We, as part of the Solstice gathering acknowledge that we are meeting on aboriginal land that has been inhabited by Indigenous peoples from the beginning. We're grateful for the opportunity to meet here and we thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land - for thousands of years. Long before today, as we gather here, there have been aboriginal peoples who have been the stewards of this place In particular, in Grey-Bruce county we acknowledge the traditional territory of the Haudensaunee (Iroquois), Ojibway/Chippewa and Anishnabek. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties. We recognize and deeply appreciate their historic connection to this place. We also recognize the contributions of Métis, Inuit, and other Indigenous peoples have made, both in shaping and strengthening this community in particular, and our province and country as a whole. As settlers, this recognition of the contributions and historic importance of Indigenous peoples must also be clearly and overtly connected to our collective commitment to make the promise and the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation real in our communities, and in particular to bring justice for murdered and missing indigenous women and girls across our country.
Environmental Impact Reduction
What conservation work has been done in the last 9 years?
Importing local firewood allows the on-site deadfall to decompose back into soil and recycle nutrients into the next generation of trees.
The boardwalk on the island keeps foot traffic raised above the sensitive, damp ecosystem.
What conservation work is being done in 2018?
By expanding field camping we are having less foot traffic impact on the forest ecosystem.
More boardwalks: from the fire-pit to Root, will protect the wet area from our feet and our feet from the mud. We all win.
Education: informative signs and posters and conservation workshops will inspire thought and conversation.
Why is it so important to do this work?
The forest is a beautiful place that we can come to unplug from city life and reconnect to nature.
A community our size has an impact on the environment after a week-long event, especially in our 10th year on this land. There are animals, plants and fungus that call the forest home all year round.
We are the stewards. The care we take and give in our Solstice community microcosm echoes out into the worlds we engage through the rest of the year.
What can I do to help?
Appreciate the forest’s beauty. That's why we’re in the forest and why we need to keep it healthy. By respecting the land, water, stones, bones, logs and sticks, leaving them in their place, as they are important parts of the forest ecosystem, providing nutrients and habitat for the plants, animals and fungi.
By cleaning our tents before arriving on site and using boot brushes on site, we reduce the risk of introducing invasive species.
Keep the conversations going. It takes a village to innovate new ways to work with nature on this land and beyond. We are part of the solution.
Solstice is a celebration of cycles. A time to rediscover, reconnect and regenerate our sense of self and relationship to our community and natural environment.
2018 is the 10th summer Solstice celebration on this land, in this forest, field and pond. At this time of year we emerge and return to the beautiful bloom’s nourishing nectar like a butterfly whose wing flaps echo out around the world; so to do our footsteps echo through time.
We burn imported wood from local sources to allow the decomposition of tree matter to recycle back into this forest's soil and feed the next generation of trees. We build and walk on boardwalks and stabilized paths to allow softer ecosystems to not be harmed by our many footsteps. We stay out of sensitive ecosystems and have gratitude for the wetlands that freely purify the water that flows through the land.
After 10 years, we can see the beautiful social connections we have made, the innovative and creative structures we have built. We can also see the depleted understory of plant life and diversity. 1700 people leave a lot of footsteps after a week of walking, running, frolicking and dancing on the forest’s soft, fertile substrate that animals, plants and fungus call home all year round. We know the challenges and impact of rain and mud on the forest intimately.
We are the stewards. The care we take and give in our Solstice community microcosm echoes out into the worlds we engage through the rest of the year. We are part of the solution.
Please engage the educational materials and best practices that have been developed relating to locally relevant species, phenomena and issues thoughtfully and in conversation with your community during the event and onwards.
Keep your eyes out for informative sign and poster boards, participate in workshops, talk to the Human Ecosystem Adaptability Department in the Human Ecosystem Adaptability Resource Temple.