Edmontonians take a lot of pride in our parks and natural areas. But how did they come to be the way they are, and how well do they make space for humans and other species? On September 29, Let’s Find Out hosted a live podcast recording at the Aviary, with short talks and activities about parks. At the end, listeners had a chance to submit a question for our upcoming season about parks and natural areas in and around our city.
As guests came in, they had a chance to grab a card with the name of a park or natural area in Edmonton, and to exchange stories about their place.
Marilyn Dumont was the first speaker of the night. Marilyn is a Metis poet, writer, and professor, and teaches for the faculties of Arts and Native Studies at the University of Alberta. Her four collections of poetry have won either provincial or national awards: A Really Good Brown Girl (1996); green girl dreams Mountains (2001); that tongued belonging (2007); The Pemmican Eaters (2015). She was awarded 2018 Lifetime Membership from the League of Canadian Poets for her contributions to poetry in Canada, and in 2019, awarded the University of Alberta Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Distinguished Artist Award.
Next up was Tara Russell, the Program Director at CPAWS Northern Alberta. She started working with CPAWS in 2015, where her passion and knowledge of Alberta’s wild spaces have allowed her to wear many hats in the organization. She has led projects to better protect our natural heritage: ask her about Alberta’s parks, public land, caribou conservation, and work to protect the North Saskatchewan River Headwaters. Outside of her work with CPAWS, she recharges in the very places she works to protect – and brings her friends and family along for the ride.
Finally, we heard from Sarah De Lano, a mother and language instructor. She is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta and has ancestral ties to River Lot 28, one lot over from where the Kinnaird/Rat Creek Ravine sits and very close to where she currently lives in the community of Parkdale. She harvests plants and berries in the Ravine with her daughter and has recently completed a community-based research project and recipe book on diversity in greenspace and urban agriculture.
Thanks to everybody who came out to our live recording, and to the Aviary for hosting.
- “Rooted in Mobility: Metis Buffalo Hunting Brigades” by Brenda Macdougall and Nicole St. Onge (Manitoba History Number 71, Winter 2013)
- Rat Routes and Reasons to Gather by Sarah De Lano
- Sarah De Lano’s PowerPoint presentation about the book
- City Under Pressure documentary about proposing a freeway through Mill Creek Ravine (NFB)
- The End of the World: From Found Space to Keillor Point by Giselle General (ECAMP)
- Biography of Carolyn and Richard Nutter (Naming Committee of Edmonton)