Sources of Knowledge Forum: Accounting for the Past, Envisioning the Future
May 5 – May 7 all-day

Accounting for the Past, Envisioning the Future:
A Seven Generations-based Framework for the Bruce Peninsula

The 2017 Forum, our ninth, completes a loosely connected three year series on the history and future of the Bruce Peninsula. The 2015 Forum established the Bruce as part of the much larger landform known as the Great Arc or rim of the Michigan Basin. By collaborating with speakers from the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin we were also looking at one possible future for our own home, one where 20,000 plus residents combined with 2.5 million annual visitors to create an economically vibrant but ecologically challenged community.

In 2017 we look to the future. This is no small task and one for which the chances of getting it even close to right in a three day Forum are small indeed! Planners, demographers, futurists – they all grapple with this problem but prudently confine themselves to looking ahead by years or at most a few decades. We adopt a different approach by trying to apply the Indigenous concept of Seven Generations, looking to the past 140 years as the key to planning for survival and prosperity in the next 140 years. These time scales create difficulties, such as predicting events beyond our borders or influence. But they can also bring clarity, for example to energy. In 1887 the exploitation of 600 million years worth of decayed life forms converted to oil, gas and coal was just beginning. Despite technological developments such as fracking it is highly unlikely that we will have access to those resources in 2157 and for that near certainty, at least, we can prepare today.

The Saturday plenary session of the 2017 Forum will begin with a summary of the Peninsula’s past 140 years gathered in part from a winter workshop held in Lions Head. Speakers will be challenged to outline and respond to Seven Generations and Traditional Knowledge thinking, reflecting on the history and future from Indigenous and Euro-Canadian perspectives. We are most fortunate to have Dr. John Borrows, Canada Chair of Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria, as the keynote speaker at the dinner that night. The dinner will be catered by well known local chefs Sean and Judy Hurst.

On Sunday morning the Forum and its topic are opened to the public. As usual there will be morning music and market at the Community Centre, followed by a talk by futurist Kip Worzel. Kip is the son of well-known futurist Richard Worzel – evidently prediction runs in the family. Following his talk we will gather in groups to give the participants a chance to have their say on the issues discussed.

Two field trips are planned. The first, on Friday afternoon, is a visit to the Saugeen First Nation 3 km northeast of Southampton. As with our trip to Neyaashiinigmiing last year, the main reason for this visit is to gain some familiarity with the First Nations Communities on the Bruce. Many of us have lived here for years without setting foot on these territories, to our detriment.

The second field trip, planned for Monday, is to the Sheguiandah First Nation on Manitoulin Island. Planned for last year but abandoned because the ferry wasn’t running, this is an optional elective requiring at least 15 and no more than 25 people. Dr. Patrick Juleg of Laurentian University has very kindly agreed to arrange and guide a tour of the 10,000 plus year old archaeological site. This event sold out by mid-March but if you are interested, you are welcome to let us know by contacting us or by responding to the question on the 2017 Forum Registration Form and we will add your name to our Wait List.

Amongst these serious activities are opportunities for hikes, birdwatching, socializing and an introduction to the Ojibway language. Dr. Stephen Scharper from the University of Toronto will once again take to the stage on Friday evening with his mini-film festival, a selection of documentary segments that bear on our theme of Seven Generations.

Grey to Green Conference @ Chestnut Conference Centre, Toronto
May 8 – May 10 all-day

Make Better Infrastructure Decisions

Senior levels of government continue to overlook the many benefits of investing in living green infrastructure such as urban forests, green roofs and walls when making infrastructure decisions. Join us to shape a healthier and more resilient future with green infrastructure.

Explore the latest in performance, economic valuation, design, policy, and technology from Canada, the US, and worldwide. This interdisciplinary conference is the leading forum for designers, policy makers, manufacturers, growers, landscapers, and other green infrastructure professionals to discuss the benefits and growth of the green infrastructure industry.

Grey to Green also includes a trade show, cutting-edge workshops which include tours of outstanding Toronto projects, and exceptional networking events. This year, be one of the first to learn about the City of Toronto’s new Green Streets Guideline and the Province of Ontario’s new Stormwater Design Guidelines.

5th Annual Ontario Climate Symposium – Just Transformations: The Next 150 @ York University, Toronto
May 11 – May 12 all-day

The Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC) will be hosting the 5th Annual Ontario Climate Symposium in May 2017. The theme for this year’s symposium is “Just Transformations: The Next 150”. At this event, we hope to encourage the development of positive narratives and visions of a just future – ones that cross boundaries between natural science, social science, law, humanities and the arts. For more information about the event, please visit the following link.

WEBINAR: Weather Variability and Its Impacts on Forest Health
May 17 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

This webinar will discuss the impact weather and climate have on forest health and productivity. We will discuss short- and long-term impacts of droughts, floods, winds, and ice on insect and fungal populations and damage in southern forests.

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference @ Cobo Center, Detroit
May 31 – Jun 2 all-day
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference @ Cobo Center, Detroit | Detroit | Michigan | United States

Save the date for the first ever Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference. This gathering will bring together engineers, landscape architects, water quality professionals, government officials, developers, planners, academics, conservation and non-profit organizations and interest groups from around the Great Lakes basin in Canada and the U.S.\r\n\r\nThis is the first conference to focus on using green infrastructure across the landscape with a primary goal to benefit the Great Lakes. The time is right for a comprehensive look at this important topic.\r\n\r\nGet More Information

WEBINAR: Innovation Lab, Austin: New Ideas for Connecting Kids of All Ages to Nature
Jun 8 @ 2:00 pm
WEBINAR: How Urban Forests in Parks Can Improve Health, Raise Property Values, and Provide Recreation
Jul 13 @ 2:00 pm
WEBINAR: Parks and Recreation Building Healthy Communities
Aug 10 @ 2:00 pm
Recent Trends in Environmental Science and Engineering – International Conference @ Toronto, Canada
Aug 23 – Aug 25 all-day

The International Conference of Recent Trends in Environmental Science and Engineering (RTESE’17) aims to become the leading annual conference in fields related to environmental science and engineering. The goal of RTESE’17 is to gather scholars from all over the world to present advances in the fields of environmental science and engineering and to foster an environment conducive to exchanging ideas and information. This conference will also provide an ideal environment to develop new collaborations and meet experts on the fundamentals, applications, and products of the mentioned fields.

WEBINAR: 10 Minute Walk: Increasing Access to Local Parks
Sep 14 @ 2:00 pm

Our Steering Committee