This series of short films reveals the participation of Indigenous peoples in UNESCO-designated biosphere reserves across Canada as they work to protect and preserve the natural world. Presented by the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association (CBRA), representing Canada’s 18 biosphere regions, these short films highlight Indigenous efforts to maintain the wondrous beauty and breathtaking features nature has bestowed upon the land from coast to coast to coast.
Canada’s 18 biosphere reserves are leaders in creating vibrant, healthy, sustainable communities across the country, while conserving its natural and cultural heritage. As model regions and dynamic learning sites for collaborative projects of all kinds, biosphere reserves strengthen and celebrate Indigenous and Canadian values and national priorities including climate change adaptation and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
CBRA’s sites are situated within the traditional territories of over 50 Indigenous communities. Spanning an area of 235,000 square kilometres, Canadian biosphere reserves play an important role in improving the quality of life for millions of Canadians who live and work within and near their boundaries.
This program of short films, presented as part of the Film prgoramming at Celebration of Nations, includes:
- CBRA Indigenous Voices
- Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve
- The Star Blanket: Reconciliation in the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve
- Reconciliation in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve
- Not About Garbage: Reconciliation in the Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve
- Station Uapishka: Research and Reconciliation in the Manicouagan-Uapishka Biosphere Reserve
This film program, introduced and hosted by Larry McDermott and Liette Vasseur, will be followed by a question and answer session.
Larry McDermott (Algonquin) is executive director of Plenty Canada, an Indigenous non-government organization devoted to the protection of Mother Earth, building healthy communities, and promoting cross-cultural awareness of the value of Indigenous ways of knowing to achieve a sustainable environment for future generations.
A former three-time mayor and council member of Lanark Highlands and chair of the Rural Forum of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, he was a commissioner on the Ontario Human Rights Commission and a member of numerous organizations including the International Indigenous Forum for Biodiversity, the Ontario Species at Risk Public Advisory Committee, the Canadian Environmental Network, UNESCO, and the Ontario Recovery Strategy for the American Eel. Larry also has served as a comprehensive claim representative for Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, is a certified tree marker and butternut assessor, and holds other environmental certifications. He lives in a 170-year-old log home on 500 acres of biologically diverse Algonquin land along the Mississippi River.
Liette Vasseur is a full professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University, where she is a member of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. She holds the UNESCO Chair on Community Sustainability.
Her research is interdisciplinary and links issues such as community-based ecosystem management, climate change adaptation and resilience, and sustainable agriculture. Her climate change adaptation research program encompasses different ecosystems from the rural community of Lincoln, Indigenous communities of San Juan, and in the Chimborazo, Ecuador, and Innu communities in Sept-Îles and further north in collaboration with AMIK. She is President of the Canadian Commission UNESCO and vice-chair for North America and leader of the thematic group on ecosystem governance of the Commission for Ecosystem Management with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).