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Canadian Environment Week

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It is not possible for us to agree to the destruction of land that sustains us.”

-Chief Marilyn Baptiste

Canadian Environment Week is about focussing our attention on the conservation and preservation of our natural resources. It is a chance to celebrate our environment and appreciate the value of our own biodiversity. Biodiversity is the keystone to a sustainable future; without it, there is no future for humanity. Each of our environmental elements are incredibly important and serve valuable roles within our ecosystem. Canadian Environment Week relies heavily on encouraging awareness and attainable action in an effort to highlight the importance of protecting our mountains, rivers, forests, animals and, ultimately, ourselves from aquatic pollution, air pollution and deforestation. This includes understanding the small steps we can take in our everyday lives to ensure we are doing our part to fight climate change.

Canadian Environment Week is observed each year during the week of June 5th. The Canadian Commons created Canadian Environment Week in 1971 in an effort to raise awareness regarding pollution-related issues. It was observed in October each year until 1982 in which Canadian Environment Week was moved to the first week in June to correspond with World Environment Day, as proclaimed by the United Nations that same year.

We celebrate Canadian Environment Week to raise awareness on the importance of biodiversity throughout the world. As Canadian’s we have a very special connection to the land around us. In order to protect the natural resources in our own backyard, we must be more conscious of how we interact with them. Unfortunately, our environment is incredibly vulnerable to human interference. Part of Canadian Environment Week is understanding humanity’s impact on our own ecosystems and highlighting the kinds of changes we need to make in order to slow down climate change. Education and sharing resources is our key to understanding this impact and to becoming global citizens. Building a foundation of understanding and taking action against climate change is the key to promoting conservation. Our environment is ever-changing and there are so many things we can do to make a difference. By observing Canadian Environment Week you are doing your part to make meaningful change. 

Everyone can participate in Canadian Environment Week because it takes a community effort to promote and preserve our country’s natural biodiversity. From the air we breathe, to the animals we cherish, and the food we eat, our environment impacts us every day regardless of where we come from. This means we need to work together in the fight against climate change, after all we are all part of the circle of life.

You can celebrate National Wildlife Week at home in your own backyard, your local community, and of course at Trickster’s favourite place, your school! Learning about our environment is a valuable part of protecting it from human interference and this process of knowledge-sharing can take place in the classroom, between peers, or in your community through public campaigns and other nature-inspired quests.

You can celebrate Canadian Environment Week in many different ways! You can start by embracing nature by listening to Indigenous ecological knowledge, learning more about the conservation of endangered species, or taking a hike and identifying as many elements along the way. You can become more active in the fight against climate change at home by refusing (single use plastic), reducing (your use of other inorganic materials, reusing (materials until they are completely broken down), and repurposing any waste material around you. You can expand this into your community by volunteering in environmental conservation activities like guided nature walks, community clean-ups, and planting trees. You can help take this a step further by donating to conservation organizations, electing political leaders who are keen on environmental care, and writing to your Member of Parliament on why it is important to consider the long-term impact of human interference.

Need some help figuring out how to share what you learned? Solidify your learning and drive this knowledge home by participating in Trickster’s theatrical activities!

One size does not fit all

How you and your school decide to use the suggested activities, performances, and resources will depend completely on what you and your peers are comfortable with, and the time you have available to designate to the project(s). Trickster is also available to consult with if you would like extra help, resource connections, and/or coordination. You can go big, involving every class with different projects, performances and events throughout the school, or, you can go as small as just doing an activity listed in the materials for your own class which you believe will help them connect to the subject matter. 

Due to the circumstances of COVID19, not everything suggested will be possible, and many will need to be adjusted to suit your needs and comfort level. As we hope to carry this forward, and know that schools are looking to future projects much further down the road, we do want to plant the seeds for what those event days might look like too. There will be suggestions throughout on how you can modify activities for social distancing, but you are also able at any point to choose and modify activities and projects to achieve the level of safety your school is comfortable with.

Why Teachers Love It

Our residency was a unifying and motivating experience that we used as a way to begin our year long inquiry about children’s rights.

— Lisa McConnell, Teacher, North Haven School, Calgary

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