Celebrating the most recent State of the Bay ecosystem health report, the Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere (GBB) is hosting a State of the Bay: Lands and Waters Gathering to showcase research and caretaking work being done throughout the region. The gathering will be held November 29-30, 2023 at the Charles W. Stockey Centre in Parry Sound.
Open to the public, this free event will be an opportunity to learn about the biodiversity of the Biosphere, what climate change means for the region, and to showcase the many people and activities helping protect the lands and waters.
Since 2008, the State of the Bay program has worked to bring together multiple sources of information to communicate environmental changes in eastern Georgian Bay, known in the original language of the territory as Mnidoo-gamii, or Great Lake of the Spirit. Working with partners, GBB summarizes research about changes to water, wetlands, fisheries, and habitats in this unique landscape and shares this information with people who care about Georgian Bay.
The gathering will bring together stories from elders, knowledge holders, researchers, and scientists, which will provide participants with a deeper understanding of environmental change and actions they can take to make a difference. The gathering shares the theme of the magazine, Gnawenjgaadeng Mnidoo-gamii – Protecting the Great Lake of the Spirit, a name gifted by Dr. Brian McInnes (Waabishki-makwa) of Wasauksing First Nation.
Indigenous Art Exhibit & Sale
On November 29th, the Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth (GBAY) are hosting an Indigenous Art Exhibit and Sale. “The Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth are very excited to provide an opportunity to Indigenous artists to share their art and mno nokii (good work),” says Taylor Nanowaygahkekwe Judge, GBAY Co-founder and Cultural Programs Coordinator with GBB. As storytelling people, we are incredibly proud of the artists and their ability to share their stories!”
Science & Storytelling
The evening portion of the event will open and close with a performance by the Little Spirit Singers, as well as presentations on the State of the Bay, sharing from Magnetawan First Nation artist Mishiikenh Kwe, and a keynote presentation from Dr. Brian McInnes.
On November 30th, following an opening song by MinWeWe, youth and community leaders will speak in moderated panel discussions. These panels will be an opportunity for participants to hear from people in our community from grassroots and governmental organizations. They will share how they are addressing the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss. Students from Parry Sound High School are invited to listen and learn from the panel discussions.
“The gathering is an opportunity to share knowledge and stories, learn from one another, inspire action, and celebrate the caretaking being done in the Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere region,” says Katrina Krievins, Aquatic Conservation Programs Manager for the GBB. “Our last State of the Bay gathering in 2019 was a great success. This time around we’re looking forward to even more opportunities for the community and youth to get involved.”
Thank You Supporters
The gathering is made possible with support from sponsors: The Township of the Archipelago, Henvey Inlet Wind, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Government of Ontario. A special thank you to Nature Canada’s NatureHood program for supporting student participation.
Agenda & Register
Doors open for State of the Bay: Lands & Waters Gathering on November 29th at 6:00 pm and November 30th at 9:00 am.
The Indigenous Art Show and Sale will run from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm in the main lobby of the Stockey Centre on November 29th.