On September 17 (9am-12pm) the High Park Nature Centre is hosting an Indigenous history event for all of those who engage with High Park’s oak savannahs.
While many are drawn to High Park’s oak savannahs for their beauty and rare ecology, it is important to understand that these lands are not just sites of natural and scientific interest. They are the traditional hunting and foraging grounds of the many groups of Indigenous people who lived in this region for thousands of years before colonization. And they continue to be sites of ceremony for members of Toronto’s Indigenous community today.
For thousands of years the Indigenous stewards of these lands used fire to regenerate the oaks and the grasslands. Oak savannahs exist today because of this long legacy of Indigenous stewardship. A group of Indigenous Elders and community leaders have come together this year to begin conversations with the City about restoring Indigenous stewardship in High Park’s oak savannahs.
To support these important conversations, the Nature Centre is hosting this event for everyone who engages with the land in High Park. The Blanket Exercise, created by Kairos, and delivered by Indigenous forest therapist Carolynne Crawley, is a powerful experience that helps non-indigenous people appreciate the impacts of colonialism on Indigenous people’s lives and their relationships with land.
This experience offers essential training for anyone who engages in restoration work in the oak savannah. In the spirit of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions findings, and Toronto’s commitments to upholding these recommendations, it is crucial that Indigenous legacies on these lands are recognized and celebrated, and that space is made for Indigenous people to engage in the restoration these lands.
Join Carolyne Crawley for this important opportunity to learn about Indigenous history, and to walk the land with her to experience the oak savannah from an Indigenous perspective.
The event will run from 9 am until 12 pm. The 2 hour-long Blanket Exercise will be followed by a one hour walk on the land. Refreshments will be served.
Normally there is a steep fee to participate in a Blanket exercise. This event is being offered to you free of charge.
Please contact email@example.com to RSVP, and for any questions.