This page shares educational resources, the positions of Canadian Quakers on key issues, past editions of our E-Newsletter, open letters, and public statements. Each is organized by topic.

Technical note: links below are to PDF files. You may need to right-click or command-click and download the files if they aren’t displaying properly in your browser.

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Our statements & educational resources on justice include this one on penal abolition - From Harm to Healing

Criminal justice

  • Submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding the children of incarcerated parents in Canada (2020) and additional note (2022).
  • Discussion paper on reducing reoffending through investing in communities written by the National Associations Active in Criminal Justice with inputs from CFSC and many other groups. (2022)
  • Infographic for Prisoners’ Justice Day 2021 about the need to abolish prisons. (2021)
  • Handout on alternatives to prison. (2019)
  • Report Breaking the Silence: Dialogue on Children of Incarcerated Parents. (2019)
  • Sample case law review on consideration of the best interests of the child when sentencing parents. (2018)
  • Brief history (2 pages) of CFSC’s work on criminal justice. (Updated 2018)
  • Handout on parole and its role in rehabilitation and community safety. (2017)
  • Handout From Harm to Healing: Transforming the Justice System. (2015)
  • Guidelines for the implementation of mother-child units in Canadian correctional facilities. The Guidelines are endorsed by CFSC, which also participated in working meetings and the editing process. (2015)
  • Film Anthem for a More Tolerant Tomorrow—a classic that includes Friends and others talking about what penal abolition means and how we can achieve it. (2003)

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Our resources include a fact sheet on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous peoples’ human rights

  • Podcast about what everyday non-Indigenous people in Canada can do to get started on the work of reconciliation and relationship building. (2022)
  • Fact sheet on Indigenous peoples and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. (2022)
  • Fact sheet on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. (2022)
  • Video of Kanieke’ha:ke social worker Wanda Gabriel discussing intergenerational trauma, its impacts for Indigenous peoples, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (2021)
  • One-pager with recommendations of some good films to watch for those interested in learning more about Indigenous cultures, rights, and historical and on-going colonialism in Canada (made in response to a question we frequently get about this). (2021)
  • Report by the Global Indigenous Rights Research Network (of which CFSC is a founding member) on Bill C-15 and the implementation of Indigenous rights in Canada. (2021)
  • Backgrounder on self-determination and free, prior, and informed consent. (2021)
  • Fact sheet on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: myths and misrepresentations. (Updated 2020)
  • Videos in which some of our Indigenous friends and partners answer questions about reconciliation. (2020)
  • Report on Quakers’ work for reconciliation. (2019)
  • Handout to help with writing territory acknowledgments. (2019)
  • Report on Quakers’ work for reconciliation. (2018)
  • Fact sheet on interpreting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (2018)
  • Fact sheet on free, prior, and informed consent. (2018)
  • Truth and Reconciliation: Quakers in Action – a resource to help Friends across Canada engage with the Calls to Action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (2018)
  • Report on Quakers’ work for reconciliation. (2017)
  • Educational resource developed by KAIROS with support of multiple member churches seeking to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (2017)
  • Fact sheet on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (Updated 2017)
  • Truth and Reconciliation: A Guide for Canadian Quakers. (2015)
  • Queries for Friends as we engage with reconciliation. (2015)
  • Brief about the TRC. (2015)
  • Frequently asked questions about the Doctrine of Discovery. (2015)
  • Joint report on Canada’s failure to resolve specific land claims. (2015)
  • Brief on the Tsilhqot’in Nation decision and key connections to international law. (2014)
  • Brief on resource development in western Canada and Indigenous peoples’ human rights. (2014)
  • Factum to the Supreme Court of Canada on Tsilhqot’in Nation’s title case. (2013)
  • Lecture on Quaker witness and testimony on aboriginal title and rights. (2001)
  • Guided meditation to think about the meaning of home. (2001)

Detailed legal analyses

  • Analysis of the significant differences between ‘veto’ and ‘consent’. (Updated 2018)
  • Annotated commentary critiquing fears raised about implementing the UN Declaration in Canada. (2018)
  • Analysis of Indigenous peoples’ human rights, the UN Declaration, and sustainable development in international law. (2017)
  • Analysis of why the UN Declaration is more than just “aspirational”. (Updated 2015)
  • Analysis of the UN Declaration‘s provisions that are relevant to consent. (2013)

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Our educational resources include an analysis of Canada's 2017 defence budget announcement


  • Blog written for Psychology Today about peace and conflict issues. (Ongoing)
  • Links to articles, podcasts, interviews, and recordings of presentations about peace work and active nonviolence. (Last updated 2021)
  • Resource on addressing conflict amongst Friends (developed jointly with Continuing Meeting of Ministry and Counsel).  (2021)
  • Book Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division. (2019)
  • Analysis of announced increase in Canada’s defence budget. (2017)
  • Submission to consultation on national security. (2016)
  • Blog post expressing concerns with Anti-Terrorism Act (Bill C-51). (2015)
  • Research paper on Canadian Friends and Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS). (2015)
  • Frequently asked questions about Canadian Yearly Meeting’s positions on Israel/Palestine. (2015)
  • Blog post Is it time for a Canadian military intervention in Iraq? (2014)
  • Booklet The Four Elements of Peacebuilding: How to Protect Nonviolently. (2013)
  • Presentation at “Just Peace” Conference. (2012)
  • Brochure for young people considering joining the military, highlighting some issues to consider (2011, 2nd printing).
  • Summary of Canadian Quaker discernment on Responsibility to Protect. (2007) This paper builds from the resource paper for discussion of Responsibility to Protect. (2007)
  • Submission in response to the Anti-Terrorism Act. (2005)
  • Peace Vigil Kit. (2003)

See our page on conscientious objection to military service for links to resources on conscientious objection developed by the Quaker United Nations Office and the UN.

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Other issues

  • Pamphlet for Quakers on discerning peace and social concerns. (2022)
  • Guidelines used internally by CFSC in communications: What Makes CFSC’s Voice Different? (Updated 2022)
  • Guidelines on writing for our newsletter Quaker Concern (by invitation). (Updated 2022)
  • Videos of various Friends telling the stories of how they came to be involved as volunteers, staff, and donors of Canadian Friends Service Committee. (2021)
  • Video with stories and tips for engaging in peaceful protest. (2021)
  • Update on synthetic biology. (2021)
  • Making a bequest to CFSC. (2020)
  • Update on synthetic biology. (2020)
  • Update on synthetic biology. (2019)
  • Update on synthetic biology. (2018)
  • Position paper exploring the major issues, and our hopes and fears related to synthetic biology. (2017)
  • Update on synthetic biology. (2017)
  • CFSC’s strategic plan (summary version). (2016)
  • Update on synthetic biology #2. (2016)
  • Update on synthetic biology #1. (2016)
  • Handout with tips on preparing for and visiting your Member of Parliament to raise issues of concern. (Updated 2015)
  • Handout addressing the question, “What do Quakers have to do with synthetic biology?” (2015)
  • Update on synthetic biology #2. (2015)
  • Update on synthetic biology #1. (2015)
  • Update on synthetic biology. (2014)
  • Information kit for consultation and discernment on synthetic biology (2013) and subsequent Background report on synthetic biology. (2014)
  • Summary information arising from a survey of Quakers across Canada regarding involvement is peace and social concerns. (2013)
  • Issue of The Canadian Friend focused on Friends’ service through CFSC over 80 years. (2011)
  • Short history of CFSC. (2007)

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Sign at Friends House in Ottawa where Canadian Yearly Meeting’s office is.

Yearly Meeting Minutes

Yearly Meeting minutes are positions Quakers in Canada have reached collectively through worshipful discernment. This usually starts when local Quaker Meetings have a concern, which may then be seasoned for some time before a minute is brought forward to a session of Canadian Yearly Meeting (CYM) – the national body of Quakers in Canada. Canadian Friends Service Committee is a committee of CYM, which is why the CYM minutes below call on CFSC to work on particular concerns.

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Quaker Concern

Quaker Concern is an eight page print and digital newsletter that CFSC has put out since the early 1970s. It shares stories and calls to action from our work. Quaker Concern is published three times a year. Read it online at, download PDF copies, or become a donor to CFSC to receive a free print subscriptions as a thank you.

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Monthly E-Newsletter of the Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)

The CFSC E-News shares current and emerging concerns, updates on our work, our partners’ work, and ways to take action. Sign up for our E-News using the form on the side bar. You can download past issues below.

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Open Letters and Public Statements

Open letters & public statements from Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
A talk organized by CFSC and the War Resisters Support Campaign to raise awareness about the legal status of conscientious objection to military service.

We make public statements and send letters to key decision makers on issues of concern to Quakers in Canada. All of our recent statements are posted below by category.

Jump to open letters and public statements on:

Criminal justice

  • Joint letter with multiple suggestions on how to improve Canada’s engagement in its review by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and how to implement changes at home. (2021)
  • Joint letter calling for major changes to how Canada’s federal prisons use solitary confinement. (2021)
  • Open letter supporting proposed reforms to Canada’s Criminal Records Act. (2020)
  • Open letter calling for reversal of Ontario’s decision to eliminate the Child and Youth Advocate. (2018)
  • Open letter supporting an end to mandatory minimum sentencing. (2018)
  • Open letter calling for judicial discretion in sentencing. (2018)
  • Open letter supporting proposed changes to the criminal code to remove Section 43 (about hitting children) and bring it in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. (2017)
  • Joint letter on Canada’s Court Challenges Program. (2017)
  • Open letter endorsing the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s submission on the Strategy for a Safer Ontario. (2016)
  • Open letter endorsing No On Prison Expansion (#NOPE) initiative. (2016)
  • Statement to the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Service on its review of segregation in adult correctional facilities. (2016)
  • Joint statement on physical punishment of children and youth and CFSC’s endorsement letter of the joint statement. (2013)
  • Submission in response to white paper two of the BC Justice Reform Initiative. (2013)
  • Submission to the Justice Reform Initiative mandated to review the BC justice system. (2012)
  • Submission to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (JUST) regarding Bill C-10, The Safe Streets and Community Act. (2011)
  • Open letter concerning increased incarceration in Canada. (2011)

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Indigenous peoples’ human rights


  • Open letter to all candidates in Canada’s federal election calling to prioritize implementation of UN Declaration. (2021)
  • Joint statement on Canada’s adoption of An Act Respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (EMRIP, 2021)
  • Joint statement celebrating the passage of Bill C-15, a milestone for Indigenous rights and reconciliation. (2021)
  • Open letter from the the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples sent to Senators encouraging them to ensure that Bill C-15 is adopted into law. (2021)
  • Joint submission by Churches to the Senate’s Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples on Bill C-15. (2021)
  • Join submission by the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs on Bill C-15. (2021)
  • Joint submission by Churches to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs on Bill C-15. (2021)
  • Open letter published in The Hill Times in support of Bill C-15 (to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) with more than 150 expert signatories including CFSC. (2021)
  • Article published in The Hill Times on church support for C-15. (2021)
  • Joint statement by Canadian churches in support of Bill C-15. (2021)


  • Joint statement in support of Bill C-15. (2020)
  • Joint statement on Mi’kmaw fishing rights. (2020)
  • Joint statement on the anniversary of the global adoption of the UN Declaration. (2020)
  • Open letter calling for federal legislation to implement the UN Declaration. (2020)
  • Statement on the need for governments to actively involve Indigenous peoples in responses to police violence. (2020)
  • Joint statement on respect of Indigenous peoples’ human rights during COVID-19 pandemic. (2020)
  • Open letter in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People. (2020)


  • Joint statement on legislation to provide a framework for implementing the UN Declaration in British Columbia. (2019)
  • Open letter to all candidates in the federal election calling for the next session of parliament to prioritize protection and fulfillment of the human rights of Indigenous peoples. (2019)
  • Joint statement Indigenous human rights advocates horrified that handful of Senators blocked Bill C-262. (2019)
  • Joint statement on need for Senate to pass Bill C-262. (2019)
  • Open letter to the Senate of Canada from attendees of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. (2019)
  • Joint statement 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. (UNPFII 2019)
  • Joint statement on free, prior, and informed consent. (2019)
  • Open letter calling for Canada’s Senators to support Bill C-262. (2019)


Statements and resources from CFSC and our partners
Will David, Jennifer Preston (CFSC), Kenneth Deer (Indigenous World Association) and Paul Joffe (Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)) at the UN in New York
  • Open letter calling for urgent action to ensure Indigenous women are not sterilized without their consent. (2018)
  • Joint statement on free, prior and informed consent. (EMRIP 2018)
  • Open letter urging Members of Parliament to support Bill C-262. (2018)
  • Open letter calling for Canada to implement recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review. (2018)
  • CFSC presentation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs re: Bill C-262. (2018)
  • Joint statement on Indigenous Peoples’ lands, territories, and resources. (UNPFII 2018)
  • Joint statement with recommendations for implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (UNPFII 2018)
  • Open letter to all Members of Parliament on Bill C-262. (2018)
  • Article in the Hill Times correcting misunderstandings about Bill C-262. (2018)


  • Opinion piece published in The Hill Times prepared by the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (2017)
  • Open letter to the participants in the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministerial Meeting on Human Rights. (2017)
Paul Joffe, Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come, and Jennifer Preston at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Paul Joffe and Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come representing the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), and Jennifer Preston representing CFSC at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

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Statements and resources on issues like justice and peace in Israel/Palestine
Olive trees in Aida refugee camp, Occupied West Bank
  • Joint statement on the need for NATO to reduce the risks posed by nuclear weapons. (2022)
  • Blog post on possible alternatives to a military response following Russia invading Ukraine. (2022)
  • Open letter calling for Canada to pursue diplomacy to help deescalate the situation in the Ukraine. (2022)
  • Open letter calling on Canada to stop transferring arms to Saudi Arabia. (2021)
  • Open letter calling for military carbon emissions transparency and cuts. (2021)
  • Joint statement on International Day of Peace calling for new global partnerships to strengthen peace and inclusion. (2021)
  • Open letter to federal party leaders calling for a shift to a shared security paradigm and investing in meeting climate commitments instead of procuring new military hardware. (2021)
  • Open letter to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on their coverage of Palestine/Israel. (2021)
  • Open letter calling for a moratorium on apparently Islamophobic audits by the Canada Revenue Agency. (2021)
  • Open letter expressing dismay at potential war crimes committed in Gaza in May 2021 and calling on Canada to end its military relationship with Israel. (2021)
  • Open letter urging Canada to condemn demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and protect and promote human rights without exception. (2021)
  • Open letter applauding efforts by Canada to address online hate and calling for these efforts not to include the flawed IHRA definition of antisemitism. (2021)
  • Open letter asking what Canada is doing to see that Mohammed El Halabi either gets a fully open and fair trial or is given an unconditional release. (2021)
  • Open letter calling for Canada to stop arming Saudi Arabia and support factories to transition to peaceful, green production. (2021)
  • Open letter calling for sustainable funding for UNRWA. (2020)
  • Open letter calling for Canada to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. (2020)
  • Open letter to the University of Toronto regarding the rescinding of a job offer to Valentina Azarova. (2020)
  • Joint statement on International Day of Peace calling for States to recommit to peace. (2020)
  • Open letter calling for Canada to cease arming Saudi Arabia and improve compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty. (2020)
  • Open letter calling for a ban on the use of facial recognition software by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, a public consultation, and new laws and policies. (2020)
  • Open letter expressing dismay at US Middle East “peace” plan and calling for Canada to reject it. (2020)
  • Open letter about Canada’s recent votes at the UN regarding Israel/Palestine. (2020)
  • Open letter calling for Canada to relentlessly engage in diplomacy with Iran. (2020)
  • Open letter stating that Quakers are not invested in any companies profiting from the Israeli occupation and will refuse to invest for as long as the occupation continues. (2019)
  • Joint statement on International Day of Peace: “People, planet and peace.” (2019)
  • Open letter calling for release of Segal report into the extradition of Hassan Diab. (2019)
  • Joint letter to Senators calling for changes to the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement. (2019)
  • Open letter about serious remaining loopholes as Canada accedes to the Arms Trade Treaty. (2019)
  • Open letter calling for Mohamed Harkat not to be deported from Canada. (2018)
  • Open letter following accusations from Canadian politicians that Dimitri Lascaris is anti-Semitic. (2018)
  • Joint statement on International Day of Peace calling for reaffirming commitments to peace, human rights, justice, and inclusion. (2018)
  • Open letter on Canada’s participation in the arms trade and the Arms Trade Treaty. (2018)
  • Open letter calling for independent inquiry into the extradition of Hassan Diab and changes to Canada’s Extradition Act. (2018)
  • Open letter calling for honesty in labeling of settlement products. (2018)
  • Open letter on violence against protesters in Gaza. (2018)
  • Open letter on the status of Jerusalem. (2018)
  • Open letter supporting legislation to prevent strategic lawsuits against public participation in British Columbia. (2018)
  • Open letter on Sumud: Freedom Camp. (2017)
  • Open letter calling for intervention on behalf of Hassan Diab. (2017)
  • Joint statement on International Day of Peace calling for peace actions from governments. (2017)
  • Statement on the launch of No Way to Treat a Child campaign in Canada. (2017)
  • Open letter expressing profound concern with famines in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria caused in large part by war and armed conflict. (2017)
  • Open letter calling for Mohamed Harkat not to be deported from Canada. (2016)
  • Open letter calling on Canada to restore funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency. (2016)
  • Open letter asking that conscientious objectors to the Iraq war (“war resisters”) be allowed to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. (2016)
  • Open letter sent by the Canadian Council of Churches expressing support for conscientious objectors to the Iraq war who have sought refuge in Canada. (2016)
  • Joint statement on International Day of Peace calling on governments to embrace the new Global Framework for Peace. (2016)
  • Open letter on Ontario Government response to Palestinian rights advocacy. (2016)
  • Open letter to the government of Canada on the situation of Palestinian refugees. (2016)
  • Joint statement supporting the right to dissent, including in the case of the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement. (2016)
  • Open letter Quakers appalled by Islamophobia in Canada. (2015)
  • Joint statement facing the challenge of peace. (2015)
  • Open letter calling on Canada to recognize the right to participate in boycotts of the products of illegal Israeli settlements as a form of nonviolent support for a just peace. (2015)
  • Open letter expressing concerns with Canada-Israel Memorandum of Understanding. (2015)
  • Interfaith declaration supporting a ban on fully autonomous weapons and our cover letter explaining our sign on. (2014)
  • Statement in opposition to the military intervention in Libya. (2011)
  • Joint intervention brief to the Federal Court of Appeal (Hinzman case) in 2009-2010. The Court’s decision reflects some of the arguments raised in the brief.
  • Joint statement by Quaker Service Agencies worldwide on war on Iraq. (2003)
  • Statement on UN Security Council Resolution 1441 re: Iraq. (2002)

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Environment & misc.

  • Open letter calling on Canada to protect ecosystems by supporting a new international crime of ecocide. (2022)
  • Open letter calling for mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation to govern the activities of Canadian corporations. (2021)
  • Open letter calling for transparency and government oversight of all genetically engineered foods and seeds. (2021)
  • Joint statement condemning systemic racism in Canada and calling on Quakers to take action. (2020)
  • Open letter calling for human rights oversight of Canadian government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020)
  • Open letter expressing deep concerns over He Jiankui’s claims of editing the genes of babies. (2018)
  • Multi-faith charter on climate change. (2017)
  • Joint statement calling for a global moratorium on gene drives (list of signatories). (2016)
  • Open letter on closing the international accountability gap in the extractive sector. (2016)
  • Joint statement on Canada’s responsibilities to take more significant action on climate change. (2015)
  • Open letter with 53 religious investors calling for a clear, reliable, and effective price for carbon emissions. (2015)
  • Joint statement by Quaker groups from around the world on facing the challenge of climate change. (2015)
  • Uranium – CFSC facilitated a consultation process among Canadian Quakers concerned about uranium. The process produced the following documents: Consultation paper circulated to Monthly Meetings about uranium, Palm Beach Monthly Meeting Minute on uranium (referred to during consultation), presentation to Darlington Hearings, report to Canadian Yearly Meeting based on the uranium consultation. (2011)

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