A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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EPISODE 26: The Hatian Heart of Love
Directed by Carlos Ferrand

SYNOPSIS

Haitian Jesuit priest, Karl Lévêque, arrived in Montréal in the 1970s. He used sport, religion and community radio to rally his community and to build bridges into Québec society.


KEY IDEAS

  • Spiritual strength
  • Self-sacrifice
  • Fear and racism

KEY TERMS

  • Haiti
  • Jesuit Priest
  • Québécois
  • Duvalier
  • Karate
  • Racism

OBJECTIVES

  • To observe how Karl Lévêque’s philosophy and legacy sprang from his Jesuit faith
  • To appreciate Lévêque’s dedication and devotion to his people, both in Québec and in Haiti
  • To be aware of the destructive impact racism had on the Haitian community in Montréal

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

  1. Research and write a brief summary about the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. Find and write about one other dictatorship: Cambodia’s Pol Pot, Chile’s Pinochet, Germany’s Hitler, Russia’s Stalin, etc. Now list the kind of control and terror these dictators exercised over their own people. Finally, explore the ways people can reclaim their freedom and decide for yourself if fight or flight (resistance or emigration) is the solution you would choose.

  2. Karl Lévêque was a priest whose Christian faith was a source of anti-racist ideas and practices. Explore the notion of tolerance in different world religions: Judaism, Islam, Sufism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, etc. Interview or invite three different religious leaders to class and ask them for examples of tolerance in their religious teachings or holy books. Design a poster that reflects the philosophies of tolerance in each of these religions.

  3. Listen to the lyrics of the RDPyzeurs rap song about Karl Lévêque sung throughout the film. You can visit the Scattering of Seeds website (www.whitepinepictures.com) to find a few excerpts. Drawing on your interpretation of the lyrics, write a brief summary of the impact Lévêque’s legacy has had on this younger generation in the black community of Montréal.

  4. Karl Lévêque was seen as a protector, mentor and role model by many members of the Haitian community, past and present. Write a personal essay about someone you regard in that way. Explain the role they have in your life and why you value it.

  5. Karl Lévêque did not fit the usual stereotype of a Jesuit priest. His personality, his common touch, the way he reached people made a huge impact on both the Québécois and Haitian communities. Find three figures you most respect, (Terry Fox, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Nancy Pocock, Gandhi, Florence Nightingale, Norman Bethune, etc) and list the qualities of their personalities and actions that might have been considered unusual in their time.