Maitland, Ont.- We had a fantastic kick-off to the Dirty Paws Ecological Restoration project last Friday @MaitlandTower, with over 30 participants from scientific and environmental organizations and local stakeholders, including 5 representatives from the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.
The day was opened and closed by Teiohontsiakwenhte Skidders, an Environmental Assessment Officer with the MCA.
The multi-year project will demonstrate and inspire leading environmental restoration practices through an Indigenous, scientific and community collaboration. The project will create a natural and resilient shoreline, protect and improve habitat and water quality, increase biodiversity and address invasive species on land and in water, naturally filter roadside pollution, grow food, build pollinator pathways, and through these actions support relationship building, healing and health for all.
Building relationships and strengthening community is a key element of our project. Collaborating with the Mohawk Council has inspired the team to take a “two-eyed seeing” approach to the project. Two-eyed seeing was envisaged by Elder Dr. Albert Marshall of Unama’ki Cape Breton as ‘learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing, and to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.’
Abraham Francis, the Environmental Services Manager with the Mohawk Council, helped the group to understand that it is about creating a dialogue, and looking at things from multiple perspectives. The group was encouraged to think about the site 500 years ago, and 500 years in the future, before starting to discuss opportunities for addressing what could be done in the next few years.
Thanks to @riverinstitute @mcakwesasne @lashleylandscapearchitects @fabiosphere @southnationca @cwf_fcf @cabn.co @watershedscanada, permaculture consultant and local farmer Emalie Kamrath, and representatives from the Township of Augusta for their participation and inspired ideas that will be the foundation of our restoration work. We look forward to further collaborations and engaging our community as the project grows. There were others who couldn’t be part of this first day, but certainly will join us in the months ahead, and we look forward to their input! @WaterRangers, @tiwlt, @savetheriver, @greatrivernetwork @aquatariumbrockville, @beecitycanada, @leedsgrenville.
Maitland Tower and DoorNumberOne.org are striving to create a space where community, equity, beauty, reconciliation, reciprocity, arts, science and innovation all come together.
Very special thanks to @stephanyhildebrand, @_mostoner and @hometowntv for covering the event.
#regeneration #earthoptimism #conservationoptimism #stlawrenceriver #ecologicalrestoration
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