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.
First Nations Influence
CICR's experience with the dramatic events of 1990 at and around the Akwesasne, was a significant catalyst leading to our cornerstone Third-Party Neutral program. The collaboration between the Akwesasne Mohawks and CICR to resolve the crisis also resulted in the creation of a native Mohawk mediation centre called Skennen Kowa, dedicated to peace in Akwesasna.
In turn this mediation centre, which grounds itself in a blending of ADR principles and Mohawk traditional values, exemplified consensus building across cultures in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. The centre combines the Traditional Teachings of the Elders and customary practices such as the circle process, while taking the best of ADR from western civilization. This model inspired CICR in its own Community Based Conflict Resolution (CBCR) theories, programs and projects.
In recognition of the importance of Aboriginal involvement in its creation, CICR has appointed an Elder Advisor - Angaangaq Lyberth. Angaangaq is an internationally respected Inuk Elder for the Native communities of the Circumpolar Arctic, North and South America and Europe. He facilitates community based conflict resolution, provides individual and group mediation services, and is a traditional healer specializing in culturally-based trauma recovery for adult survivors of child abuse.
More recently, CICR’s collaboration with Aboriginal peoples has taken many forms;
- Since 2005, CICR has been heavily involved in a project called REsolve. The project purpose is to create a conflict resolving community in Sioux Lookout Ontario.
- One First Nation community has used part of CICR’s TPN process in their restorative justice model.
- The Inuuqatigiit Forum was launched by a CICR graduate, based on CICR’s community dialogue model.
- CICR has provided conflict resolution cultural awareness to all staff at the Meno ya win Hospital at Sioux Lookout, since 2006.
- Other customized work has been done with Ka:nen our children our future, two Friendship Centers, the Metis Nation of Ontario, the Wabano Center for Aboriginal Health, and the Mattagammi First Nation.