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Saugeen RED Tree, Forest and Community garden Program

This circle shaped lake is full of life, and the circle of life around and within it is a generous one! Today, it reminds us all of how this life in creation that surrounds this lake is coming full circle.

Like many of our ancestors who have come before us, generation after generation, the connection to the land, animals, water and spirit was at the front of any action taken on the land. Now, a group of people who understand this connection have emerged through the Saugeen First Nation RED TREE program. The work that this program does has been helping to speak to these connections and bring them to life once again through planting for animals of all shapes and sizes, providing habitats, cleaner water, growing food and building awareness. This work is never done alone and works alongside friends and Allies throughout Saugeen Shores. The animals of this lake have a history here, just like the people of the surrounding communities do, living side by side.  These connections are rekindled through the work that we have been asked to do through this program: to help restore these connections of this lake, the connections that are now known as ‘ecosystems’.

Almost everyone in our community knows about this lake. The people who have been helping to restore the ecosystems around this lake know it through our youth, running around it when attending school and the stories of our parents. We have been working here planting, restoring, and creating habitats around the lake in order to put our knowledge, passion, and gifts as stewards of this land into this work. In that work, we are coming full circle from when we remember running around the lake as children. We were not yet aware, then, of the legacy that our parents and grandparents left for us in the knowledge they passed onto us so that we could do this work.

Everyone in the circle must continue to show respect for all creatures, for all of the land, for all of the people who are connected to it, for in that circle is where we all reside, side by side. All of us need to be connected as a people in order to do this work because united as a people is the only way we can connect back with the land.  

For all of us working with the RED Tree Forest and Community Garden Program and our friends at Green Feet Ecosystem Services, all of this happening is just a reminder that we need everyone to come full circle, and remember your childhood. Keep that same spirit alive. Keep that spirit with the land and keep the children on the land so that they too can someday come full circle at this lake and help in the enormous job they will have someday to help our land to become healthy once again.