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Common Ground Events & Resources

A collaborative initiative between Community Forests International, The Ulnooweg Development Group, and The Nova Scotia Family Forest Centre, the Common Ground project seeks to mobilize citizen climate action in the rural Maritime region on the unceded territory of Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik peoples.

Over 80,000 rural forest owners in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island collectively manage over 4.2 million hectares (40%) of Canada’s critically endangered Wabanaki Forest. Together, we believe these citizen forest owners can achieve globally significant greenhouse gas reductions and locally significant climate adaptation outcomes.

We know that many family forest owners face several barriers to taking climate action. That’s why Common Ground is offering a range of events and workshops to increase access to knowledge, expert and community role models, and practical tools.

Below the Canopy: A Community Forest Podcast

This podcast explores the relationships between people and the forests they care for, with a particular focus on the Wabanaki forest—a special forest type found across the northeast of Canada and the United States. Intensive forest management since colonization has degraded what was once a diverse and resilient forest while creating challenges for the communities that are most reliant on forests for their livelihoods. In this podcast, host and forest ecologist Megan de Graaf speaks to experts from the region to understand how we got here and how we might start to restore the forest to its former abundance. The series paints a hopeful vision for forests in the region, offering lessons for forest stewardship across Turtle Island.



Exploring Our Common Ground

In this series of short films, we explore themes such as the growing movement for Indigenous land access, Land Back and its mutual benefits for all involved, the true values of forests left standing, and much more.


Join Cecelia Brooks from St. Mary’s First Nation, New Brunswick, and her son Anthony Bardwell, as they share their story of finding medicine from and on the land. Watch their traditional medicine harvest, listen to the challenge of accessing lands, and find hope from one settler landowner who passes on the knowledge from his own ancestors.

The Borer and the Basket

The ash trees of the Wabanaki Forest bear spiritual, ceremonial, and economic importance to Indigenous people in the area, but the emerald ash borer ― an invasive beetle species ― is currently decimating these trees and threatening a way of life. This film weaves personal stories with the latest research, following the basket makers and experts who are trying to preserve the forest before it’s too late.

Standing Trees

How do you measure the value of a forest? Enter Robinson Conservation Forest, a naturally diverse Wabanaki forest in the Wolastoq watershed in central New Brunswick, on the east coast of Canada / Turtle Island. This special forest and the people connected to it push us to see beyond the timber value of a forest—to see the forest beyond the trees.

The Muskwi Canoe

The changing climate affects both the forests and traditions that have relied on the forests for millennia. In this short film, Mi’kmaw Elder Todd G. Labrador and his daughter Melissa Labrador explain the increasing importance of sharing traditional ecological skills and knowledge — and take us on a journey to see the traditional harvest and making of muskwi products.

Windhorse: A Land Back Story

Land Back is one of the most tangible actions settlers can take within the process of reconciliation. Through the story of Windhorse Farm, this short film shows the importance of Land Back and the profound beauty this form of healing provides.

Keep Learning

By taking informed actions we are acknowledging and living up to our responsibilities. It is our hope that the following Resource Guide to Support Environmental Organizations in Decolonization Work can support individuals and organizations learn and practice meaningful Indigenous allyship in their work and beyond.

Two years into the collaborative work of Common Ground, today you can read more about how to embody the principles of Common Ground in action and see all that the Common Ground project has accomplished to date.

We are currently inspired by Future Ancestors, the Intersectional Environmentalist, and Mi’kmawey Forestry, among many others. The work of the Yellowhead InstituteChelsea Vowel / âpihtawikosisân, and Layla F. Saad have been instrumental in unlearning and working to dismantle systemic inequalities.

Read more about the connections between climate and racial justiceIndigenous leadership, and inclusive forestry.

Last but not least, learn about our Common Ground partners: Ulnooweg, Family Forest Network, and the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick.

Upcoming Events

Open Sky x Community Forests | Nature Appreciation Walks
Fridays in February

Community Forests International and participants and mentors from Open Sky Co-Op are stepping out into the woods every Friday afternoon to get outside and appreciate nature’s benefit on mental health while learning more about the local forest.


Webinar: Climate Resilient Forest Management
Thursday February 16,
12:00-1:00pm AT

Join our Forest Ecologist, Dani Miller, alongside EOS Energy and The Fundy Biosphere Region to talk about how forests are changing due to climate change, the importance of forest conservation, and how forests act as natural infrastructure against flooding. Register here.


Robinson Conservation Forest

We are inviting a select group of Maritime College of Forest Technology (MCFT) students into the Robinson Conservation Forest — a special 350-acre forest on the lands of the Wolostaqey Nations, near what is today known as Cambridge-Narrows.


Nova Scotia Carbon Inventory Training
June, 2023

Our Forest Team will be in Nova Scotia hosting a series of workshops for local forestry cooperatives on best practices for collecting carbon data in the forests and creating accurate carbon inventory assessments. 



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Past Events


Assembly of First Nations: National Climate Gathering
Preserving our Earth, Land and Water

September 27 to 29, 2022 
Fredericton Convention Centre, NB.

The Gathering will seek to further articulate a First Nations climate lens through a diversity of panel presentations, workshops, video screenings, and outdoor activities. Community Forests International will be presenting a co-session on Land Back, Access, and Use.

Film Premiere: Npisun

September 27, 3:30PM

Directed by Desmond Simon, this short film follows Cecilia Brooks from St. Mary’s First Nation, New Brunswick, and her son Anthony, as they share their story of finding medicine from and on the land.

Technical Workshop: Climate-Adaptive Silviculture

Wednesday, 13th April | 10:00 am-3:00 pm
South Brookfield, Queens County

Megan De Graaf, Forest Program Director with CFI will lead the hands-on field day, aimed at working with forestry professionals to incorporate climate change predictions into silvicultural prescriptions.

Wabanaki Maple: Youth Tree Planting

Private event facilitated by Community Forests International.
Spring, 2022

The Borer & The Basket: Film Screening
March 10, 2022 | Hosted by Community Forests International

Learn how an invasive pest is impacting a key tree species, Indigenous traditional practices, and our shared forest ecosystem.

Climate-focused forest management: Evaluating stand risk & identifying prescriptions.
February 17, 2022 | Hosted by UNB’s Atlantic Forest Research Collaborative
Principal factors to consider when evaluating a forest stand for intervention for increased climate resilience and increased carbon storage capacity.

The Future Forest Reimagined: Identifying and Implementing Management Strategies
January 21, 2022 | Facilitated by CDR Associates
Stakeholders from Indigenous groups, Canada, and the U.S. develop a shared plan for accelerating the protection and stewardship of a resilient forested landscape across the Northern Appalachian-Acadian (NAPA) ecoregion of Canada and the United States.

​Managing Forests for Climate Change Resilience: A Forest Walk
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021
Sackville, NB

Prest Woodlot Tour
Hosted by N.S. Family Forest Centre.
Saturday, September 25th, 2021
Mooseland, NS (Halifax County)

Technical Workshop: Climate-Adaptive Silviculture
Hosted by N.S. Family Forest Centre.
Led by Community Forests International’s Forests Program Director, Megan de Graaf.
Friday, September 24th, 2021
Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest (Mooseland, Halifax County, NS)

Munro Woodland Walk & Tour
Hosted by Family Forests Partners.
Saturday, September 18th, 2021
1771 Brow Mountain Road, Viewmount, NS

Paupin Woodlot Tour
Hosted by N.S. Family Forest Centre.
Saturday, August 28th, 2021
Shinimicas, NS (Cumberland County)

Miller Woodlot Tour
Hosted by N.S. Family Forest Centre.
Saturday, August 21st, 2021
Greenhill, NS (Pictou County)


With Thanks

The Common Ground project is supported by the Canadian Climate Action and Awareness Fund, The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, RBC Foundation, and The Chawkers Foundation.