Common Ground Project

This multi-media experience is a collaborative initiative between Community Forests International, Ulnooweg, and The Nova Scotia Family Forest Network. The Common Ground project seeks to mobilize citizen climate action in the rural Maritime region on the unceded territory of Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik peoples.

The Borer and the Basket

The ash trees of the Wabanaki Forest bear spiritual, ceremonial, and economic importance to Indigenous people in the area, but the emerald ash borer ― an invasive beetle species ― is currently decimating these trees and threatening a way of life. This film weaves personal stories with the latest research, following the basket makers and experts who are trying to preserve the forest before it’s too late.

Npisun (Medicine) in the Wabanaki Forest

Join Cecelia Brooks from St. Mary’s First Nation, New Brunswick, and her son Anthony Bardwell, as they share their story of finding medicine from and on the land. Watch their traditional medicine harvest, listen to the challenge of accessing lands, and find hope from one settler landowner who passes on the knowledge from his own ancestors.

The Muskwi Canoe

The changing climate affects both the forests and traditions that have relied on the forests for millennia. In this short film, Mi’kmaw Elder Todd G. Labrador and his daughter Melissa Labrador explain the increasing importance of sharing traditional ecological skills and knowledge — and take us on a journey to see the traditional harvest and making of muskwi products.

Windhorse: A Story of Land Back

Land Back is one of the most tangible actions settlers can take within the process of reconciliation. Through the story of Windhorse Farm, this short film shows the importance of Land Back and the profound beauty this form of healing provides. This story gives an intimate look at reconciliation through the eyes of the people on the ground.

Standing Trees

How do you measure the value of a forest? Enter Robinson Conservation Forest, a naturally diverse Wabanaki forest in the Wolastoq watershed in central New Brunswick, on the east coast of Canada / Turtle Island. This special forest and the people connected to it push us to see beyond the timber value of a forest—to see the forest beyond the trees. From carbon storage to flood mitigation to family connections and cultural traditions, forests like this are vital to the identity and well-being of our communities.

The story of one family, their connection to their land, and discovering their resilience.

Mitata (pronounced “mee-da-da”) is Mi’kmaq word translating to “grandfather”. Created by Elsipogtog First Nation filmmaker Desmond Simon, Mitata is a celebration of a grandfather through the voice of his son and the eyes of his grandson

Lisa Perley-Dutcher and her community of friends, elders, and volunteers are working to save the Wolastoqey language before it disappears. Almost all fluent Wolastoqey speakers are 65 years and older, so we only have a short window of time to involve our fluent speakers in the revitalization of our language. This documentary tells the story of the first-ever Wolastoqey immersion school. The school, located in the traditional territories of the Wolastoqey people (in what is today known as New Brunswick, Canada) provides an opportunity for children and adults to learn and reconnect with their language and ways of life.

“Indigenous languages are fundamental to who we are as people. Its concepts, contours and rhythms shape how we perceive and describe the world around us. Language grounds people to the land, our ancestors, and our culture. Kehkimin immersion school wants to rebuild a healthy relationship between the children and mother earth through our traditional language, nature, and culture.”

Learn more about Kekhimin:

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“Below the Canopy” by Community Forests International explores the relationships between people and the forests they care for, with a particular focus on the Wabanaki forest—a special forest type found across the northeast of Canada and the United States.

Read More

Check out the incredible stories from the Community Forest International covering an array of regions and topics. Make sure to check out the article featuring Jocelyn Marshall, Knowledge Keeper, Counselor of Potlotek First Nation and Indigenous Culture and Engagement Officer at Ulnooweg.