CIER is Learning and Listening at In-Person Workshops Again

On March 7 and 8, CIER was able to host one of our first non-virtual community events since the onset of COVID-19! During the past few years, we’ve been focusing on virtual meetings and workshops, so our team was excited to be in Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation, talking to the community face to face.

CIER is working with Sandy Bay to create a climate change adaptation plan, using CIER’s Indigenous Climate Change Adaptation Planning (ICCAP) Guidebooks.

Kristy and Richard appreciated being able to listen and learn face-to-face.

While in Sandy Bay, CIER staff Richard Farthing-Nichol and Kristy Anderson helped Lindsay McIvor, the community’s Climate Change Coordinator, host an opportunity for community members to share their experiences with climate change and their hopes for the adaptation project.

“I missed speaking to people in a room, face-to-face, having those back-and-forth discussions,” says Kristy, a Research Associate at CIER. “That type of sharing seems to only happen in-person, where you can gauge people’s emotion and feel their energy.”

This was the first public community engagement event for the project and one of the aspects of the project that the community is excited about is tree planting.

Sandy Bay Community members pointing out locations they’d like to see trees planted.

“The elders want to see more tree planting in the community,” says Kristy “So we had a tree engagement session that lasted half a day, where people talked about what trees were important to them.”

Community members were given the opportunity to show where they thought trees should go and why these locations are important. They discussed environmental concerns, like re-building important habitats and providing windbreaks. Several Elders from the Sandy Bay Council of Elders were present and they shared the cultural importance of different trees.

Project Manager Richard highlights other benefits of being able to visit communities again.

“We shared meals with members of the community,” he says, “Which provided a great time to get to know people and have a laugh outside of the structure of our sessions. You don’t get those opportunities virtually.”

Don’t miss out! This article was featured in the CIER Newsletter!