An instructor at the Irene and Doug Schmeiser Center for Faith, Reason, Peace, and Justice at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon is emphasizing the current events in Ukraine.
“This center is so important now, that we see that the remnants and pathology and evil of the former Soviet Union is embodied in the person of Putin,” Lesya Sabada told CTV News.
The experience of the Holodomor or “forced famine” that happened in Ukraine under Joseph Stalin is similar to what is happening to Ukraine today, she said.
“The brutality, the depravity of the human action. You have the raps, the tanks running over bodies and civilians attacked. It’s a genocide that is happening right now where it’s a deliberate bombing of the people.”
Sabada has traveled the world to places such as Rwanda, Cambodia and Tibet to broaden her knowledge of conflict.
She has also traveled back to Ukraine with her own children and husband to see firsthand what her parents experienced under the Nazis.
She’s hopeful her course will have long-lasting effects for future generations of students.
“So they will learn how to make peace within themselves, within their families within the wider community they live in,” she said.
One of her students, Mike Scott, said the effects of the conflict will be profound.
“If the war was to end today, it wouldn’t end because the people of Ukraine have to rebuild and I myself am a product of the residential school system that passes down through generations and generations and that pain and trauma will still be there generations from now,” Scott said.