Webinar: Great Lakes Commons Charter

Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 17:00 to 18:30

Great LakesJoin us for a conversation about the Great Lakes Commons Charter - an emerging strategy to transform our human relationship with the Lakes. 


The cumulative, disparate, and drastic threats to the Great Lakes need to be matched by a collective and unifying response. The Commons Charter is a participatory, community-led initiative to shape that vision and build community leadership for it around the Lakes. 

On June 19th (1pm-2:30pm ET) find out what the Charter is, where it came from and how it can be a powerful instrument in your hands and those of your organization, your community in concert with other around the Lakes region facing similar challenges. We want to share this Charter with you, hear your responses, innovations, and insights. Only with your participation and wisdom can the Charter become the instrument for change it is being created to be. Register here.

Speakers include Alexa Bradley from On The Commons and others to be confirmed. Check the Great Lakes Commons’ events page for updates or for more info, email: greatlakescommons.org@gmail.com

Background: The Great Lakes Commons is a grassroots effort to establish the Great Lakes as a living commons — shared waters that we all take care of and protect in perpetuity.

The Great Lake Commons draws on the knowledge and practices of both commons and Indigenous governance traditions. These long-standing and complementary models offer viable paths for reorienting how we care for water. They are both rooted in values of shared benefit and responsibility, sustainable use, and participatory decision-making.

We do not seek to turn the Great Lakes into a Commons but rather to recognize that this is what they are and have always been – something essential for all, belonging none. But a commons must have ‘commoners,’ engaged populations empowered to act as its stewards and protectors. Otherwise, the waters are vulnerable to misuse, abuse and degradation. This is the logic and purpose of the Charter.

GLC works to:

  • Renew and restore our relationship to these living waters;
  • Awaken a spirit of responsibility and citizenship in the bioregion; and,
  • Establish stewardship and governance by which communities can protect the waters in perpetuity.

Water can unite people across interests, cultures, and borders. That unity is necessary for the many courageous and disparate efforts to sustain and protect the waters to succeed.

Event details: Register for this free on-line event here. You will be participating through your computer from 1 – 2:30pm eastern time. The event will feature various speakers addressing the vision and history of the Charter and the emerging campaign to bring it to life among the communities of the Lakes.

Hosted by Great Lakes Commons and Council of Canadians.

Protect the Great Lakes Forever Virtual Town Halls

After decades of neglect, mismanagement and industrial overuse, the cherished waters of the Great Lakes are in serious trouble. Tar sands oil pipelines and shipments, nuclear waste and fracking are just some of the serious and immediate threats to the future of the Lakes, which more than 40 million people in Canada and the U.S. depend on for drinking water.

We need a new vision and new strategies to protect the Great Lakes. The Council of Canadians/Blue Planet Project is hosting the Protect the Great Lakes Forever webinar series to create this shared vision and help communities turn that vision into reality.

Join community leaders working to protect the Lakes for important and timely discussions on the threats that are directly impacting you and your community, and how we can work together to address them.

Virtual town halls in fall 2014 will focus on mining and other threats to the Great Lakes. We will continue to look at how local strategies and community organizing have stopped or slowed down threats to the Great Lakes.

WATCH the video of the March 18 Virtual Town Hall: