Hwy 401 running through Greenbelt land. (Haljackey. 2013) CC BY-SA 3.0 Hwy 401 running through Greenbelt land. (Haljackey. 2013) CC BY-SA 3.0

Alternatives Journal, Canada's oldest environmental publication, has been chronicling, enabling and pushing the environmental movement forward for nearly half a century. This year we have partnered with Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation on a project aiming to explore the past, present and future of Ontario’s many Indigenous communities living within the area now designated as the “Greenbelt”. This green space protects headwaters and agricultural land from urban sprawl, and is a beloved reminder of Southern Ontario’s rich natural landscape.

The experience of most settlers in the Greenbelt differs from those of Indigenous communities whose histories in the region stretch back millenia. Any understanding of the Greenbelt and its value is incomplete without including the perspectives of numerous Indigenous groups.

That’s why A\J is actively looking to partner with Indigenous communities around the Greenbelt who can help us shape the project’s editorial direction. We are also looking to find text and visual storytellers (both photography and video) from Indigenous communities throughout southwestern Ontario who may want to share their stories. This project will live on our website and be shared through the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.

Our perspective is broad: the only geographic boundary is the Greenbelt itself, stretching from the Niagara peninsula to Tobermory and past Lake Simcoe to the east. We are also interested in ensuring that stories from across the region and from all genders are told. From a story idea perspective, we are looking to work with potential writers and videographers to craft stories on the loose themes of WATER, LAND and PEOPLE | PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE that matter to and resonate with Indigenous communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about the project, or want to speak with us about a story idea you think fits well, please reach out to Andrew Reeves, A\J’s Editor-in-Chief, at andrew@alternativesjournal.ca. Alternatives hopes to have project contributors in place by the third week of July, 2018, with the first stories published in mid-September. All contributors to the project will be compensated with a competitive stipend for their work.

Thank you for your interest in Alternatives Journal, and our Greenbelt project!

If you liked this article, please subscribe or donate today to support our work.

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