Rwanda Working Group
The Rwanda Working Group officially launched its activities by organizing an international seminar, funded by CURA / ARUC Life Stories at Concordia University, April 3rd to 5th, 2008. The concept was that the theme of the seminar – Stories of witnesses/survivors of genocide -- should coincide with the 14th commemoration of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, celebrated each year, in April, by the Rwandan community.
This project, which seeks to collect 100 stories from witnesses of the massacres and Tutsi genocides in Rwanda, will cover a time period from 1959 to 1994. The year 1959 marks the beginning of the Tutsi massacres while 1994 corresponds to the actual Genocide. Because of the scope of the horrors of 1994, we will give priority to stories from survivors of the Genocide, while giving deserved importance to the stories of the massacres in the previous years.
With representatives from Montreal's Rwandan and academic communities, the Rwanda working group works according to the CURA / ARUC shared authority principles when planning and managing its activities. Lisa Ndejuru (Isangano), Monique Mukabalisa, Paulin Nteziryayo and Callixte Kabayiza (Page-Rwanda) represent the Rwandan community. Andrew Ivaska (Concordia), Leander Schneider (Concordia), Fodé Sarr (Université de Montreal), Josias Semujanga (U. de Montreal), Marie Nathalie Leblanc (UQAM), Emmanuelle Habimana and Callixte Kabayiza (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières) represent the academic community. Callixte Kabayiza and Josias Semujanga are co-directors of the working group and Sandra Gasana coordinates the interviews.
The life stories of Rwandan survivors living in Montreal will be recorded through interviews with people from different age groups. It is proposed that 20 to 25 percent of those interviewed be young people between the ages of 18 and 30. Recruitment of interviewees will take place through a variety of means. Two Life Stories partners, the Association of Parents and Friends of Genocide Victims in Rwanda (PAGE-Rwanda) and Isangano (Rwandan cultural group) will be the man organizers of the outreach process.