ANNOUNCEMENT - SEVENTH ANNUAL CANADIAN PEACE AWARDS - 2007

SUMMARY: In celebration of Peace Champions in Canada and the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World, the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace hosts the Annual Canadian Peace Awards.  Awards are generally presented in 10 major categories for Canadian achievements in building a Culture of Peace and Non-violence, at home and abroad.  The presentations also culminate in the inductions into the Canadian Peace Hall of Fame to be housed at the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace and on its web site at http://www.peace.ca  

The Award categories include peace achievements in government, business, the media, education, peacekeepers, peacebuilders in civil society, peace philanthropy, youth, and multi-cultural relations, to name a few.

The Awards are in the form of an engraved, soapstone 'Inukshuk'.  For millennia, massive stone figures built in the image of a human have stood silhouetted on the treeless Arctic horizons.  Created by Inuit people, these Inukshuks serve as guides to point out a journey or a safe passage.  The Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace believes this is a fitting Canadian symbol of the journey to safe and caring communities and world.  [See the Award at http://www.peace.ca/inukshukaward.htm ]  The Awards have been crafted by the Inuit of Nunavut and supplied by the Nunavut Development Corporation.

Generally, the awards are presented on November 11 each year.  November 11 was chosen as it is Remembrance Day in Canada .  Each one of us has an obligation to the memory of the many men and women who died for our peace and freedom, to today's millions of needless victims of violence at home and abroad, and to future generations to do everything we can to bring peace to the world and preserve the integrity of this planet.   The awards stress everyone's responsibility and potential influence in building peace in our families, communities and world.

Our vision is for the Canadian Peace Awards to take a prominent place among Canadian celebrations, fitting of the importance of the topic.  In these violent and rapidly changing times, what could be more important than to celebrate the building of a Culture of Peace at home and abroad, for current and future generations?

For more information, contact Robert Stewart , Director, Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace at stewartr [at] peace.ca; or visit our web site Awards Page at http://www.peace.ca/peaceawards.htm


Peace Education Award

Education is a cornerstone in the peacebuilding process. As today's youth become increasingly desensitized to violence, the roles of schools and the curriculum they represent assume great importance. Schools have the power to shape the attitudes and skills of young people toward peaceful human relations. Through teaching young children values of respect, tolerance, and empathy, and by equipping them with the necessary skills to resolve conflict in a non-violent manner, they are provided with the tools they need, now and in the future, to foster peaceful relations at home, at school and around the world.  Education builds the foundations for good citizenship, respect for self and others, democratic values and tolerance of opinions. Educational research indicates that when young people are trained in civics, mediation, ethnic tolerance and conflict resolution, the likelihood that they will resort to violence later in life is diminished. We firmly believe that we can not have a peaceful people without educating for peace.   

Education Dr. Paz Buttedahl, 1942 2007  

Dr. Paz Buttedahl was born in Santiago , Chile , and created a vast network of friends, colleagues and students throughout the world, garnered through a long and distinguished career. The breadth of her experience spanned work with universities, international development organizations and agencies, and the Canadian military. Whatever the setting, common threads ran through all of her work: a passion for fostering international and intercultural understanding; a focus on sustainable development; and a belief in the possibility of creating an equitable and socially just world.

The academic portion of Paz's career involved teaching at several universities in Canada , the United States , and Latin America, including a faculty position at the University of British Columbia and most recently, at Royal Roads University . Her work at the universities was always characterized by a passionate commitment to her students, the injection of an international perspective and comparative education approach to her courses, and a desire to create international partnerships linking students and educators from the developing world with those in Canada .

Paz was sought after as a researcher and educator specializing in international development issues, and was a consultant with many international agencies and organizations. These included the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Organization of American States (OAS). Paz also worked for almost a decade with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa . As Deputy Director of the Fellowships and Awards Division, her focus was on the development of human resources and the strengthening of institutions in the developing world through the education and training of their researchers and project staff. Paz strongly believed in learning as a crucial component in the achievement of sustainable development.

In the early 1990s, as international development issues became more and more intertwined with issues of security, Paz was invited to attend the National Defense College in Kingston , Ontario , where she also contributed as the academic advisor to the Commandant. A subsequent posting to the Centre for National Security Studies provided a base for her research linking issues of sustainable development to those of human security.

Paz's vast storehouse of knowledge and experience found a home and became invested in the creation of the Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding (MAHSP) program at Royal Roads University in Victoria , B.C. As founder and program head, Paz worked tirelessly to build the program and to ensure its sustainability and its relevance to the international development and security issues of today's world. The MAHSP program was to be Paz's final contribution in a lifetime of notable achievements. In spite of failing health during the past months, she found strength in providing ongoing leadership to the program and in planning for its future.

Paz, with her indomitable spirit and her vision of a world that might be, has enriched and influenced the lives of hundreds of friends and colleagues around the world.

Other links:

Royal Roads University students keeping peace-building dream alive http://www.royalroads.ca/about-rru/the-university/news-events/rru-news/RRU+students+keeping+peace-building+dream+alive.htm

Celebration of Paz Buttedahl's Life - October 21, 2007 http://www.cufa.bc.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=145&Itemid=35  

Royal Road's University Master's of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding (MAHSP) web site created by current students http://www.mahsp.org/index.html