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Common Ground Research Forum

The Common Ground Research Forum is a consortium of researchers from the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, municipal and First Nations leaders, and local community organizations. Between 2009 and 2014 the consortium conducted collaborative research to better understand and support cross-cultural collaboration and social learning in the Kenora region, including shared governance of…

cover of Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage nomination document

Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Nomination

Pimachiowin Aki is 33,400 of boreal forest and home to five First Nations that, together with the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, are leading the nomination of the area as a World Heritage Site. The nomination document, excluding its extensive appendices, is available online at

Cover page of keeping the land, a land-use strategy for the whitefeather forest

Keeping the Land: A Land Use Strategy for the Whitefeather Forest

Keeping the Land — Cheekahnahwaydahmungk Keetahkeemeenaan: A Land Use Strategy for the Whitefeather Forest, prepared by Pikangikum First Nation and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. This ground breaking land use strategy is the first community-based strategy approved in Ontario and was developed under the guidance of community elders.

aerial view of beaver dam near Fort McMurray

Beaver Dams without creeks

Elder Francis Orr of Fort McKay, explained how beavers build up their dams in the bush to reach their preferred foods, poplar and willow, even where there is no running water: in the spring, when the snow is melting, beaver will build a low dam to hold the spring runoff; for two more years, the…

brown bat sleeping under bean vines in the daytime

Little Brown Bat

In one of my plots in the Oakvale Green Community Gardens, pictured above, yardlong beans (Vigna unguiculata) grew very well in 2012 and formed a dense canopy over the small 4′ x 8′ plot. One morning i went to harvest beans and found a little brown bat resting, in underneath the bean canopy. At first…