20 Sep

R2R22 – The game HOME to be presented at Radically Rural this week – Sept 21

NEWSFLASH: The CCRC has been selected to present the interactive game – HOME – at the Radically Rural™ conference in New Hampshire this week.

HOME is a collaborative storytelling/teaching tool designed by gamer Nolan Polkinghorne with the support of Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) to help communities have more productive conversations about affordable/attainable housing.

HOME asks us to inhabit the perspectives of people whose daily lives are impacted by the availability and quality of affordable housing. Players, who represent community members, participate in a housing design project and weigh in on the future of housing against the backdrop of very real struggles experienced every day.

At R2R22, delegates will have an opportunity to play HOME.

02 Sep

R2R22 Youth Scholarships Available

CCRC is pleased to announce up to 15 Youth Scholarships available for the upcoming R2R22 Rural Today, Rural Tomorrow conference on Oct 17-20th in Brussels, ON.

If you are between the ages of 15 – 25 years old, you are eligible to apply for the Youth Scholarship. The scholarship offers an all-inclusive pass to the conference in Brussels, ON (transportation and accommodation are not included).
> Click here to access the application form.

Scholarship recipients will be notified at the end of September 2022 so submit your application today!

Sponsored by the University of Guelph and the Municipality of Huron East, the scholarship opens the doors to the next generation to actively participate in dialogue as to where rural is at now, and where rural could be going.

If you have any questions about the youth scholarship or student registration, contact Peter at peter@ruralcreativity.org

Youth Scholarship Sponsors

20 Jul

Rural Talks to Rural 2022 Conference

The Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC) is pleased to present this year’s R2R in-person conference (with virtual options) with the theme: Rural Today/Rural Tomorrow! We will be exploring where we are now and where we could be going in the areas of Wellbeing, Housing, Climate and Community. It all happens over three and half days in the Four Winds Barn in Brussels, Ontario, from October 17th – 20th.

JOIN US!

Click here for conference details.

R2R22 Conference Themes

19 Jul

The Grand River Community Play Project

WHAT IS A COMMUNITY PLAY?

It begins with a conversation and builds towards a unique theatrical experience. The contemporary community play movement got started in 1979, by a play produced by the Colway Theatre Trust. The Company went on to produce over 50 productions worldwide and spawned collectives to create their own community play projects. The process is transformative and through the months leading up to a production there are more conversations, meetings, workshops and rehearsals – friendships are developed. The result is that people feel connected to each other, to their shared sense of place. It is inclusive and anyone and everyone can participate. Whether it’s as an actor, a manager, a designer, a researcher, writer, builder, a musician, dancer, a technician, whatever it is, the production is community led and the two year process to create the play develops the thinking, and the talents, and the skills of all involved – and weaves them together. It is a community game-changer.

THE GRAND RIVER COMMUNITY PLAY PROJECT… is being imagined as an event that runs the 310 kilometre length of the river. We have just started with conversations, collecting stories from those who live along the Grand, and connecting with folks who are interested in participating in the project. Over the course of the summer of 2022 we’ll continue to listen and gather stories and in the fall perform a series of workshop presentations at different locations along the Grand. The work of 2022 will lead to further development in 2023 and take us to a full production in the summer of 2024.

The Grand River Community Play Project is the story of the river created and developed by the people of the river and ultimately told to those who are engaged and impacted by the river. It is a coming together of stories and, as importantly, a coming together of people along the length of this magnificent waterway. It also creates room for the river to speak for herself.

The Grand River Community Play Project is produced by the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity – where we strive to establish an inclusive gathering place, a place for creativity and meaningful participation.

To restore any place, we must also begin to re-story it, to make it the lesson of our legends, festivals, and seasonal rites. Story is the way we encode deep-seated values within our culture. Ritual is the way we enact them. We must ritually plant the cottonwood and willow poles in winter in order to share the sounds of the vermillion flycatcher during the rites of spring. By replenishing the land with our stories, we let the wild voices around us guide the restoration we do. The stories will outlast us.” Gary Paul Nabham

GRAND RIVER COMMUNITY PLAY PROJECT update. The map attached to this post was created by friend, Marcia Ruby. What she writes in the margins are grist for the mill in the creation of this project. The Indigenous story of the Grand River, one that intersects with the Settler story now and again, runs very much independently of it. There is much to learn and over time, with humility and respect, hopefully it will be revealed by the First Peoples who live along the Grand and have done for millennia. There are the more recent stories of the Settlers – those who live on the River, or have been impacted by it – and these stories will also be a part of the project. And there is a third story, I believe – the story of the River herself… how is that story told? Can we hear the voice of the river? What can she tell us?

This next piece of writing comes from Peter Godfrey-Smith’s article entitled, Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. While a little bit different than hearing the voice of a river, there is something in what he says that speaks to the awe of being and could be a way forward for the project: “Octopuses and their relatives (cuttlefish and squid) represent an island of mental complexity in the sea of invertebrate animals. Since my first encounters with these creatures about a decade ago, I have been intrigued by the powerful sense of engagement that is possible when interacting with them. Our most recent common ancestor is so distant—more than twice as ancient as the first dinosaurs—that they represent an entirely independent experiment in the evolution of large brains and complex behaviour. If we can connect with them as sentient beings, it is not because of a shared history, not because of kinship, but because evolution built minds twice over. They are probably the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien.”

I wonder if there is a way to understand a river in somewhat the same way? Different – but in being open to the relationship – is a different understanding possible?

If your curious about this project, have a Grand River story to tell, or would like to become more involved contact Pete @ peter@ruralcreativity.org

21 Jun

Meet the guests at VIEWPOINTS episode 2!

VIEWPOINTS on INDIGENOUS perspectives on CLIMATE
June 24th @ 8pm-9:30pm ET
Join us on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/91441322243

BETTY BASTIEN
Betty Bastien places Blackfoot tradition within a historical context of precarious survival amid colonial displacement and cultural genocide. In sharing her personal story of reclaimed identity, Bastien offers a gateway into traditional Blackfoot ways of understanding and experiencing the world. For the Siksikaitsitapi, knowledge is experiential, participatory, and ultimately sacred. Bastien maps her own process of coming to know, stressing the recovery of the Blackfoot language and Blackfoot notions of reciprocal responsibilities and interdependence.

Rekindling traditional ways of knowing is essential for Indigenous peoples in Canada to heal and rebuild their communities and cultures. By sharing what she has learned, Betty Bastien hopes to ensure that the next generation of Indigenous people will enjoy a future of hope and peace. Betty is an instructor in Indigenous studies at the University of Calgary. Her experience includes teaching and curriculum design at Red Crow Community College, in the Native studies department at the University of Lethbridge, and at the University of Calgary.

[Photo – University of Calgary]


TERO MUSTONEN

Council Member with special responsibility for Northern Europe and Russia Based in Finland. Dr. Tero Mustonen, a passionate defender of traditional worldview and cosmology of his people, is a Finn and head of the village of Selkie in North Karelia, Finland. He has worked as the traditional knowledge coordinator for Eurasia for the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment. Professionally, he works for the award-winning Snowchange Cooperative (ICCA Consortium Member), which is a non-profit organization based in Finland with members across the Arctic, including the communities of Eastern Sámi, Chukchi, Yukaghir, Sakha, Evenk, Even, Inuit, Inuvialuit, Gwitchin and many more.

Mustonen is a well-known scholar of Arctic biodiversity, climate change, and indigenous issues, having published over a dozen publications on the topics including the ground-breaking Eastern Sámi Atlas and Snowscapes, Dreamscapes. Mustonen has won several human rights and environmental awards for the work with Snowchange and indigenous peoples of the Arctic.

He is the key person to coordinate the Festivals of Northern Fishing Traditions that are organised by Snowchange to connect the traditional and Indigenous fishermen of Eurasia together every two years. The first Festival took place in Finland in September 2014. The second Festival was organised on Lena River, Sakha-Yakutia, Siberia, Russia in September 2016. The 2018 Festival was held in Tornio, Finland. The 2020 Festival of Northern Fishing Traditions was slated for Khanty-Mansia Autonomous Region, Siberia, Russia.

[Photo: BBC.CO.UK, “Carbon-neutral in 15 years? The country with an ambitious plan”]


ALEJANDRO ARGUMEDO

Alejandro is the Director of the Association ANDES, a Cusco-based indigenous people’s non-governmental organization working to protect and develop Andean biological and cultural diversity and the rights of indigenous peoples of Peru.

He is also the international coordinator of the Indigenous People’s Biodiversity Network (IPBN), and Senior Research Officer for Peru of the ‘Sustaining Local Food Systems, Agricultural Biodiversity and Livelihoods’ Programme of the International Institute for Environment and Development for England.

[Photo: SwiftFoundation.org]


GRAEME REED

Graeme is of mixed Anishinaabe and European descent. He is a Senior Advisor with the Assembly of First Nations, where he advocates for the inclusion of First Nations in the federal, provincial, and territorial climate change and energy policy
dialogue.

He has presented to the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment (CCME), participated in the First Minister’s Meeting negotiating the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and represented the AFN several times at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Graeme is a graduate of the International Development program jointly offered by St. Paul’s and the Faculty of Environment. He is a candidate for the Rural Studies PhD program at the School for Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph.

[Photo: Health Insight – Graeme Reed]


BYRON FLEKKE

My name is Byron Flekke. I’m St’at’imc, from the community of Xaxli’p. I am from the Diablo family. I was raised away from home, in ministry care, in what is today called the Fraser Valley but is actually Sto:lo territory. I am currently living on what I have come to call Occupied Kwantlen Territory. Until a treaty is in place and what is politely called ‘the land question’ is answered, I feel that is the most appropriate way to situate myself.

In light of recent events I feel it is important to note that my siblings and I are the first generation in our family not to attend Kamloops Industrial School, where my mom survived, and I am the first generation to raise my own children. I usually reject the capital “I” Indigenous label, I think people often use it to make themselves feel better when they really ought to be uncomfortable. I prefer and use Indian. I am a husband, a father, a son to my birth mom, and a son to my late white family.

[Photo: LinkedIn]

08 Jun

CCRC Radio/Podcast: VIEWPOINTS episode 2

There are many other ways to see, to speak and to know. Hosted by Byron Flekke with First Nations and Indigenous guests from around the world, VIEWPOINTS episode two will explore Indigenous perspectives on climate. 

Is infinite growth on a finite planet possible? How do we get involved beyond the blue box in dealing with climate change? There is technology that is helping and there is work going on that you might not be aware of.

Come to Indigenous perspectives on climate on June 24th and learn how traditional knowledge is impacting the climate crisis on our one and only home. You will be joining guests from across Canada, from Finland and Peru who will let you in on the environmental work they are doing. The thoughts may change the way you get involved in leaving the campsite better than you found it for future generations. Comments and questions can be sent to info@ruralcreativity.ca


Indigenous peoples are vital to, and active in, the many ecosystems that inhabit their lands and territories and help enhance the resilience of these ecosystems. Indigenous peoples interpret and react to the impacts of climate change drawing on traditional knowledge to find solutions.

UN report on Climate

VIEWPOINTS on INDIGENOUS perspectives on CLIMATE
June 24th @ 8pm-9:30pm ET
Join us on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/91441322243