This festival is an annual calendar of summertime activities that celebrate and promote the ecologically distinctive Bras d’Or Lakes region while fostering community and sustainability.
Their goals are to foster relationships between Mi’kmaw and non-Indigenous people, advance opportunities for sustainable development and healthful recreation, gather data on the condition of the lakes, and promote environmental stewardship. Their work is founded on the idea of “Etuaptmumk,” also known as “two-eyed seeing,” which combines Mi’kmaw and non-Indigenous perspectives on how the world works.
The Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve Association, the Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative, Oceans North, the Ben Eoin Yacht Club and Marina, Victoria County, and numerous other partnerships from all over the Island make up the joint steering committee for Explore the Bras d’Or / Wjinene’n Pitu’poq.
The Bras d’Or Lake and its surrounding watersheds are situated on U’nama’kik in Mi’kma’ki, the Mi’kmaw people’s ancestral and unceded territory.
The Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve, designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, includes the lake as well as 12 separate watersheds that drain into it from lowland and highland ecosystems. In actuality, the Bras d’Or Lake is a saltwater estuary where freshwater meets the ocean. The lake offers 388 kilometers of paddling, sailing, or boating opportunities, making it one of the few locations in the nation where the Trans Canada route turns into a water route. Over 1000 kilometers of shoreline can be explored using 24 authorized access sites. Beyond the sea, there are more than 2400 square kilometers of terrestrial ecosystems to explore, as well as other communities, in the biosphere reserve.
Those of us who are fortunate enough to appreciate the Bras d’Or Lake have a duty to contribute to its preservation. The organization hope to encourage care of the lake and its watersheds through Explore the Bras d’Or so that future generations can benefit from its health. Locals and tourists alike can learn more about the biosphere’s natural and cultural heritage as well as the species it supports at these events. You are all encouraged to Explore the Bras d’Or and learn about your habitat whether you join them in person or online.
For event schedules more information about the festival, visit https://explorethebrasdor.com/
Photo credits to: https://www.facebook.com/explorethebrasdor/