Thursday, October 13, 2016
Laurent Gagnon

A Caux veteran since 1972, I was delighted to introduce my two First Nations colleagues, Marie Émilie Lacroix, an Innu, and Nicole O’Bomsawin, an Abenaki, as well as their testimonies. For me, IofC and Caux have been a continuing education school on all levels. From July 12 to 25, we attended two sessions: ‘Just Governance for Human Security’ and the ‘International Peacebuilders’ Forum’ on this 70th anniversary of the Caux conferences that attracted participants from more than 80 countries.

Laurent Gagnon, Montreal

 

Marie Émilie Lacroix

It was my great privilege to live the Caux experience for a second year in a row. However, this year felt different and I attribute the feeling to my year-long experience with IofC Quebec. The Montreal Annual General Meeting in June also rooted me deeper in the spirit and the objectives of the organization.

My deepest desire is to embody the Caux spirit and throw its seeds to the wind. I came back with the motivation of committing even more. I am convinced that Quebec needs a version of the international program “Creators of Peace”. As well as the “Blanket Exercise” used to raise public awareness of the historical land dispossession of the First Nations.

Marie Émilie Lacroix, Quebec

 

Nicole O’Bomsawin

Despite my long experience of travelling to share the First Nations cultures of Canada with the world, going to Caux changed my perspective and became also an inner journey. I am deeply convinced that the Spirit guides us to where He wants us to be. So, I was full of trust when I left for Caux, an inspiring place redolent with history, an invitation to wonderment and contemplation.

More than anything however, what drew me in was the encounter with 97-year old Lucette Schneider in her home; she was wise and inspirational. I remember her saying: “Action is good but do it with a purpose and a spiritual objective in mind.” As for Jacky Brandt, in his home, he told us about his father who was one of the artisans of Caux. Through Jacky, I understood the meaning of the word “commitment” toIofC.

When I returned, I realized that this experience taught me to trust and listen more to the Spirit. Caux has left its imprint on me that showed in my participation to the Montreal World Social Forum. I discovered IofC’s international programs that made me want to make it more known in Quebec and in the French-speaking First Nations. Now, I am curious to know more about IofC Canada.

Nicole O’Bomsawin, Quebec