May 2022 Newsletter


Our annual AOEC conference will be back in-person this fall in Burnaby. The AOEC Executive Committee already has conference planning underway - and we're excited to share details with you soon.

In the meantime, please mark the date on your calendar. More information and registration to come before the end of the school year!

May 15, marks the 74th anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe) for the Palestinian people, the day after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the resulting expulsion of the majority of Palestinian people from their homeland. The ethnic cleansing continues to this day as many Palestinians abroad – even for a short period - are not able to return home. Canada’s complicity is deep in the founding of the state of Israel and the affiliate ongoing conflicts. 

Join the #Nakba74 Rally to mark the occasion, sponsored by the Canada Palestine Association
Sunday, May 15th, 2pm, at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Keep Adriana and Alberta Home!

On November 30, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) stalked and handcuffed Adriana Rosales Contreras shortly after she dropped off her Canadian daughter at Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary School in New Westminster. 

Now the Canada Border Services Agency is looking to deport Adriana, her husband Alberto and their Canadian daughter to Mexico before their immigration applications can be processed.

Community members turned out on Monday, May 9 to a rally in support of New Westminster couple Adriana Rosales Contreras and Alberto Vargas Mendez, who are facing deportation to Mexico.Some of you may have seen news stories such as this one describing some of the protests in support of Adriana and Alberto.

More than a decade ago Adriana, and Alberto made Canada their home - since then they had a daughter here, built a life, and have become cherished members of our community.

We are requesting that as many AOEC members as possible write to Ministers Fraser and Mendicino and ask them keep Adriana and Alberto home here in BC!

This easy tool can be used to write to the Ministers. There is a template letter which you can use as is or which you can edit to make it your own. Please make sure to include the simple and clear demands:

1. End all CBSA deportation proceedings against Adriana and Alberto.
2. Immediately grant Adriana and Alberto’s ongoing applications for Temporary Resident Permits and for permanent residence.

Please send your letter now, and share the template with your networks.

Feature Essay:
Uprooting the Racism in Our Ranks

"From our earliest childhood memories, each of us can recall times when we endured racial taunts, harassment and, in some instances, overt racial violence," write Stephanie Fung, Anna Liu, Karine Ng, and Chris Ramsaroop - all members of the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance. "Whether it was from seemingly benign children’s rhymes or the proverbial 'Go back to where you come from,' our lives have been, and continue to be, etched with the idea that we are perpetually foreign."

Race-motivated hate crimes have surged during the pandemic. But, as the authors of this essay point out, these crimes only scratch the surface of the multiple forms of racism that racialized communities have endured during the pandemic.

Read their full essay here in the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative's Monitor magazine.

Headshot of Sarah Augustine on a background of yellow, navy blue and teal

Sarah Augustine | Dismantling to Rebuild: Replacing the Doctrine of Discovery in the 21st Century

Thu, 12 May 2022, 5:00 p.m. (PT)

Online event

The Taking Action! speaker series features activists from around the world sharing their successes and strategies for effective anti-racism work. Going beyond identifying the problems of racism, colonialism, hate and discrimination, these lectures focus on ways we can adapt these strategies to take a decolonized approach to anti-racism work in communities across B.C.

For this second lecture in the series, we will hear from Sarah Augustine, a Pueblo (Tewa) descendant and the author of The Land Is Not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery (Herald Press, 2021).

Augustine describes the Doctrine of Discovery as “a theological, philosophical and legal framework that gave Christian governments the moral and legal right to invade and seize Indigenous lands and dominate Indigenous peoples ... setting the stage for colonization, as well as the enslavement of African people by Europeans.” Augustine will guide us on a journey away from this Eurocentric worldview and toward an Indigenous view of interdependency and a return to a planet that sustains all life.

Augustine will be joined by language keeper and visionary leader Sophie Pierre, a former chief of the St. Mary's Indian Band, now known as ʔaq'am, of the Ktunaxa Nation, former Chief Commissioner of the British Columbia Treaty Commission, and honorary Doctor of Laws at Simon Fraser University. Pierre’s work illustrates the power of dismantling and rebuilding to create renewed life for her community.

Register for this event here.

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