A Toast to Doctor Kinman, slainte!

Today, we wish to congratulate our friend and colleague, Doctor Christopher Iwestel Kinman, PhD!!

On this past Friday, July 5th, at SFU Harbourfront, Chris successfully defended his poetically wonderful, academically challenging, erudite and insightful dissertation, and was conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Chris’ fourth academic degree.

Years ago, in 1991, Chris and I met one another for the first time. Chris reminded me recently that I was the person who turned him on to the philosophical writings of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, introducing him to the concept Chris employs within his life, relationships, extended community, and his professional work, the concept of rhizome. In our initial meetings and conversations, many philosophical, political, and sacred, rivers and streams converged; and it was Chris who turned me on to the work of Imelda McCarthy and Noillag Byrne, from Dublin, Ireland, known as The Fifth Province Associates.

In the early 1990’s, Chris and I co-facilitated workshops and training, and shared our writing, and perspectives regarding the human art of psychotherapy, and the politics therein, back and forth, like converging tributaries and streams. Our relationship meandered off and detoured at some point, but we gratefully reconnected at a conference in Merida, Mexico, in 2012, and I invited Chris to begin teaching with us at CityU in 2013, where he continues to have involvement and presence as an adjunct professor. Just this morning, consulting with two interns, they informed me as to how inspirational and academically refreshing their experience of Chris’ courses had been for them, challenging them to think in different ways, and to bring together perspectives from multiple domains.

Chris’ unique dissertation, The River Carries that which the Mountains Cannot Hold, represents an enchanting and intellectually remarkable journey, flowing along, connecting multiple streams of thought, amid rivers both metaphorical and literal. Chris has always been, in my experience, a person who eschews orthodoxy of any sort, and in this composition Chris weaves an intriguing tapestry of ideas, concepts, stories, memoirs, and experiences that all speak to the human, social, relational imperative of the cultivation of community and situating one’s self and one’s communities within local ecological niches and environmental realms; realms of the real, and realms of the imagination.

Flowing through this tapestry are oral traditions and much wisdom and knowledge gleaned from Chris’ longstanding connection to indigenous communities, especially the Sts’ailes First Nation of the Fraser Valley, who gifted him, some years ago now, with his middle name, in gratitude for his community work amongst their people.

Today, we congratulate and honour Chris’s most recent academic accomplishment. Chris has published several books, book chapters, and journal articles, in addition to writing and directing a documentary on the revolutionary psychotherapist, Lynn Hoffman, “All Manner of Poetic Disobedience: Lynn Hoffman and the Rhizome Century”. Chris is a father to three adult children, a poet, a photographer, and outdoor enthusiast. Chris relocated quite recently to live in Penticton, where he walks each day along the beach. Chris currently is a therapist and clinical supervisor with Ashnola, a live-in program for young persons’ struggling with substance use and related concerns; a program of Pacific Community Resources. Perhaps not coincidently, the program exists alongside the Similkameen River, flowing rapidly and wildly through Keremeos, British Columbia.

Colin James Sanders, PhD.

Gibsons, British Columbia.