Reconciliation Climate Change planting puts trees in the ground at SNC’s Shanly site

Project partners pictured onsite in Shanly, September 23rd, 2020. Front row, left to right: Melanie Brook (Enbridge), John Sanna (OPG), Scott Jackson (Forests Ontario), Chief Wendy Jocko (Algonquins of Pikwakanagan). Second row, left to right: Matt Mulvihill (OPG), Chris Craig (SNC), Larry McDermott (Plenty Canada) Back row, left to right: Curtis Scurr (Assembly of First Nations), Stephen Sliwa (UCDSB), and Bill Montgomery (UCDSB).

SHANLY — Over 250 culturally significant native trees were planted Sept. 23 on the traditional territories of the Algonquin and Mohawk First Nations in Shanly.

Twenty-five community and First Nations partners gathered at the planting to form “The Healing Place” — in the process learning and sharing traditional knowledge and marking a step towards cross-cultural dialogue at South Nation Conservation’s newly acquired properties in Edwardsburgh/Cardinal. Grasslands at the involved site are home to several species at risk including the Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark.

See the proceedings, below.

A variety of native potted and caliper-sized trees and shrubs were planted, including oak, hickory, maple, nut, and fruit trees.

Described as a “Reconciliation Climate Change Planting,” the event involved Plenty Canada, the Mohawks of Akwesasne, Algonquin First Nations, South Nation Conservation (SNC), Forests Ontario and Ontario Power Generation. Part of what SNC acknowledges as a “partnership journey to reconciliation,” the activity was sponsored by the Assembly of First Nations, TD Bank Group, Enbridge Gas, and Ontario Power Generation.

The local watershed authority says it plans to undertake additional restoration work at the property to help protect its natural legacy, increase biodiversity, and protect the local environment.

The Reconciliation Climate Change Planting was an idea seeded during the 2019 Climate Change Summit hosted by the Assembly of First Nations in Whitehorse, Yukon, where those in attendance committed to offsetting their carbon emissions by planting trees. Project partners have been working since the beginning of 2020 to carry out the commitment — an event “at the intersection of connections to land, ecological restoration, and truth and reconciliation,” says SNC.

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