Project partners pictured onsite in Shanly, Sept. 23. 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). Courtesy photo
SHANLEY – On Sept. 23, over 250 culturally significant native trees were planted on the traditional territories of the Algonquin and Mohawk First Nations in Shanly, Ontario to form “The Healing Place”.
Twenty-five community and First Nations partners gathered to plant the trees, and learn and share traditional knowledge, mark a step toward cross-cultural dialogue, and create and maintain a healing space.
This partnership journey to reconciliation involved Plenty Canada, the Mohawks of Akwesasne, Algonquin First Nations, South Nation Conservation (SNC), Forests Ontario, Ontario Power Generation; and was sponsored by the Assembly of First Nations, TD Bank Group, Enbridge Gas, and Ontario Power Generation.
A variety of native potted and caliper-sized trees and shrubs were planted, including oak, hickory, maple, nut, and fruit trees.
The planting took place on one of SNC’s newly acquired properties in the township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal. The site is traditional First Nations territory, and its grasslands are home to several species at risk including the Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark.
The Conservation Authority has plans to undertake additional restoration work at the property to help protect its natural legacy, increase biodiversity, and protect the local environment.
The idea for a local Reconciliation Climate Change Planting started at the 2019 Climate Change Summit hosted by the Assembly of First Nations in Whitehorse, Yukon, where those in attendance made a commitment to offset their carbon emissions by planting trees.
The project partners have worked diligently since the beginning of 2020 to carry out this commitment and create an event at the intersection of connections to land, ecological restoration, and truth and reconciliation.
The event’s opening ceremonies were live streamed on SNC’s Facebook page.