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Andrew Vaughan - The Canadian Press

From Tio’tia:ke to Mi’kma’ki: Sustainable Concordia in Solidarity with Mi’kmaw Grassroots Grandmothers

Sustainable Concordia’s coordinators and board condemn in the strongest possible terms the removal and arrest of three Mi’kmaw grassroots grandmothers from their treaty territory by police this past Wednesday. We condemn the colonial powers of Alton Gas and the industrialized structures of power who have made a clear decision to support the interests of capital and colonialism over the interests of the land, the people, and the women shouldering the sacred role of protecting them.

The removal of Darlene Gilbert, Madonna Bernard, and Paula Isaac from their territory is not only a moral and ethical abomination, but a clear violation of Canada’s own treaty law, and a reinforcement of the notion that Canada’s legal concerns lie in protecting financial interests and not in protecting the land, water, humans, or non-human lives to whom it is responsible. It is a reinforcement of the idea that the goalposts of colonial capitalism move wherever the whims of the powerful want them to, whenever they want them to, in order to prevent the marginalized from exercising legal rights that would pose a threat to systems of power. We are unsurprised, but no less horrified to see that once again, a human-designed system of assessing value is being privileged over our habitat, our neighbors, and our planet.

As a collection of Indigenous and other peoples, we would like to recognize that we occupy Kanien’kehá:ka territory as uninvited guests, and profit daily from a legacy of genocide. We recognize that the foundation of our every privilege is the legacy of murder, exploitation, and betrayal that has birthed and shaped the colonial occupation of modern-day Turtle Island. We recognize that along with the privileges we have inherited from previous generations, we also inherit the burden of reconciliation and reparation. As such, we refuse to turn a blind eye to further instances of exploitation. Our stance remains that the interests of the earth, the people on it, and the sacred ties of interdependence cannot be measured against capital value. Our stance remains that Indigenous peoples are sovereign on land they have occupied and protected since time immemorial.

Shame on Alton Gas, and shame on any and all people or systems supporting them.

Help the water protectors raise a proper legal fund to stop Alton Gas by donating here.

If you weren’t able to make it to the demonstration today, but you’d still like your voice to be heard, please contact Environmental Minister Margaret Miller and Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. Feel free to ask them exactly what about the science of this project makes them so confident it won’t be a complete disaster for the water in Nova Scotia, and why Stephen McNeil ran away from protesters last week instead of doing his job as a public servant to hear and respond to their concerns.

Margaret Miller: 902-424-3600
Stephen McNeil: 902-424-6600

Sustainable Concordia’s AGM 2019

It’s almotht time for our Annual General Meeting!
As you might have guessed, this year’s theme is bugs, and we’ll have a swarm of insect-themed activities! That includes some cricket 🦗 cookies for the brave of heart, to complement our free Rawlin vegan sushi! 🍣

We invite everyone from the community to come celebrate alongside us as we showcase what we’ve been up to this year, elect a new Board of Directors, and approve our next budget!

🐜 🐜 🐜

Members will be voting on the following:

  • Approval of our audited statements for 2018
  • Election of our Board of Directors for the 2019/2020 term (Join our board!)

 

🐞 When: Wednesday, April 24th, 5pm
🐞 Where: SCPA Basement, 2149 Mackay St

There will be food and games!

🐌 Everyone of all ages welcome! If you would like to bring your children please send us a heads up before, so that we can prepare accordingly and make sure we have everything you need.

Regretfully, the SCPA basement is not wheelchair accessible. There are two entrances to the SCPA basement. The main entrance is up 11 stairs, the basement is down 18 carpeted stairs. The basement entrance is down 4 steps with 2 more steps inside. Bathrooms are gender neutral. If you desire child care, please let us know before Monday April 22 5pm. 


Montreal, traditional name Tiohtià:ke is located on unceded Indigenous territory. It has historically been a meeting place for many nations, with the Kanien’kehá:ka as the stewards. We encourage you to reflect on your current and historical relationship to this land.

🐝 🐛 🐌 🐞 🐜 🦗 🌿

Urban Somatics: Building intimacy with(in) the city

We’re super excited to host this workshop as a prelude to our Sustain’Alive event week!
 
Urban Somatics: A workshop to explore and embody the interactions between human and non-human bodies in the urban environment.
 
While considering themes of environmental hope and disaster (as they may relate to our particular identities) we will explore art-based practices that aim to critique, transgress and debunk our multilayered understanding of urban ecologies, and to propose and embody alternative urban futures through play and performativity.
 
This workshop will consist of in-studio exercises, sharing circles, a brief urban exploration, prototyping and play/performance. We will use our bodies, voices, and technologies to assist us in the process.
 
In the extent possible bring comfy clothes, a story about you/the environment, and a smartphone.
 
 
Facilitator bio:
Christian Scott is fascinated by the ability of people to transform cities with playful actions. With a background in urban sociology they use poetry, music, and sometimes movement as mediums of exploration; they’re currently applying to become a PhD candidate at Concordia University. They grew up between Montreal and Guadalajara (MX), and currently inhabit the H2R 1C3 postal code.
 
 
We’ll tell you more about Sustain’Alive very soon (it’ll happen mid-March), but come join us for this amazing workshop first!
 
When: Tuesday, February 19th – 5pm to 8pm
Where: School of Community and Public Affairs basement, 2149 Mackay street

 

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1211110985720314/

Sustain’Alive: Speaker call-out

Sustain’Alive

Dreaming, plotting, planning alternative futures

 

Sustain’Alive is an event week hosted by Sustainable Concordia that aims to unpack, engage with and dream alternatives to the complexities of sustainability.

This year’s Sustain’Alive (Jan. 28 – Feb 1st) is taking a closer look at how solidarity and justice relate to sustainability through public conversation, workshops, and a panel. More info to come in early 2019!

 

We are looking to host experts for public conversations on the following topics:

  • How to make holistic activist communities
    What does it take to keep our communities from burning out? How do we allow conflict and move on from it? What practices are needed to sustain our activism? What practices are needed to sustain our communities? Can we live the future we’re dreaming of with one another, now? 
  • Creative strategies to organize for culture change
    What are out of the box ways to shift power dynamics, to change our relationship to the environment? How can we be creative about approaching difference in opinion? What creative methods can we use to engage people in our activism?

For each conversation, 2 people will be selected to be experts on the topic at hand and will receive an honorarium of $150.

Experts will prepare so as to be able to share their knowledge and experience to help move the conversation forwards, based on the questions outlined above (to be edited if need be). The conversations will be facilitated by our staff members.

Apply

If you are someone with experience relevant to these topics, please fill out this quick form to apply:
https://goo.gl/k7Sw3e

Application deadline: January 10th, 2019

Conversations will take place in a wheelchair accessible location, and we are trying to secure ASL and live translation.

 

Free Sushi and Solving Climate Change with Concordia’s Sustainability Hub? Count me in!

Okay, so maybe not solving climate change, but the free food part is true!

The Concordia Sustainability Hub is an open group of rad folks who come together on a monthly basis to talk about sustainability. Regular attendees usually include SC, the SAF, the CFCCUCCRThe Dish ProjectEH&SJSEC, and The Concordia Greenhouse, although anyone looking to learn more about sustainability or get involved is always welcome. Conversations typically focus on what groups are up to, what they could use support in, how they can offer their support to others, and even how events and activities can be collectively organized. A much anticipated and upcoming “Lunch & Learn” series set to launch this coming Fall based on the Sustainability Action Plans at the university is an example of just that.

These Lunch & Learns are community events open to all people who are interested in learning more about sustainability in the Concordia context, as well as how they can get involved in being part of the change. The first Lunch & Learn is set to take place on Thursday, September 13th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm in the EV Junction and will tackle arguably the greatest challenge of our time: Climate Change.

Climate change, waste, food, research and curriculum, and accessibility and diversity are some pretty all-encompassing and poignant issues in the sustainability world, so we think that it’s great that Concordia is working on institutionalizing sustainability in terms of its practices, policies, and processes by creating and eventually implementing action plans based on these 5 “sustainability streams”.

These Lunch and Learns will create a space for people to learn about Concordia’s current sustainability efforts, engage in discussion with experts and change-makers on campus about what is systematically working well and what needs to change, and discover how they can get involved in cultivating an inclusive, empowering, and impactful culture of sustainability at the university. Not to mention, Rawlins Rolls (the hottest vegan sushi joint around campus) will be tickling our tastebuds on the 13th, so you really don’t want to miss this!

We can’t wait to see you there. If you have any questions about this event, or Concordia’s work on the Sustainability Action Plans, don’t hesitation to pass by our space and start a conversation.

Peace, Love, & Sustainability

Vanessa

 

 

Photo: SC’s board retreat 2018 in St Henri

Summer retreat brief with our new general coordinator

The first SIP workshop is out!!

 

Last week, as the first part of our summer retreat with our new and enthusiastic board, Alice and Jueji, members of the Sustainable Investing Project, led us through the very first workshop of the initiative. Alice, our finance coordinator and current leader of the project, explained that the goal of the workshop is to start guiding organizations through the process of choosing what to invest in, within the large realm of sustainable investments (here’s a resource developed by previous team members if you would like to know more yourself!)

 

During a couple of hour, we discussed what we valued as an organization so that the SIP team got a clearer idea of where to start their research to build our portfolio (a collection of hand-picked investments, in the form of chosen companies we think our organization should support).

Alice and Jueji first explained very clearly what sustainable investing was all about, why it mattered, and how we would create a portfolio as an organization. We then went through what we considered important sustainability issues, and then proceeded to prioritizing them (which was very challenging for us!). Finally, we established a list of criterias companies we would invest in should conform to, that align with the priorities we chose.

 

The workshop sparked amazing discussions, and got the team very excited and committed to the research. The session aimed to give us more vocabulary and ease with investment concepts. It also enabled us to start conversations in and out of the organization, while giving our researchers a clearer scope to build our portfolio.

Hopefully the SIP team got enough feedback from us and is now ready to look into our options! SC will lead it by example, and Alice is hoping other organizations will collaborate and join the research, enabling the community to slowly create a significant fund.

 

SIP is starting to get a lot of attention, we are glad there is strong interest in that project in the community, and some momentum around sustainable investing practices in Montreal!

More and more non-finance people are starting to get their hands on investing, just like Alice did – with an accounting background, she explained she is continuously learning through SIP and getting familiar with those concepts, as she wants herself to eventually be able to know what to invest in.  

 

‘If you have money, you have power. Investment touches everyone,’ she finally pointed out. So get in there, reach out, and make your money count!  Join the movement and get involved now!

 

SC is hiring a new general coordinator!

We are looking for a new general coordinator to replace our amazing Mark, who has been at SC for the past 4 years – he got offered a great position at the SAF, our friends and office-mates (so he will not go very far away from us!). We are excited to welcome someone new to our dear team!
If you feel passionate about sustainability and want to build a stronger community, and you have experience in organizational logistics, apply now!

Check out the job posting here!

Compost The Bug – Episode 1 !!!!

Sustainable Concordia is excited to share the first episode of our new podcast, Compost The Bug! You’ll meet the podcast volunteers and hear from Canadians in La Manzanilla, Mexico, and their views on climate change.

Produced and edited by our external coordinator Emily, this has been in the works since the new year and we can’t wait to hear what y’all think about it. What kinds of things should we talk about in the future? If you have feedback or want to help with future episodes, give us a shout!

 

Ankit on interning at SC!

We will be hiring new interns soon! Check out what it is like to intern at SC, through the eyes of Ankit Kumar, working on social media and content creation these past months

 

“In mid-October 2017, I started getting involved with Sustainable Concordia as a Social Media and Online Content Creation Intern and I can proudly say that during the past months my learning curve regarding the concept of sustainability has been exponential. I have been fortunate to meet several like-minded people who are passionate about sustainability and want to bring about a change in the world and in the society, that we live in.

Right from day one, I have received tremendous support from my colleague – Pauline, the communications and design coordinator at Sustainable Concordia. I was given complete autonomy on how I want to shape my internship and the kind of projects that I want to take up and at the same time, I was also provided with proper guidance and the right resources to unleash my creativity and come up with exceptional work.

During my internship, I have learnt how to write persuasive blog posts by exploring a topic through different angles and by incorporating different voices, expertise’s and sources to support and feed your point. I realized that it is important to dig deeper and bring different perspectives on the table when one is writing articles to share with the community.

Secondly, I also got the chance to attend various workshops and events in the university which helped me broaden my views about sustainability and look at the amazing work that some of the other sustainability-related organizations are carrying out.

At the Divest 101 workshop, I got to learn about what divestment is, its history at Concordia and in the world, and how to make a change in our context. At the Sustainability Mixer 3.0, I made new connections with members of the Concordia Community who are interested in researching and working on projects around sustainability. Zero Waste Week, which was an effort to promote sustainable waste management practices by Concordia student groups such as the Dish Project, Concordia’s Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR) and Waste Not Want Not, helped me gain insight on some creative solutions for reducing waste.

The best workshop of all was the internship orientation meeting organized by Sustainable Concordia where I met an excited bunch of interns who had joined SC this semester and the strong cohort of coordinators at SC. This combination of sustainability-minded individuals resulted in stimulating discussions about the complexities of sustainability, which was followed by a fun social mingling session.

Till now, interning with Sustainable Concordia has been an enriching and rewarding experience. For the next semester, there are some fascinating projects in the pipeline that I am excited to work on such as the Sustainable Investing Project, the Resource Library at the SC office and our campaigns for this year – Carbon and Institutionalizing Sustainability. I am pretty sure this intuitive learning experience will not only help me in my academic journey at Concordia university, but it will also be immensely useful in my professional career later in life

 

Stay tuned for more of Ankit’s articles and for upcoming opportunities at our organization!