Jane’s Walk Ottawa 2019

Jane’s Walk Ottawa poster “Explore, share stories about your community, and connect with neighbours” courtesy of Jane’s Walk Ottawa

Jane’s Walk Ottawa is happening on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday May 5, 2019.

This wonderful annual series of urban and neighbourhood walking tours is a celebration of the built and natural environments and how residents shape those environments through their daily lives.

This year Jane’s Walk seems particularly poignant, as communities in Ottawa-Gatineau pull together to address flooding, both shaping and being shaped by the rivers, urban and rural landscapes and infrastructure, and weather.

If you can, check out some of the impressive walks this weekend—the Jane’s Walk Ottawa schedule includes more than 50. Walks are led by knowledgeable local residents, are held in English and/or French, and are free.

Here are some examples:

There’s also a celebration to mark what would have been the 103rd birthday of Jane Jacobs, with a reading from Walking in the City with Jane by author Susan Hughes, colouring with Ottawa in Colour, games and cake, on Saturday, May 4, 4-7 p.m.; and a Jane’s Walk Wrap Party on Sunday, May 5.

Jane’s Walks celebrate, challenge and enlighten our perspectives on the city and the choices we make that influence it. Do check it out!

Consult the schedule of walks and interactive map on the Jane’s Walk Ottawa website.

Thoughts are with everyone continuing to deal with the flooding.

Image of Canadian Museum of History with Jane Jacobs quote “Designing a dream city is easy – rebuilding a living one takes imagination” courtesy of Jane’s Walk Ottawa
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Indigenous People’s Rights Before Pipelines

Image of Gidimt’en Checkpoint sign – from International Day of Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Facebook event page

It’s 2019—time to be the change we want to see in the world.

Today, there’s an opportunity to stand with Indigenous peoples who are asserting their rights to their traditional, unceded lands.

The International Day of Action in Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en takes place in Ottawa and other communities on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at noon on Parliament Hill.

The gathering is in support of members of the Wet’suwet’en People who are peacefully protecting their territories from construction of a natural gas pipeline by Coastal GasLink, a subsidiary of TransCanada.

Yesterday, RCMP moved in and arrested 14 people, on the grounds that the RCMP were enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction to clear the way for construction of the pipeline.

The land protectors say this is a violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and of Wet’suwet’en law.

It signifies that Canada and Canadians are putting corporate profits and environmental degradation before Indigenous rights and any hope of a better relationship with sovereign Indigenous nations.

The Ottawa action will start at noon at the Parliament Hill front gate.

#timeisnow #Wetsuwetenstrong

 

 

Vote for a Sustainable Ottawa on October 22 2018

What’s the most important thing you can do for the environment on Monday, October 22? Vote.

Our municipal government is responsible for many of the systems that affect our ecological footprint as citizens and determine the city’s environmental health.

The people we elect need to lead the creation of sustainable, equitable and safe systems in many areas: planning and management of our built urban and rural environment (including development, infill, and affordable housing); action on climate change (including renewable energy); protection of our environment (including greenspace, trees, flora and fauna, water sources and quality); transportation (prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists and public transit users); a strong local food system; and waste and recycling. They need to prioritize these in funding decisions. They need to value and support community engagement, local action, and accountability to residents as essential dimensions of our city’s governance. They need to work toward a different and better relationship with the Indigenous peoples on whose land we have built this city.

Some of the candidates for mayor and councillor have clear platforms on these issues (some may have even written the book on them). Others have positions or track records that indicate that these are not among their priorities.

If you need more information on the candidates for mayor, city councillors and school trustees before you vote:

  • Ecology Ottawa has done a survey of all candidates about their positions on local environmental issues.
  • The Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital has posted the results of a survey of municipal candidates on environmental issues.
  • The Ottawa Food Policy Council’s survey of candidates covers food issues.
  • OttawaStart has published a list of links to municipal candidate Q&As and debates.
  • The City of Ottawa website has lists of all candidates, including their websites, as well as information for voters about how and where to vote.

See you at the polls on Monday, October 22.

 

One World Film Festival 2018

The annual One World Film Festival in Ottawa is on from Thursday, Sept. 20-Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, with a bonus film on Thursday, Sept. 27. The Festival is jam-packed with documentary films from around the world on environmental, social justice and human rights topics.

Among the environment-themed films:

  • The short film Earthrise (USA 2018), about the power of the first photo of our shared planet taken from space, on Friday, Sept. 21, 6:15 p.m.;
  • Not in My Neighbourhood (South Africa/Brazil/USA 2017) on struggles for land and housing in São Paulo, Cape Town and New York, on Friday, Sept. 21 at 7:15 p.m.—highly relevant in light of the evictions of the Timbercreek Heron Gate community taking place in Ottawa;
  • The Wapikoni Indigenous short films program on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 1:30 p.m.

There’s also a post-festival screening of Anote’s Ark (Canada 2018), on climate change, rising oceans and people’s actions on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6:45 p.m.

See the One World Film Festival website for details.

Walk for Akikodjiwan

All are welcome to join the Spirituality Is Unity: Walk For Our Sacred Site, Akikodjiwan on Friday, Jun. 22, 2018.

The Walk will bring Indigenous leaders, settler faith leaders and other community members together to reinforce the call for the restoration of this important site at the heart of Ottawa.

“Akikodjiwan—the Chaudière Falls and the Albert, Chaudière and Victoria islands—is a sacred site for Anishinaabe and many Indigenous peoples. It was publicly promised to be returned to Indigenous Peoples for a natural sacred site and public forest by all levels of government.

…The walk on June 22, 2018 is to remind the government of its promises and responsibilities towards Indigenous Peoples and to bring together all faiths in Ottawa to support the right of Indigenous Peoples to their sacred sites and ceremonies.”

from It Is Sacred website

Read more here: http://www.itissacred.ca/

The Walk starts at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jun. 22 on Victoria Island, Booth St. entrance. See details on the Facebook event page or Anishinabe (Algonquin) Elder Albert Dumont’s website.

Indigenous Knowledge and Cultures

Learn more about the unceded Algonquin territory we call home, and the people of these and neighbouring lands.

Indigenous Knowledge: What Does it Offer Human Beings?

At this talk, Dr. Lynn Gehl, Algonquin Anishinaabe, will share Indigenous knowledge and teachings, drawing from her book Claiming Anishinaabe: Decolonizing the Human Spirit. This free event is on Saturday, Jun. 23 from 4-6 p.m. at the Biblio Wakefield Library. Find details on the event page.

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Culture Night at The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

Every Monday in June, The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health hosts an evening of cultural activities. Marie Wilson is featured on Monday, Jun. 18, and Albert Dumont on Monday, Jun. 25. (See above poster for details.)

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Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival 2018

Don’t miss the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival. This annual festival celebrating the cultures and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples offers an array of arts and cultural activities, food, music, family activities, a competition Pow Wow and much more. From Thursday, Jun. 21 through Sunday, Jun. 24 in Vincent Massey Park.

Doors Open Ottawa 2018

Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre – Doors Open Ottawa 2018 image

Doors Open Ottawa invites you to visit places of interest in Ottawa, many of which are not normally open to the public. See architecturally significant, historic buildings, interesting community spaces, sites of scientific and technological interest, embassies, gardens, centres of religion, and more. The annual, free event happens Saturday, Jun. 2 and Sunday, Jun. 3, with more than 140 sites taking part this year.

A few examples:

There’s a free shuttle bus between 50 of the buildings; some (downtown) are walking distance apart.

See the full list of participating sites, an interactive map, and a downloadable mobile app on the City of Ottawa’s Doors Open Ottawa website.