Community Forests Canada Bridges Regions and Builds New Partnerships

On June 25 & 26, 2014, a joint workshop and symposium on community forestry will bring together researchers, Aboriginal representatives, government officials, industry people, and students from across Canada to The University of Winnipeg. The event will establish the Community Forests Canada Network in a new location to welcome new partners into the fold. Participants will share experiences and resources for analysis and policy engagement to address the unparalleled “forestry crisis” that is impacting Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities across the country.

The project Bridging Practice, Research and Advocacy for Community Forests in Canada is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and several community partners. “This initiative provides an important opportunity for researchers and forest stakeholders to build on existing knowledge and skills, and enhance connections within a new networking space,” says Dr. Edward Cloutis, Director of UW’s Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research, which will host the 2-day event. “We are pleased to welcome this diverse group in order to promote an informed policy dialogue surrounding Canada’s struggling forest communities and forestry sector.”

A key goal for the symposium is to share governance models, advocacy approaches, and research for sustainably managing forests and building communities. Among a list of dynamic speakers, delegates will gain insights on First Nations forestry from Mr. Marvin Lee McDonald, Resources Information Officer for the Wabaseemoong Independent Nations, and learn about collaborative networking from Ms. Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BC Community Forest Association. “I am pleased so many experienced individuals will come together once again to build on the previous achievements of this network, and help translate community forestry ideas into actions,” says Dr. Peggy Smith, Co-Chair of the Northern Ontario Sustainable Communities Partnership and Associate Professor at Lakehead University.

The value of this event is reinforced by a commitment from the Manitoba Chapter of the Canadian Institute of Forestry to e-broadcast symposium presentations to its 2600 members across Canada. A human-forest interactions exhibit of historic photographs, narratives, and artifacts contributed by the UW Anthropology Museum, UW Archives, and United Church Archives will further enrich the symposium.

The organizing committee includes Ryan Bullock, Alan Diduck and Richard Westwood from the Department of Environmental Studies & Sciences at UW, as well as Peggy Smith from the Faculty of Natural Resources Management at Lakehead University, Gayle Broad from NORDIK Institute at Algoma University, Sara Teitelbaum from the Department of Sociology, Université de Montréal, and John Sinclair from the Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba.

For further information contact: Dr. Ryan Bullock, r.bullock@uwinnipeg.ca (204.988.7594)

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