History

CICR owes a debt of gratitude to many individuals who have made substantial and lasting contributions to the programs and reach of CICR. It is impossible to list them all but some who served CICR in key positions and helped advance CICR to new levels include:

Founding Board of Directors

In February 1988, Ernest Tannis, Greg Kells, Maureen Morton, Dr. Kenneth Melchin and Robert P. Birt were the individuals who were instrumental in forming the legal entity known as the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution. We thank them for their vision and commitment as pioneers in promoting awareness and building capacity in alternate, non-violent ways of resolving conflicts.

Over the years there have been so many individuals who have made positive contributions to CICR’s programming and its reach that we cannot mention them all. Three people deserve honourable mention for their outstanding contributions.

Ernest G. Tannis collaborated with a group of concerned citizens to establish the Dispute Resolution Centre of Ottawa-Carleton in 1987. The interest in that initiative lead to the creation of the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution, an organization formed to advance conflict resolution research and training. Shortly after, he was instrumental in securing a grant from the Donner Canadian Foundation and with it became the Executive Director from 1989-1992. Ernie also wrote the first book in Canada on ADR - “Alternative Dispute Resolution That Works” (Captus Press, York University Campus, 1989). Over the years, Ernie has been a tireless worker for ADR and related social causes and a supporter of CICR.

Robert P. Birt was a founding director and was instrumental in gathering a powerful and influential group together as a Council of Governors for CICR to help provide a high level of advice and credibility for the organization. He also served as President of CICR from 1993-1996 and was a pioneer in the community-based approach to conflict resolution training.

Vern Neufeld Redekop was President of CICR from 1996-2000. Under his watch, CICR completed development of its 160 hour program, greatly expanded its reach into the local community and across Canada and around the world. Vern lead the development of our international work in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia and Sudan. He also developed a four module Seminar series to bring a deeper understanding to the nature and impact of human identity needs and deep-rooted conflict within community-based conflict interventions. Vern is the author of “From Violence to Blessing, How an understanding of deep-rooted conflict can open paths to reconciliation”. After leaving CICR, Vern was a driving force in helping to create a Masters in Conflict Studies at Saint Paul University.

CICR is indebted to its builders and thanks them for their vision and commitment in building non-violent and constructive resolutions to conflict.

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