Connecting with our Past is Essential to our Future

The Crane Gathering Space

The Credit River Watershed has some of the most naturally rich, biodiverse and beautiful landscapes in southern Ontario, including the Niagara Escarpment, Oak Ridges Moraine and Greenbelt. These lands are vital for our communities to connect to nature. They also have a rich history and enduring presence of Indigenous Peoples as stewards of the land and water along the Credit River.

The entire watershed is situated on the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. The watershed is also the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee and home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis People. In support of Indigenous Peoples, Credit Valley Conservation is committed to empowering Indigenous leadership in conservation through the development of dedicated space along the Credit Valley Trail (CVT) to honour Indigenous knowledge, history and present-day culture.

Aerial footage of a lake and shoreline.
The location of the placemaking site along the shoreline of Island Lake Conservation Area – preconstruction.

Indigenous Peoples in Canada have lost so much throughout the process of colonization–their people, their traditional practices, their heritage, their land and their deep connection to this land and water. Forced assimilation of Indigenous Peoples into western society has resulted in the loss of their culture and identity. As we look towards the future, it’s critical that we ensure the history, identity, presence, contributions and voices of Indigenous Peoples are reflected in the Credit River Watershed.

In collaboration with the CVT Indigenous Roundtable (an Indigenous and community-led advisory committee), Credit Valley Conservation is building our first Indigenous placemaking site along the trail, the Crane Gathering Space, at Island Lake Conservation Area in Orangeville.

Construction site with fall colours in thebackground.
Construction of the gathering space began in fall of 2022.

The Crane Gathering Space will be a spot for everyone and will provide a sense of place, connection and belonging. The designs for this transformative area were led by the Indigenous Roundtable, with a strong focus on facilitating community building and educational opportunities.

Empowering Indigenous voices and leadership, the creation of this space helps advance the recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – to dedicate and create space for Indigenous communities to express and connect with their culture.

As we kick-off the giving season, walk the path of reconciliation with us on Giving Tuesday when we launch our end of year giving campaign. We have made significant progress towards our 2022 goal of raising $1 million to bring the Crane Gathering Space to life along the Credit Valley Trail but we need your help to reach the finish line. Please join us in supporting Indigenous placemaking in the watershed and be a part of this important project.

Group of people sitting on a picnic bench outside.
CVC’s Indigenous Roundtable Group.

Learn more about the Crane Gathering Space and how to donate to this meaningful project. Join us on Giving Tuesday to help bring the voices and presence of Indigenous Peoples back to our lands and green spaces.

All donations are eligible for a charitable tax receipt – donate by December 31, to receive your 2022 tax receipt.

Learn more about opportunities to support the Credit River Watershed by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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