Twenty-Seventh Annual Daniel O’Hanley Memorial Lecture

October 6, 2018

The Latin American Mission Program (LAMP) of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlottetown invites all Islanders to the twenty-seventh annual Daniel O’Hanley Memorial lecture. It will take place on Sunday, October 28, 2018, 2:00 p.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Church Hall, 151 Stratford Road, Stratford, PEI. The lecture title is: If You Love This World: Climate Justice and Indigenous Wisdom. 

               The guest presenter is the Honourable David MacDonald, Islander by birth and affection, a United Church ordained minister, long time politician, advocate for rights-based social and ecological justice, on both domestic and international fronts, and an advocate for indigenous rights.

The Honourable David MacDonald

This lecture is especially timely for two reasons. First the need for public policy alignment about global warming has become even more crucial as the fever persists for the unwise extraction of fossil fuels and  the ill-advised building of pipelines. At the same time the voice of Indigenous people is raised in protest to this rapid expansion, both as a claim to their rights over the earth and its resources and their commitment to a protection of Mother Earth. Many people see that political grandstanding about remedial tactics such as various options for taxing carbon emissions is missing the point. Climate Justice demands that long term solutions must be found to promote alternative energy sources. Indigenous Wisdom demands that all decisions must be made on the basis of love for Mother Earth.

The Honourable David MacDonald has climate change credentials which go back to the late 1980s. After representing Egmont Riding for five terms as Member of Parliament, he was elected later as MP for Rosedale (1988–1993). In that term he chaired the first permanent House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment. Atmospheric issues such as acid rain, ozone depletion and most of all, global warming and climate change were the central focus of its five-year mandate. Climate change became a political issue and resulted in a specific call for cuts to carbon emissions. In the summer of 2017, he conducted a series of breakfast seminars on climate change as guest of the University of Prince Edward Island sponsored by the UPEI Climate Research Lab.

In November of 1998, The Honourable David MacDonald was appointed by the United Church of Canada as a Special Advisor to address widespread Canadian and church concerns arising from the tragic and troubling history of Indian Residential Schools. His work centered primarily on facilitating negotiations with Indigenous leaders and their organizations, survivors, the federal government, and church organizations. It took several years for the parties to be able and willing to meet one another and enter into meaningful, helpful and just negotiations. He actively participated in negotiations from 2001 onward towards a Comprehensive Settlement Agreement, which was finalized in 2006. This included a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that began in 2008 and concluded its mandate in 2015.

Each year since Daniel O’Hanley’s death on July 3, 1991, LAMP honours him and all Islanders by presenting the Daniel O’Hanley Memorial Lecture. Dan deepened his love of the earth as he worked tirelessly with a group of Nicaraguan men and women who were landless peasants. They had to migrate away from their home communities to find arable land. Dan was murdered in a botched robbery attempt. He is remembered for his courage and deep convictions.

Daniel O’Hanley: Presente.