Today, at about 2 PM GMT, an interfaith group in Canada officially released the “Canadian Pagan Declaration on Intolerance”, just in time for the International Human Rights Day 2016. The effort was spearheaded by Jade Pichette, an Ontario area Heathen and a Gythia for the Vindisir Kindred. Other members of the team include: Morrigane Feu and Marie-Claude Dufour who provided the French translations, Dodie Graham McKay who was the advertising and media consultant, and Rev. Terrie Brookins who created the logo.
HHH reached out to Ms.Pichette to find out more about why her team decided to create this declaration, and what they hope to accomplish. According to Ms.Pichette, in the wake of the US election, Canada saw a wave of hate crimes against religious minorities, LGBTQ+ people, and People of Color. This was a serious concern to her and hit close to home when a local Rabbi’s home was defaced by anti-Semitic graffiti in her hometown of Ottawa, along with a serious attack against a trans woman in the gay village in Toronto where she lives and works.
This was something I talked about with other Canadian Pagan and Heathen leaders who were also concerned about the rising hate crimes, and a concerned that they might start targeting Pagan and Heathen communities as well. A number of us decided that a stand needed to be made in solidarity with those affected by this bigotry, in particular, Jewish, Muslim, LGBTQ, Black, Indigenous, and POC communities. -Pichette
The effort has received a lot of support, with 29 organizations having already signed the declaration, including 10 Heathen and assorted Norse Pagan groups. When asked what their goals for this declaration were, Ms.Pichette said that she hoped this document would be a starting place and help create a space and a network in which these difficult topics can be addressed and dealt with openly.
International Human Rights Day commemorates 1948 decision of the UN to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.