Thursday, August 1, 2019
In his presentation Ben will talk about different types of genocide as defined by international law, his own wartime experiences, and his transition into becoming Jewish again. He will also discuss his work with Indigenous people, Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) documenting the violent theft of Indigenous land, and the intentional destruction of Indigenous culture including trauma experienced in residential "schools." He will cover the TRC's "Calls to Action" to create new Indigenous-settler relationships based on mutual respect and trust.
As a child in Belgium during the Holocaust Ben's Jewish identity was kept hidden. Both his parents were taken to Auschwitz where they were murdered by the Nazis. Ben's Belgian rescuers were non-Jews who arranged for forged identity papers that showed him as their Christian nephew.
After the war, Ben was adopted by his mother's sister who had come to Ottawa during the Twenties and had three children. He received a law degree from the University of Toronto and a social work degree from McGill. He worked in Cleveland and Montreal as a social worker and has been a social work educator at the University of Calgary and at Ryerson University. Now Scholar-in-Residence at Laurier University, he works with Indigenous faculty and students. Ben co-authored Case Critical, Social Services and Social Justice in Canada (7th edition) with three other social work educators, two of whom are Indigenous.
Please note that lunch is now 23 dollars