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Convening for Action in 2021

BOWKER CREEK BLUEPRINT IS A BEACON OF INSPIRATION: “All these people are my teachers, and I am learning from all of them. Is this the intergenerational baton in action? Absolutely! You cannot just pick up the baton and not know where you are coming from. You need all that history,” stated Lindsey McCrank, the Capital Regional District’s Coordinator for the Bowker Creek Urban Watershed Renewal Initiative


“When new members get involved in the BCI, they will be in the position to accept the intergenerational baton just as I did. I believe the Partnership document about the Blueprint history will be useful, as a legacy resource, in helping new members get up to speed. One has to keep moving forward, transfer the knowledge to new people, and blend their experience and thoughts. Every person who is involved will alter the course of our future actions. I am excited to see where the Blueprint will lead us in the next little while,” stated Lindsey McCrank when she reflected on looking to the future through the intergenerational lens.

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BOWKER CREEK BLUEPRINT IS A BEACON OF INSPIRATION: “One of my passions is to bring nature into the city so that we do not have these two distinctive zones – this is where humans live and this is where nature lives. Those two things can come together. That is my vision for Bowker Creek and why I enjoy volunteering,” stated Brandon Williamson, Friends of Bower Creek, when describing the mission for restoration of a degraded urban stream


“I grew up in Port Alberni, a small town and am a nature lover. But I have come to realize that I am a city person. And being both a city person and a nature person, well those two things are not irreconcilable. Over the past year, I have gained a passion for Bowker Creek and its restoration. I do understand that the work that needs to be done is a very long-term thing. I am committed and excited to volunteer over the long term to see out the vision,” stated Brandon Williamson.

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BOWKER CREEK BLUEPRINT IS A BEACON OF INSPIRATION: “We are taking a new direction. We are saying that we can improve the health of Bowker. But there is still more pollution happening. We can see it happening. And so, we the Friends of Bowker Creek, are stepping it up,” stated Jessica Hartum, the Director who is leading a grass-roots water quality monitoring program


“I am a water quality person and I believe that it is a steppingstone to everything else. Water quality is close to my heart. But I understand where we are in this world and that nobody is buying in for water quality alone. In my view, water quality is a lot bigger than just the salmon. But I do recognize that water quality and fish habitat are a package. Neither one is complete without the other one. We have to do both together. When I show community volunteers the insects that are in the water and what they mean, everyone has an Ah-Ha Moment,” stated Jessica Hartum.

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WATER RECONCILIATION IS ABOUT INTERWEAVING INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE & WESTERN SCIENCE: “Interweaving is not integration, just as equality is not about assimilation and creativity is not empirical. Interweaving is collaborative and incremental rather than a revolutionary process,” stated Michael Blackstock, Independent Indigenous Scholar and founder of the Blue Ecology Institute (October 2021)


“Blue Ecology is meant to be a companion because it augments existing Western science hydrology rather than displacing this knowledge. Collaborators identify packets of knowledge that would benefit from the interweaving process. My question for the Western science world is this: Are you prepared and willing to change your definition of water in science? This is what reconciliation really gets down to when we are talking about interweaving Indigenous knowledge and Western science,” stated Michael Blackstock.

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PROGRAM BROCHURE FOR WATERSHED MOMENTS 2021 / BLUE ECOLOGY VIRTUAL SEMINAR: Partnership for Water Sustainability and NALT release panel information and registration details for ‘bridging event” during the evening of November 18, 2021


Richard Boase, Section Manager Environmental Sustainability (Operations) with the District of North Vancouver, returns as Moderator for the 4th annual event in the Watershed Moments Series. He has a deep understanding of the subject matter resulting from three decades of stewardship work through a local government lens, has an innate ability to ask the questions that get to the heart of the matter, shares his enthusiasm with panelists and audience alike and sometimes even surprises the organizers with impromptu action items.

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HISTORICAL CONTEXT FOR WATERSHED MOMENTS 2021 / BLUE ECOLOGY VIRTUAL SEMINAR: “While international recognition gave Blue Ecology early credibility and profile, there was limited awareness within British Columbia of what Michael Blackstock had accomplished on the global stage,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability, when explaining the Partnership’s commitment to mainstreaming Blue Ecology (October 2021)


“Blue Ecology has been a two-decade long journey of discovery for Michael Blackstock, highlighted by his appointment to a UNESCO Expert Panel for a 4-year term in 2008. His work on the Expert Panel resulted in an invitation to share his Blue Ecology message at an international symposium. In 2021, the Watershed Moments team embraced the Blue Ecology idea, and committed to the vision for Water Reconciliation as an outcome. This means going back to the headwaters of where we got our relationships with water and with one another wrong,” stated Kim Stephens,

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YOUTH EDUCATION CONTEXT FOR WATERSHED MOMENTS 2021 / BLUE ECOLOGY VIRTUAL SEMINAR: “Ecological learning and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples go hand in hand. We have a great deal to learn in our quest to live more gently and conscientiously here on Earth, a theme which is central to many Indigenous teachings,” stated Steph Cottell, Executive Director, Cowichan Community Land Trust (October 2021)


The 4-person panel will share their experiences in trail-blazing watershed education for youth. Michael Blackstock of the Blue Ecology Institute is joined by Linda Brooymans, Steph Cottell and Tina Willard-Stepan. Blue Ecology, the interweaving of Indigenous and Western water stewardship knowledge is the over-arching theme for the event. “It is with humbleness and deep appreciation that we invite Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers to share their wisdom and help us on the path to better water ways,” stated Steph Cottell.

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CULTURAL CONTEXT FOR WATERSHED MOMENTS 2021 / BLUE ECOLOGY VIRTUAL SEMINAR: “We have landed at the crux of two of the most important issues facing Canadians – relationships with First Nations and relationships with water,” stated Paul Chapman, Chair of the Watershed Moments Series, when he explained why the seminar is a bridging event (October 2021)


“The Blue Ecology Virtual Seminar is a bridging event to the next full-scale symposium which will be in 2022. The seminar will introduce Blue Ecology the idea as a way of interweaving Indigenous and Western perspectives to achieve a vision for ‘water reconciliation’ in British Columbia. We just happen to be trying to piece them together as a seminar and eventually as symposium! We must ensure that we do not rush the process. We must get the process right, and that what we deliver is the water reconciliation piece,” stated Paul Chapman.

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CLIMATE ADAPTATION CONTEXT FOR WATERSHED MOMENTS 2021 / BLUE ECOLOGY VIRTUAL SEMINAR: “We are giving the public this false sense that we have a level of control that we do not have. That is why I did the Climate Change Thermostat – to get that idea across to audiences,” stated Michael Blackstock at the founding event for the Blue Ecology Institute (September 2021)


The “slice-and-dice” approach to science does not account for the interaction of variables within a system. Nor does it distinguish between preciseness and accuracy. “An image of a committee with their hands on a thermostat popped into my mind. And they are trying to adjust it. There is so much arrogance in that, and so much naivety at the same time, to believe that we actually have the ability as a global human society to turn this dial plus or minus 0.1 degrees. The reality is that we do not have that ability,” stated Michael Blackstock.

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SCHOOL WATER STEWARDS IN THE NANAIMO REGION: “The program provides grade-appropriate curriculum-linked lessons and stewardship activities connecting students to our local freshwater resources and associated ecosystems,” stated Linda Brooymans, Stewardship Coordinator with the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust, and a panel member for the Blue Ecology Virtual Seminar on November 18, 2021


In late 2017, NALT was approach by a grade 7 teacher and challenged with devising a way to include a marsh adjacent to the school grounds in the stewardship education of the students. “Now embedded as a core component of NALT outreach and education, it is our hope to foster a culture of stewardship through our program by giving students as many opportunities as possible during their time at their school to learn about and explore their local streams and wetlands,” stated Linda Brooymans.

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