Elder Barbara Hill at Sabeel Conference

Elder Barbara Hill at Sabeel Conference

The year 2017 presents a new opportunity to make a much needed difference in Palestine, Canada and the US.  The Sabeel Conference was held in Bethlehem in March. 

It was an opportunity to build a bridge between Aboriginal realities here and Palestinian issues. An Algonquin Elder, Barbara Hill, from north of Ottawa was invited to be a speaker at the Sabeel Conference, to build this bridge. Funds were raised to help send her to the Conference.

The Canadian churches were key to bringing together Elder Barbara Hill and Palestinian Women’s leader Nora Carmi at the World Social Forum in Montreal in August 2016. Together they began to build this bridge. There they gracefully outlined shared land and rights issues. We received incredible feedback from international participants last summer, leading to this invitation. Now Barbara has the opportunity to present this intersectionality before another international audience, in the belly of the beast.

Barbara was also invited to partake in a CFOS-led pre-conference tour with Americans participating. Creative resistance is the tour focus. The conference examined a jubilee from the auspicious centenary of the infamous Balfour Declaration of dispossession, where the intersection with the perspective Barbara brought illuminated the parallels between the Palestinian struggle and that of other indigenous groups. Her participation shone a light on the changes needed to ensure that all indigenous people including Palestinians are treated with dignity and equality.