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Summary Description Of The Rivers Rising Project

Rivers Rising is a community engagement collaborative project of the Toronto Green Community’s (TGC) Lost Rivers program, the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto’s (NCCT) First Story program, and the Toronto Community Garden Network (TCGN). The Rivers Rising project involves:

  • Daylighting stories of Toronto’s Lost Rivers;
  • Daylighting past and present stories of Indigenous and newcomer communities in Toronto;
  • Creating green communities, the blue green city, and social enterprises;
  • Connecting with nature, with each other and with the past to create a sustainable future.

The project will take place over the course of three years in four neighbourhoods using storytelling as the thread to connect people with each other and with the blue green city. We will engage community and build capacity of community members to tell their own stories about the connection to their Lost River watershed reflecting themes of sustainable food, water, and culture. The stories will be captured through digital formats becoming content for an online platform and a web based app that offer self-guided and guided walks through Toronto neighbourhoods located in Lost River watersheds. This will increase public access and promote collaboration within and between communities across Toronto.

With the support of local community partners (i.e. local community centres, community garden groups, etc.) we will promote the project throughout the selected neighbourhoods and beyond. We will hold community events where we will first share our stories about the local lost rivers and local Indigenous culture and heritage; then we will ask participants to share their own place-based stories. These events will help us begin to identify stories and to recruit up to ten community members who are interested in taking a leadership role in the project. We will provide these community ‘ambassadors’ with hands-on training in the process of capturing the stories as well as leading Lost River neighbourhood walks. The ambassadors will also have the opportunity to participate in the anticipated ecotourism social enterprise.

We will conduct three walks in each community with an estimated attendance of 30-50 people at each walk. In Year 2 of the project, our trained ambassadors will act as mentors to subsequent ambassadors recruited from additional communities further building capacity and connections across diverse communities. This project will support communities in discovering and sharing their neighbourhood stories and in jointly seeking opportunities for blue green infrastructure projects and social enterprise initiatives.

Rivers Rising

Rivers Rising explores Lost River watershed communities for stories about food, water, history and culture. Come to our events to hear and share stories about your local community and to take part in eco-friendly neighbourhood projects.

Why should you become a Rivers Rising Ambassador?

As a Rivers Rising Ambassador, you will gain valuable skills by helping us discover local stories, leading neighbourhood walks, inspiring eco-friendly projects, and getting the chance to be part of our future ecotourism social enterprise. You will also be given $200 for completing our hands-on training in:

  • local history & environment
  • key elements of digital storytelling
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • engaging with the public
  • leading walking tours

(8 training sessions in addition to attending 2 walks, & creating & leading new walks)

Who Should Apply?

We are looking for eager, creative, motivated people. You should apply if you:

  • are curious about local cultures, history & your natural environment like to share what you learn with others
  • enjoy working with people of different ages and backgrounds
  • are looking for a way to become more involved in your community
  • are available for the training and can commit to attend all of the sessions can communicate well in English (additional languages are an asset)
  • are at least 18 years old

Discover your community, connect with your neighbours, and make a big difference!

To find out more contact:

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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