Sally Campbell

Acting Simply and Making a DifferenceSally Campbell photo

IFPB Delegate Sally Campbell Brings Indigenous Struggles Exhibit to Her Community | By Christy Wise

“We’ve got to act simply and keep doing small things. Gathered together, they will make a difference,” said Canadian Sally Campbell, who travelled to Palestine/Israel with IFPB’s 50th delegation in June, 2014. There she “met many amazing people who uniformly asked us to take their message back to North America. This I am committed to do.”

After the 9/11 attack on the US, Sally Campbell and her husband, Michael McNamara, researched the Middle East to understand why the attack occurred. “Many threads led to anti-American sentiment created by US support of Israel,” said Sally, a professional mediator.  She and Michael live on Hornby Island off the British Columbian coast. They were anti-war activists during Vietnam War; Michael emigrated to Canada from the US as a Vietnam War resister.

“I’ve been concerned with peace and justice issues as long as I can remember,” Sally said. “Time and life have taught me that peace without justice is an illusion, and injustice impacts us all.”

As her understanding increased, Sally wrote a series of articles for Hornby Island’s newsletter. “It was a kind of Israel-Palestine 101,” she explained. “I would ask (and answer) basic questions like: ‘What is Zionism? What are the Occupied Territories?’,” she said. Soon after, Sally realized that she had to see Palestine/Israel for herself.

“IFPB is awesome in their reach. Those delegations – an onslaught of information, awakening and bearing witness. I’m very grateful to them,” Sally said. From IFPB, Sally learned about the importance of connecting to local activist groups. “We were kind of operating on our own. Then I found this network on Vancouver Island, Mid-Islanders for Justice & Peace in the Middle East,” she said. Campbell delivered slide shows about her trip to groups in various communities. Through her network, she heard about an international travelling photo exhibit from Montreal, available for the cost of shipping. Produced by Canadians for Justice & Peace in the Middle East Foundation, “Dispossessed but Defiant: Indigenous Struggles from Around the World,” features photographs depicting three indigenous peoples’ experiences of dispossession and resistance: black South Africans, Canadian First Nations and Palestinians.

Sally brought the exhibit to Hornby in mid-summer, when its population expands from 800 to 8,000. The July 25 launch reception featured Persian music, and the August 8 closing included a Talking Circle led by a local aboriginal elder.

“This is a creative place,” Sally said. “People consider themselves artists or supporters of the arts.”  She wanted to bring something to the island that would reach people on a deeper level. “Art can awaken awareness of our common humanity and help us envision a way forward.”

Sally Campbell can be reached at