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Laudato Si’ Dialogues Newsletter -Twelfth Issue, April 2022

The Story –  EARTH DAY 2022 #InvestInOurPlanet

“We are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness. The problem is that we still lack the culture needed to confront this crisis.” -LS 5 

This year’s Earth Day (April 22nd) theme announces “now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must Invest In Our Planet.” We can help build the culture Pope Francis speaks of by imagining how our resources can support the Creator’s plan.

What better time to open the Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit , (en française) with a colleague, begin the journey to divest from fossil fuels and take steps to invest in our planet? 

Divestment from continually expanding fossil fuel companies, and reinvestment in enterprises that promote clean energy, just employment, transparent governance and the inclusion of Indigenous leadership are powerful actions that demonstrate integrated ecological justice.

 “This Toolkit is a wonderful resource for all faith communities keen to understand how to align their faith and investments with a shift away from harmful sectors such as fossil fuels.” 
Dr. Lorna Gold, president of the Laudato Si’ Movement Board of Directors.

In Laudato Si’ we are also prompted “to show special care for Indigenous communities and their cultural traditions … When they remain on their land, they themselves care for it best.” LS 146 Pope Francis gives us renewed inspiration to work towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples through his personal apology, April 1, and his promise to come to Canada in the very near future.

Some of the gems in the Catholic Eco-Invest Toolkit include ways investments can be directed toward Indigenous initiatives. Authors of Advancing Reconciliation in Canada: A Guide for Investors are certain “both Indigenous and non-Indigenous investors can build capital markets that integrate and better align with Indigenous values and ways of knowing.”

A 2019 study, Supporting resurgent Indigenous-led governance: A nascent mechanism for just and effective conservation stated, “investments in Indigenous governance could have outsized benefits for effective and large-scale stewardship and conservation efforts.”

Present and emerging Guardian programs represented as yellow dots, as depicted in the “Indigenous Guardians Toolkit” the “Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program Map” (https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/environmental-funding/indigenous-guardians-pilot/map.html#year_4 ) Image: Artelle et al. (2019). doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108284

The Indigenous Leadership Initiative and Indigenous Guardians are two such programs, dedicated to facilitating the strengthening of Indigenous Nationhood for the fulfillment of the Indigenous responsibility to their land. They see links between strong Nations and a more sustainable, equitable society for all people. They also help solve existential threats like climate change and loss of biodiversity. And they help prepare a path toward reconciliation, Nation-to-Nation relationships, and a better foundation for Canada. This video, Caribou Homeland, illustrates a beautiful example of Indigenous led conservation activities.

Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is also working to build meaningful relationships that are grounded in mutual respect and the desire to      achieve significant and lasting conservation outcomes. NCC promises to use their capacity, expertise and influence to act as an ally in support of Indigenous-led conservation projects and as a partner in joint initiatives.

Supporting Indigenous led conservation initiatives can take the form of direct donation to specific projects, asking for Green Bonds that support Indigenous involvement, and opting to allocate assets to impact investment opportunities such as Conservation Impact Bonds (CIB) like the Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond.

The Eco-Invest Toolkit points to numerous emerging opportunities to combine care for our common home with reconciliation.

Wishing you all renewal and a very Happy Easter Season.

Coordinator, MLSM Canada

Please consider making a donation to MLSM Canada through the Faith & the Common Good Canada Helps page. Choose the third fund option in the drop-down menu. Thank you.

News, Events and Action

1) Laudato Si’ Retreat 
For a limited time, spaces are still available for the weekend Laudato Si’ Retreat at Jericho House, Wainfleet, Ontario, April 29 to May 1, 2022. The retreat’s theme is “Response to the Cry of the Earth”, and explores how to befriend the ecological crises and its challenges. Contact Br. Bill [email protected] or Sr. Jacquie [email protected], or phone 905-834-0553.

View the beautiful
ceremony and Papal apology that closed the Indigenous delegation of First Nations Peoples to Pope Francis in Rome, courtesy of Salt & Light Media, April 1, 2022. 

The next round of training sessions to become a
Laudato Si' Animator begin just after Easter. The on-line course spans 6 weeks, and culminates in your own activity to bring Laudato Si' to life in your community. Join hundreds of Canadian certified Laudato Si' Animators by registering here. Please share this invitation with others who are passionate about integrated care for the earth.

4) Trees: Earth Day Weekend Retreat
, April 22 @ 7:30 pm - April 24 @ 12:30 pm
What better way to commemorate Earth Day 2022 than by sitting together at the feet of trees? With the help of local naturalist byron murray (toknowtheland), and artist Lorraine Roy (lroyart), retreatants will explore creative connections with the wise sentinels that guard our breath. Information and registration here

5) Listening to Indigenous Voices 8-day retreat, May 18 to May 26, 2022.
We are pleased to invite you to an eight-day retreat at Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, ON. The retreat, facilitated by Shasha Sky and Dave Skene from the White Owl Native Ancestry Association and by staff from the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice, will explore the diverse Indigenous cultures, unlearn stereotypes and misconceptions, explore the history of colonization that has marked relationships between Settlers and Indigenous Peoples, and seek ways to address that painful legacy. Information and registration here.

6) Participate in the Development & Peace petition and letter writing campaign to ask the Canadian government to adopt human rights and environmental due diligence legislation for Canadian corporations working here and abroad.


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