Robert L. Peters

10 January 2018

Words to live by… and stand by.

Respect_and_Gratitude

Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

I’ve enjoyed living with my partner Evelin in this quiet little town for the past few years, here on the Western shore of Lake Winnipeg (the world’s 10th-largest freshwater lake by area, slightly smaller than Belgium). Water levels can fluctuate significantly in the lake’s relatively shallow southern basin, and strong or sustained winds can whip up powerful waves…

In 2016, Winnipeg Beach undertook extensive re-building of the longstanding “boardwalk” along the beach, following storm-damage and shoreline flooding the previous year. The broken and eroded wooden boardwalk was replaced by a concrete breakwater-walkway, and thousands of “engraved bricks” were installed (including 3900 that were “grandfathered” from the walk’s original wooden planks) — most commemorated the names and/or passages of loved ones who once were part of (or who regularly visited) this quiet resort/community. As part of its efforts to raise funds for the beachfront reconstruction, the town “sold” inscribed bricks (replete with a Certificate of Title), of which I “bought” four. It was fun to “leave a mark,” and easier (also more sustainable) than carving in trees. (-:

As I had not seen any previous acknowledgment along the boardwalk of the original Indigenous inhabitants of this shoreline, that seemed like an obvious first brick. Three more offered the opportunity to share some “words to live and work by” from the Maxim/Dictum that I have referenced as a Leitmotif or manifesto for the past several decades. (Technical problems with the “brick-production” delayed the installation until autumn of 2017, but I was happy to see these finally put in place…).

Be_Open_RLP

Study_the_Past_RLP

Do_More_With_Less_RLP


1 January 2018

Best wishes to friends, kin, and comrades… worldwide.

HappyNewYear2018_Ev_Rob


23 November 2017

Decolonizing Community Engagement

Decolonizing_Derek_Kornelsen

Guest Blog by Dr. Derek Kornelsen

Recently, terms like decolonization and community engagement have become buzzwords in popular discourses about Indigenous health research. But what does decolonization actually mean? How can we really try to decolonize community engagement? If this is to make any sense, and provide any kind of realistic guide for action, we need to start by gaining some sense of how colonization has impacted — and continues to impact — Indigenous communities and Western academic/research institutions. Only then can we consider why community engagement matters and what a decolonized form of community engagement might look like.

Settler Colonialism in Canada

A good starting point for understanding colonialism in Canada is to recognize that there is a distinct form of colonialism at work here — both past and present. This form is called settler colonialism. Typical understandings of colonialism usually refer to a situation where a colonial entity oppresses and manipulates foreign peoples in order to extract wealth and resources — India and South Africa are key examples. In these cases, there is a point at which we see the colonial power officially leaving, and the colonized peoples achieving some level of independence. On the other hand, in cases of settler colonialism, the colonial entity doesn’t leave, but continues to bring in more and more settlers in order to reproduce itself in the colonized space — Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand are the usual suspects here. The particularly horrifying aspect of this practice — as scholars like Patrick Wolfe have discussed in depth — is that, in order to reproduce itself in a given place, the settler colonial entity must ‘destroy to replace’. In Canada, we’ve seen this through overt genocidal acts that morphed into the kinds of cultural genocide that have occured throughout the residential school era.

Read more here…

Dr. Derek Kornelsen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. His research focuses on examining/contrasting Western and Indigenous philosophies and institutional frameworks, with a particular emphasis on developing a theoretical framework grounded in an understanding of the dynamics and impacts of Settler Colonialism. This theoretical framework enables a sensitivity to 2 key under-researched areas in Indigenous health and wellness research: the impacts of the disruption of Indigenous peoples’ relationships with land and environment; and strategies for decolonizing key institutions that Indigenous peoples must access (health as well as political, legal, educational, economic institutions). Broadly speaking, this theoretical frame contributes to the development of robust Indigenous determinants of health and wellness. He is currently involved in developing a number of local, national, and international research projects and partnerships in areas of environmental health and Indigenous health and wellness.


20 November 2017

Seeking volunteers for brain MRI scans…

Neuer 3-Tesla-Scanner

Winnipeg, Manitoba

My partner Evelin‘s daughter Jennifer is literally a “brainiac” scientist, the head of Kornelsenlab.com (a laboratory involved with brain neuroimaging research re: the study of psychological well-being and chronic pain). Jen is looking for approximately 40 healthy adult volunteers (women or men, 21-75 in age) in the Winnipeg area.

Their brain scans would help figure out the neurophysiology underlying chronic pain, such as in trigeminal neuralgia and facial pain, in terms of the effect those conditions have on brain structure and function. She is nearly done collecting data from the patients with those conditions — now she needs to match each of those patients with gender-and age-matched healthy people to observe the differences. You’d be contributing to science — (and there’s an honorarium of $25).

What is involved?
1) Use the ‘contact us’ link on the website (and include your phone number in the message);
2) you will receive a telephone call that explains the study and what you as a volunteer would do, and, if you’re still interested, then a quick “phone screen” for eligibility would take place;
3) you would get a date/time for your MRI appointment at HSC (Health Sciences Center);
4) at the appointment you would fill out informed consent, MRI screening, and a few questionnaires and then hop in the MRI for an approximately 30-minute set of scans.

Visit here to sign up (use the Contact form) — you can also check out the lab’s ongoing research, publication record, etc. there.

Thanks in advance… (and please share)!


15 August 2017

Natural Reflections… our new book.

Natural_Reflections_RMB

Mike Grandmaison and I are currently proofing our new book, Natural Reflections, now in pre-production at Rocky Mountain Books. It’s a project we started on together back in the late 1980s… finally coming to fruition. More info here

An inspiring and highly original book of photography takes the reader on an unforgettable walk through the vast and wide beauty of “Natural Canada.”

Natural Reflections captures natural beauty from the exceptional viewpoint and unique perspective of Mike Grandmaison’s lens. A singular gallery of images is curated, amplified and informed by the observations of Robert L. Peters.

Filled with insightful musings, truisms and parallel quotations from some of the world’s greatest thinkers, this book is bound to inspire and truly engage both halves of the brain. Divided into five contemplative chapters – On Inspiration, On Seeing, On Intimacy, On Order, On Change – this lavishly produced volume comprises a rich and seamless interweaving of image and word.

This is a book not to be missed by anyone interested in the natural world (and its preservation), the art of outdoor photography, the creative process or this vast land called Canada.

The photographer and author, long-time friends and avid nature-lovers, share the humble view that, like a Mother, the Earth both bore us and sustains us, asking little in return but love and respect. This book is their reciprocal tribute and holistic offering.


15 March 2017

Solace House… has been sold.

SolaceHouse_SouthEast

Solace House, along with a beautiful 40-acre parcel of woodland in Eastern Manitoba, is now home to a new young family. It’s been hard to “let go” of this low-energy passive solar “retreat” that we designed and built 37 years ago… but there’s also much to say about achieving closure, and as they say, “the time had come.” I feel blessed to have been able to spend those three-and-a-half decades living in the forest, accutely aware of the sun’s power, and being intrinsically engaged in a “real-time experiment” in conservation and sustainability.

Congratulations and best wishes to the home’s new owners!


13 August 2016

Solace House… a place under the sun, naturally.

Solace_House_Squarespace

Solace House, the low-energy passive solar house that I designed and built in in the woods of Eastern Manitoba in 1980, (together with my wife and numerous family members, friends, and volunteers) has undergone a year of extensive renovations and has now been “put on the market.” Huge thanks to Evelin and my steadfast brother Jim for their tireless help in the past year.

You can learn all about Solace House at an informational/marketing website I’ve created here.

Watch a TEDxManitoba talk about Solace House (now viewed over 5000 times on YouTube) here.


11 August 2016

A podcast interview… on Oots.

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“In order to capture some of the disappearing history in the graphic design industry in Manitoba, with the support of GDC Manitoba, we decided to create a podcast series where we could interview many of the designers who have shaped the design landscape in Winnipeg and beyond. It was decided to keep it simple – conduct interviews with individuals with a set list of questions to capture their thoughts and reflections that might inspire others, and then post the interviews as podcasts. The series is called Out of the Studio (Oots) and new interviews and designer profiles will be added every couple of weeks. Enjoy the podcast series, there is much to be celebrated with Canadian graphic design!”

Listen to the interview here.


8 March 2016

Our new stamp… commemorating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

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VOTE_OFDC

Winnipeg, Canada

Our latest stamp design launched in Canada today, on International Women’s Day. As a feminist, I found it particularly gratifying to be able to have a hand in this issue.

Read all about the stamp’s design here. Access information of interest to philatelists and collectors here. Watch news reportage of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, unveiling the stamp in Ottawa earlier today here

Trudeau_Suffrage-Stamp-Launch


10 January 2016

That’s what friends are for…

friends

Kenora, Ontario

My friend Cuyler Cotton snapped this on his way back from Thunder Bay…

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