Voices On The Environment

"Voices On The Environment" is a documentary film, specially made for Ian's television class on Ecology and Culture (54.206), a thirteen week series shown in the Fall term of Carleton University's academic year. The film is broadcast in the second part of Class 12 - Thresholds in Adaptation. It was made in 2000 with the support of ITV Productions at Carleton University, and Ian had the benefit of working with a first class camera and production crew.

Filmed in Ottawa and the neighboring Gatineau Hills, "Voices On The Environment" incorporates the beauty of the natural world, and encourages the viewer to step up, take responsibility, and be an agent for change. Our civilization and the planet both require this. Nothing less will do. The film illuminates how ordinary men, women and children in the community of Ottawa are doing exactly this. This is not a film about politicians, prominent figures in society, or those with particular axes to grind. This is a film about everyday citizens, who in their own way are determined to make a positive difference to the ecosystems they engage with. To remain indifferent, or to give in to the power of government and corporate neglect of the environment, is highly damaging.

In a conversation with Thich Nhat Hanh, Daniel Berrigan quotes an Israeli civil rights activist:

"Remember that whatever they do to us is much less than what we do to ourselves if we do not resist. …This is what people don't think of: what we do to ourselves and our children and our communities when we give in."
     [The Raft Is Not The Shore. Orbis Books, 2001, p 79]

Permission to use this film must be cleared through Carleton University.
Please Contact Carleton University Online for details!

Interview With A Shaman

This documentary was filmed on campus at Carleton University. It is broadcast as Class 13 in the Culture and Symbol ITV course.

The film opens on a tipi - carefully placed with the Rideau River to the South, sacred cedars to the North, the railway bridge to the West, and a path through the cedars to the East. The open door of the tipi is placed facing East so that those who experience a shamanic journey leave by the path of sacred cedars - a new beginning. The juxtaposition of ancient shamanic traditions with a busy modern campus is deliberate, as it brings healing traditions into the urban context.

An Algonquin shaman gives an extensive interview about his training, skills and background, before allowing the cameras to record a healing ceremony. The roar of traffic and the sound of rattles and birdcalls are mutual companions on this journey.

Permission to use this film must be cleared through Carleton University.
Please Contact Carleton University Online for details!

Peace Initiatives: Peace Song Circle

A sea of multi colored umbrellas on a rain swept morning welcomed the Peace Song Circle, March 22, 2003 on Parliament Hill in Canada's capital city. As the NOWAR protest joined us and sang "All Within Me Peaceful," meditating in silence at the end - the gathering numbered over 5,000 brave souls. Choirs, soloists and dancers gave their hearts for peace. The pouring rain was welcome for it symbolized the tears of Iraqi children, my tears, your tears - transformed into hope through singing for peace with one another and experiencing deep peace. There was a transformation of anger, hatred and violence into a determined clarity to be peace. From there we know the wise actions to take. Many participants had never protested before. Middle Canada is waking up and stepping out. It is all in the singing and it was totally awesome in the correct use of the term "awe." A wonderful film has been made of this groundbreaking event and is available on DVD. All proceeds from the sale of this DVD are used to support future peace events.

To purchase a copy of the Peace Initiatives: Peace Song Circle on DVD, please Contact Us.
The price for a DVD is $15 CDN + $5 CDN S&H for a total of $20 CDN.

For Ottawa residents you can save on the S&H costs by picking the film documentary
up from the Pine Gate Meditation Hall!

And so it continues in our northern city. An inter-faith service for peace at Notre Dame Cathedral in downtown Ottawa. Full to overflowing as every religion offered a prayer for peace and the congregation's response to each prayer was to chant a short response containing the words: "The Teachings Live." A deep listening forum at the National Arts Centre, focused on Peace in Iraq with invitations to the parliamentary and diplomatic corps to be there. The Dalai Lama's homily is also there:

Work for peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is happening
Never give up.
As the cathedral bells rang out, the final prayer closed with words still ringing in my heart:
"La Paix a besoin de toi, unique
Et irremplacable.
Peace depends on each irreplaceable
One of us."

We in Canada will never give up on peace. This is offered to friends all over the world as support and encouragement.

Film Documentary of Peace Prayer Day on October 4, 2003 [Ottawa, Canada]

This Peace Prayer Day Celebration took place on October 4, 2003 in Ottawa, Canada. It was held at Alumni Park, Carleton University on a wind swept day, midst thundering rain. We have made a 60 minute film documentary of this event and it is available to purchase on DVD. All proceeds from the sale of this DVD are used to support future peace events. The response to early showings of this film has been terrific. It is a wonderful testament to peace, social activist, meditation and environmental groups working together for peace. All cultures, all religions, all ages and walks of life are represented.

To purchase a copy, please Contact Us.
The price for a DVD is $15 CDN + $5 CDN S&H for a total of $20 CDN.

For Ottawa residents you can save on the S&H costs by picking the film documentary
up from the Pine Gate Meditation Hall!

Our first Peace Prayer Day opened with Native American drummers and dancers from Maniwaki, with children in full costume leading the entire audience through a circle dance. Massed choirs, the Sacred Dance Guild, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian, Sufi, Israeli and Arabic expressions for peace and planetary care supported the children's prayers for change and hope, as did the activist speeches from the heart. This celebration of peace and call for change appealed to many who feel drawn to be peace but who have never before taken part in its group expressions.

Peace Awards were presented to three outstanding local citizens, whose life work for peace stands as an example to all of us. They have transformed people and communities with their wisdom, love and compassion. They are examples of "Being Peace." Our thanks to you Grandfather William Commanda, spiritual leader of the Algonquin Nation for creating a Culture of Peace; to Sr. Jean Goulet of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for establishing inter-faith dialogue where before there was silence, and for galvanizing religious leaders to support multi-ethnic housing projects; and to Michael Monner of Tone Magazine for raising Ottawa's consciousness about these and other issues over the past twenty years.

On the day of this outdoor event, the elements and nature were responsive in many ways. Two eagles circled above us, the thunder gods threatened, yet the persistent rain let up at the end and allowed the sun to shine forth just as we started to sing together. A marvelous documentary film is now available, which you can order. It shows the courage and determination shining through to be nothing other than peace and to make a difference to our world.

The Pine Gate Mindfulness Community and Friends For Peace is a coalition of environmental, peace, meditation and social activist groups, who began meeting in Ottawa, January 2003, in response to the impending war in Iraq and to the pervading feeling of helplessness and fear portrayed by the media.

The intent is to create a different form of peaceful expression that appeals to a wide cross section of Canadian citizens who support a major role for Canada as a peacekeeping nation. The broader intent, however, is to create a global expression for peace and the planet with communities all over the world gathering each spring and fall to build bridges for non-dualistic action in times of peace and times of war. This coalition recognizes that we must work for peace every day of our lives whether or not it is a time of war. To create infrastructure in our social and political institutions that value and legitimize peace processes is the goal. For more about us please check out:

Please support our work through buying this wonderful film documentary on DVD and please share or tweet this page to your friends!