Students Discover Doukhobor Connection to Peace

Selkirk College Offers Peace 216 Course for First Time


A deeper exploration of Doukhobor culture provided valuable insight to a class of 25 Selkirk College students who had an opportunity to sample the history, philosophy, food, language and spirit of a community that has helped shape the West Kootenay-Boundary region.

Offered through the Mir Centre for Peace Summer Institute, Peace 216: The Doukhobors was an intensive five-day course that took place in and around Castlegar last week. The course explored the Doukhobors and their connection to issues of peace and conflict. Open to everyone, the course took a look at the beginnings in Russia to the current realities. Doukhobor history and culture were examined with attention to themes of peace, pacifism, violence and non-violence, community, and utopia.

Peace 216

Doukhobor Kootenay Ladies Organization Head Cook Edna Sapriken stirs in ingredients for the Russian borsch that was made at the Brilliant Cultural Centre last week while students in the Selkirk College Peace 216: The Doukhobors look on. The class visited the cultural centre last Tuesday as part of their exploration of the Doukhobor culture.

“I really think that our communities are missing out tremendously by not embracing the historical significance and the historical experience of the Doukhobor heritage,” said Sally Williams, a retired Castlegar teacher who became student for a week. “I think with the militarization of Canada, we need the influence of the Doukhobor people and the whole peace movement more than ever.”

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