Our Work: Past and Present
Spirit of the Land started with a group of students and teachers from the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta, with support from the Ronning Centre. We were inspired to bring community and spirit to discussions around ecology and economy.
Our work began with creating awareness about hydraulic fracturing in Alberta. In November 2012, we hosted Responsibility for the Land: Conversations on Fracking in Alberta. From these conversations, the ongoing Alberta Voices project was launched.
In 2013, we deepened our scope to include the spiritual dimensions of our ecological challenges. Inspired by the positive spirit of Idle No More, we connected with First Nations leaders, farmers, scholars and ecologists to host both a course and conference. Events were at the U of A’s Augustana Campus in Camrose.
In 2014, we continued the conversation with partners in Vancouver and Victoria and those connected via Web broadcast in many locations during the Caring for All Creation series. Meeting over shared meals,all were welcome to explore the fundamental ways we need each other to both shift and create the world we would like to live in.
More and more people become a part of this network. And so in November 2014, we hosted our third annual conference Respecting the Land: Living Within the Gifts and Limits of Nature which focused on practical and local examples of how we respect the land by living within the limits and gifts of the natural and human systems.
The central feature of all our conferences is the inclusive and honest spirit in which the conference is hosted. While practical, external transitions are necessary, this won’t happen unless there is also an inner change, both personal and cultural, in our understanding of what the real wealth of life is. As long as we believe that economic growth will lead to happiness, we will not search for ways to reconnect to people, communities, and the land.
By placing the care of the natural world, our communities, our families, and our own inner peace at the center of our economic decisions, we will learn to live lightly on the land.
Meanwhile, we share about our works, our communities, our joys and our struggles, our insights and doubts with each other on the Blog. As this is a community-based initiative, everyone is always welcome! Your suggestions and input are appreciated.