First Nation’s workshops offers cultural training for Forest Managers
The Eastern Ontario First Nation Working Group recently held three workshops throughout eastern Ontario. The Group includes representatives from Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Plenty Canada, South Nation Conservation (SNC), Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, United Counties of Prescott and Russell and the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF).
The workshops were open to private woodlot owners, municipal and conservation authority staff, the general public and Forest Managers working within the EOMF Forest Certification Program. The EOMF manages the Forest Certification Program under the principles of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). This program extends across eastern and southern Ontario and includes private forest owners, community forests and urban forests, totalling more than 83,000 hectares. The FSC® is an international, membership-based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.
The workshops provided an opportunity for participants to chat with and learn from local First Nation's community members. The topics covered included canoe, basket, and lacrosse stick making, medicine plants, traditional foods, aboriginal engagement and an overview of FSC® Principle 3 - Indigenous Peoples' Rights.
"Offering the workshop in three communities throughout eastern Ontario, provided a good opportunity to reach a broader audience", said Chris Craig, SNC Forest Technician and event coordinator. The workshops were offered in Lanark on August 25th, Casselman on September 23rd and Finch on October 20th and attracted fifty six participants.
The participants were treated to a traditional meal that was both delicious and plentiful and included moose, deer, and wild rice dishes. Each session began and closed with an Algonquin and Mohawk traditional address. "The traditional opening and closing address is a cultural lessen in itself, very inspiring", noted Jim Hendry, EOMF Certification Coordinator.
Many thanks to Chris, Henry Lickers and Larry McDermott for all their efforts in organizing and delivering these workshops and to the community members for providing a great learning experience!