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28th Annual Woodland Conference: 

Sharing Traditional Knowledge and Finding Common Ground

Saturday March 13th, 2021 at 8:45am-12:30pm EST FREE event

Join us virtually for the 28th Annual Kawartha Woodland Conference hosted by Fleming College.


2021 Conference Agenda:

8:45 am    Connect to conference in Fleming College Webex


9:00 am- 9:15 am    Welcome & Opening Remarks

  • Keegan McKitterick, MC Board Member, Peterborough County Stewardship

  • Elliott Groen, Co President Fleming College Forestry Technician Class of 2021

  • Tania Clerac, Dean, School of Environmental & Natural Resources

  • Eleanor Reed, President, Kawartha Chapter, Ontario Woodlot Association

9:15 am- 10:15 am    Keynote Speaker 

  • "Reconciliation" Larry McDermott, Algonquin from Shabot Obaadjiwan, Lanark Highlands 


10:15 am- 12:15 pm    Live Presentations- 30 minutes including questions

  • "Sacred Water Circle", Dorothy McCue, Curve Lake First Nations Elder, Drummer, and Knowledge Keeper

  • "Alderville Oak Savanna Restoration Project", Jacey Moore, Garden and Outreach Coordinator

  • "Ginawaydaguc - We are all Connected", Chris Craig, member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagain, Sr. Forestry Technician, South Nation Conservation

  • "Indigenous Medicine", Joe Pitawanakwat, Ojibway from Wiikwemkoong, Founder & Director of Creators Garden

Live Traditional DrummingDorothy McCue, Curve Lake First Nations 

12:15 pm- 12:30 pm    Closing remarks

  • Neil Hayward, Conference Chair 

*Additional recorded presentations*


Presenter Introductions

Larry McDermott


Larry is Algonquin from Shabot Obaadjiwan and is the Executive Director of Plenty Canada.  Larry is currently a member of numerous organizations including the International Indigenous Forum for Biodiversity, the Canadian Environmental Network, UNESCO, and the Ontario Recovery Strategy for American Eel.


A former 3 time Mayor and the long time Council member of Lanark Highlands, was the first chair of the Rural Forum of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, was the Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and was on the Ontario Species at Risk Public Advisory Committee.  Larry also served as a comprehensive claim representative for Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, is a certificated tree marker and butternut assessor, and holds other environmental certifications.  He has also received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Guelph.  Larry was a humble student for many years of the late Algonquin Elder, Grandfather William Commanda, who created the Circle of all Nations organization.


Larry lives in a 170 year old log home on 500 acres of biologically diverse Algonquin land along the Mississippi River with his wife Nancy. 


Dorothy McCue


Dorothy is a Mississauga Ojibwe Elder from Curve Lake First Nation.  She is known for her work and traditional teachings about the sacredness of water and she has been asked to share traditional knowledge and ceremony within her community and various organizations throughout Peterborough and area. 


She is a noted hand drummer and singer and is founder of the Sacred Water Circle, inspired by traditional indigenous teachings and leading with hope and spiritual courage between human communities and water.


She is a member of Trent University, Indigenous Studies Department, Traditional Advisory Council and has served as a volunteer on the Petroglyph Advisory Council of Curve Lake for 12 years. Currently, Dorothy is the co-chair of the local United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation sponsored through the Kawartha World Issues Centre.  She lives in Curve Lake with her husband and two sons.


Jacey Moore


Jacey is the Coordinator, Garden and Outreach at Alderville Black Oak Savanna which is a Not-For-Profit indigenous non-indigenous organization.  We use western science and community TEK to manage the landscape, specifically the traditional practice of burning on the land to manage succession and support tallgrass communities.


The Alderville Black Oak Savanna is happy to present at the conference to explain the work at the Savanna, and how we do it.  TEK is woven into many of Alderville BOS management practices and informs much of what we do- and it is the reason the site persists- but the spiritual and cultural nuances are not mine to speak to/about, nor is forest stewardship reconciliation.  The work at the Savanna is focused on land succession and tall grass.



Chris Craig


Chris Craig is a member of the Algonquins of Pikkwakanagan (formally called Golden Lake) and Sr. Forestry Technician for South Nation Conservation.  He completed his Forestry education at Sir Sanford Fleming College and has worked for SNC since 1998.  He has multiple certificates (tree marker, chainsaw, ENC, Butternut assessor, seed and stock collector, etc).  He has worked on projects at SNC involving invasive species, black ash inventory, and medicinal plant inventory and many species at risk projects to protect and enhance First Nations values international and locally. 


Chris is the creator of the Eastern Ontario First Nations Working Group and sits on the Invasive Species Plant Council as the Aboriginal Chair as well as the National Risk Assessment for the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada and the FSLIC Standards Development working Group and has worked with Ontario Nature for Biodiversity Offsets and Pathways One, Indigenous perspective on protected areas.



Joe Pitawanakwat

I am Ojibway from Wiikwemkoong, married with one daughter. I am the Founder & Director of Creators Garden, an Indigenous outdoor, and now online, education based business, focused on plant identification, beyond-sustainable harvesting, and teaching every one of their linguistic, historical, cultural, edible, ecological and medicinal significance through experiences. My lectures and intensive programming is easily adaptable to make appropriate and successfully delivered to a variety of organizations. Including over 100 first nations communities, 20 Universities and 12 colleges and dozens of various institutions throughout Canada and the United States and beyond. I am currently a Masters Student in the MES program at York University, but have learned from hundreds of traditional knowledge holders and uniquely blending and reinforcing it with and array of western sciences.


Understanding Awaadiziwin (knowledge) and its role in achieving Bimaadiziwin (life), we will spend time learning and story-telling about issues/diseases. We learn how the disease works and why it persists. We will identify cultural components as unique humans gifts necessary for life: Plant medicines, fasting, temperature extremes (cold & heat), long form endurance exercise, culturally appropriate nutrition and sleep all make us as a species special and all need to be understood to create any health plan. We will focus on plant medicine and its mechanism, how it works. With us all at a solid understanding of this knowledge (awaadiziwin) and how it is required to achieve life itself (bimaadiziwin) the conversation then, necessarily focuses on the unique human ability to engage in reciprocal relationships with medicines themselves, and our roles and responsibilities to Aki, the land.


Shawn & Hunter Corbiere 


Shawn Corbiere and his daughter Hunter Corbiere are members of M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island, but live in a tiny town called Waubaushene, located on Georgian Bay. Shawn has been working at Parks Canada for 14 years, but has been the Indigenous Outreach Officer at Georgian Bay Island National Park for 6 years. He has helped build the indigenous interpretation program and much more over those years doing flint napping, medicinal plant walks, and much more. Shawn has an interest in carving and has revived the art of flint napping.


Hunter as a has a keen interest in tanning her own hides/furs, and making moose hide mitts, beadwork and much more. She is also a recent alumnus from the Forestry Technician Program of 2020, from Sir Sandford Fleming College. Hunter has a passion for teaching others about indigenous involvement in Forestry and Wildlife Conservation and plans to continue her education in Natural Resource Management. Just like her dad they both enjoy their time on the land and learning from it either hunting, fishing, trapping, or harvesting medicinal plants.



Elliott Groen

Elliott is a second-year student in the Forestry Technician program at Fleming College. He grew up in Ontario and the Netherlands. Last year he hosted workshops on seed saving and restoring native plants to Frost campus in his role with Students for Sustainability. Elliott found his way here after working as a chef in Sweden and farmer and carpenter in the Sinixt tumxula7xw of interior of BC. The common thread in each of those jobs was his desire to be more engaged with the forest which led Elliott to pursuing education at Fleming College.

Ted Davis “Extraction of Cedar Oil and its Medicinal Uses”

Ted learned Cedar Oil extraction from relatives originally from the Blackfoot Nation in British Columbia and from the Mohawks in upper New York state



Ted Davis

Ted learned Cedar Oil extraction from relatives originally from the Blackfoot Nation in British Columbia and from the Mohawks in upper New York state.

John Bacher


Is 66 years of age and has a doctorate in History from McMaster University, which was given in 1985. My dissertation Keeping to the Marketplace the Evolution of Canadian Housing Policy, was published by Mc Gill Queen's University Press in 1995. I am the author of three other books. One is Petrotyranny, which was published jointly by Science for Peace and Dundurn Press, in 2001. It deals with the negative connections between oil, war and dictatorship and the positive ones between peace, human rights and the protection of the environment. My third book, "Two Billion Trees and Counting: The Legacy of Edmund Zavitz", is the biography of a key person responsible for ecological recovery of much of the province from desertification. (reforested for instance, Oak Ridges Moraine and Norfolk County). I also authored "Mel Swart Champion of EcoJustice, which was published by the Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society. (PALS). Mel was a founder of PALS in 1976, for which I have been involved with, and usually employed by in their efforts to encourage good land use planning in Ontario's countryside. 


Martin Munoz


Martin Munoz has produced YouTube Video’s (along with John Bacher) in their mutual effort to protect a 500-acre natural area in Niagara Falls threatened by development which has come to be known as the Tundering Waters Forest.


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