed down the traffic considerably, up to the freeway. Show attendees in vehicles were exposed to about 2 minutes of our peace messages and concerns for discontinuing CANSEC.

Event co-organizer Brent Patterson reported: ‘The picket lines also helped snarl traffic on Uplands Drive [in front of the EY Centre] and delay the cars, taxis and shuttle buses making their way to hear Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's opening keynote address.’

We noticed that nearly all the cars passing by us to the parking lot had closed windows. Though most CANSEC attendees did not hear, or would not listen to our message, nearly all could see our signs and banners.

Also see

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Murray McCheyne Thomson (1922 - 2019)

Tribute to ‘a renaissance man of peace’

It is sad to hear about the passing at the age of 96 of our dear Friend (Quaker) Murray McCheyne Thomson on May 2nd, 2019, in Ottawa, Ontario.

He was born in China, raised by parents who where Christian missionaries, came to Canada as a child, grew, joined the Society of Friends, and persistently advocated for world peace to the end of his life. I really admired him, as did many here.

I last saw him on March 30, 2019 at the 'Say No to NATO' demonstration in downtown Ottawa during a blizzardy snowy cold day. He came out on his walker. I took pictures of Murray and briefly talked about the Big Issues of society — of disarmament and peace.

We have had a long relationship with Murray over the years. I first met him in Saskatchewan in the early1950s when Murray worked as an adult educator. We met again in the 1970s at the Grindstone Island Peace Education Centre, where Murray was one of the founders. (See his paper below.)

Despite protesting the Canadian military, Murray was decorated as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001, and the Pearson Medal of Peace in 1990 from the United Nations Association of Canada. He is renowned for co-founding 7 peace organizations from 1976 to 2012.

In 1982 Murray was one of the signatories with me to a UN appeal at the International Doukhobor Intergroup Symposium, Castlegar, BC, sent to the Second Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations.

In October 2008 we published Murray’s proposal that the traditional Canadian peace groups — Doukhobors, Mennonites and Quakers — unite to stimulate an anti-NATO initiative, to promote a world without wars.

Murray indeed will be missed. He played the violin, had a great connection to people, with lots of enthusiasm and authority as well as humour. He was a renaissance man of peace — and he and his deeds need to be remembered so as to help us save our civilization from the scourge of wars.

I believe we all need to follow his example — stand up and be counted in searching and working for world peace and social justice. With the Doomsday Clock of Scientists at one minute to midnight, the need to speak out today is very urgent!

Update — On Oct 23, 2019, a Celebration of Life gathering for Murray was held at the First Unitarian Church, Ottawa. I posted 63 photos. Around 200 people turned out including many peace activists, such as Ernie Regehr, Earl Turcotte, Brent Patterson, Ken Kensky Billings, Nick Aplin, Budd Hall, Edward Gertler, Dennis Gruending, Eric J. Schiller, Matt Legge, Jean Christie, Gordon Breedyk, Evelyn Voigt, Fergus Watt, Randy Weekes, Susan McMaster, Colin Stuart, Debbie Grisdale, Mary Girard, Judith Brown, and Sybil Grace. The program included a Memorial Meeting, Reception, and an evening gathering at a Westboro Pub. The Memorial brought forth many praises to the late Murray Thomson — a 'living legend' who was intellectually committed to peaceful social change in creating a world without wars.

By and about Murray

Murray Thomson, Wikipedia

Murray Thomson, Ottawa Quakers active in peace work (a selection), Quakers.org.

Fonds RC0129 - Murray Thomson fonds, 1941-2011 (Creation), Archives and Collections, McMaster University Library, Hamilton, Ontario.

Murray Thomson. ‘The Relevance of our Testimonies to Peace’, Symposium Proceedings: International Doukhobor Intergroup Symposium. Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada, June 25-28, 1982. Pages 58-59. Koozma J. Tarasoff (Coordinator and Editor).

Murray Thomson. The Grindstone Era: Looking Back, Looking Ahead, The Canadian Quaker History Journal, No. 66, 2001, pages 12-15. — Paper given at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the CFHA

Murray Thomson. Minutes to midnight : Why more than 800 Order of Canada recipients call for nuclear disarmament (PDF). Ottawa, ON. 2005.

Murray Thomson. ‘Toward a Culture of Peace’, Press Release from the Religious Society of Friends: 30 August 2006 — Announcement for the Gardner Lecture at the Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends, Winnipeg, Manitoba, given by Murray: 'Toward a Culture of Peace: Can We Afford to Pay the Price?'

Koozma J. Tarasoff. Ottawa Peace Festival Provides Hope for an Ailing World : 1st Ottawa Peace Festival 2007 Review. October 3, 2007.

Murray Thomson. Traditional Peace Groups Explore Withdrawal from NATO. October 24, 2008, Spirit Wrestlers website.

Koozma J. Tarasoff. Peacemaker Murray Thomson at 90, plus 108 photographs, 55 showing Murray. December 10, 2012. Spirit Wrestlers website.

Age is More : Murray Thompson’ (3.5 min video), The Revera and Reel Youth Age is More Film Project. Youtube, July 3, 2014.

Walk with Us, (poster) Ottawa Peace Festival 2015.

Nuclear war still threatens world, experts say; disarmament only solution, CBC News, May 17, 2016 — Murray Thomson has over 800 Order of Canada winners supporting disarmament in new book.

Peace activist says it's time to speak up about nuclear disarmament, BC Almanac, Episode 300249841 (22:39 min. audio), CBC Radio, May 16, 2016 — Can Canada help lead the world to nuclear disarmament? An Order of Canada winner says yes — but the people need to speak up, and the politicians need to listen.

Murray Thomson (#151): 150+ Canadians who contributed to peace. Peace Quest, July 2, 2017.

Koozma J. Tarasoff. ‘Music Against War’ versus CANSEC — May 30, 2018, plus 96 photos, 2 showing Murray. June 4, 2018. Spirit Wrestlers website.

Koozma J. Tarasoff. No to NATO and War — Yes to Peace and Progress, plus 40 photos, 6 showing Murray, taken in Ottawa. March 3, 2019, updated March 30, 2019. Spirit Wrestlers blog.

Dennis Gruending. 'Peace activist Murray Thomson dies at 96'. May 5, 2019.

Murray Thomson, co-founder Project Ploughshares, 1922-2019 : requiescal in pace, Project Ploughshares, May 6, 2019.

Cresky, Jim. Murray Thomson: from RCAF pilot to pacifist, The Hill Times, May. 8, 2019

On the loss of Murray Thomson …a fine fellow with a great sense of humour, PeaceQuest, May 17, 2019. — Links to 5 more articles.