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Empowering Communities: INSIGHTS FROM THE CANADIAN NETWORK OF COMMUNITY LAND TRUST CONFERENCE. Snowy vista background photo by James Wheeler from Pexels.

Insights from the Canadian Network of Community Land Trust Conference

By Treno Morton

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a conference hosted by the Canadian Network of Community Land Trust. This event left an indelible mark on my perspective, offering valuable insights that I’m eager to share with you. The key takeaways revolve around the importance of acknowledging past and present injustices, the significance of Indigenous perspectives, Mayor Olivia Chow’s vision, the opportunities that exist, and the pressing need to address injustices head-on.

1. Truth Comes Before Reconciliation

At the heart of this conference was a crucial message: we haven’t reached reconciliation yet; we’re still on the path to truth. In simple terms, before we can move forward and heal, we must first acknowledge the past and present injustices that have affected our communities. This acknowledgement is the foundation upon which we can build a fairer future.

2. Indigenous Wisdom and Land Trust

One standout aspect of the conference was the prominent role of Indigenous voices. They emphasized that it’s not just about owning land; it’s about why and how we do it. It’s about making sure the community’s voice takes centre stage. This perspective fundamentally changed my view of the Land Trust work I’ve been involved in, emphasizing the importance of putting the community’s interests first.

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow with Inspiring Communities' community engagement specialist Treno Morton.

3. Mayor Olivia Chow’s Vision

Mayor Olivia Chow’s address provided hope and practical guidance. She passionately advocated for land trusts as a solution to homelessness and a means to create affordable housing that stays under the control of the community. Her vision aligned perfectly with our mission, providing a clear path forward.

4. Discovering Opportunities

The conference wasn’t just about inspiration; it was a treasure trove of practical insights. We had the chance to explore opportunities that fit our community work. This knowledge is invaluable as it accelerates our projects and strengthens our group’s credibility.

Identifying these opportunities revealed new horizons for collaboration and growth, proving that we’re not alone in our mission. There are like-minded individuals and organizations ready to join forces in making a positive impact.

5. Confronting Injustices

Perhaps one of the most emotionally charged aspects of the conference was hearing stories of communities facing injustices. Their reasons for taking action closely mirrored our own motivations, underscoring the urgency for change. It raised questions about why governments and other entities aren’t more inclined to support organizations addressing the systemic injustices they’ve contributed to.

In conclusion, the Canadian Network of Community Land Trust conference was an eye-opening experience. Acknowledging past and present injustices is the first step toward reconciliation. Indigenous wisdom emphasized the importance of community-first intentions. Mayor Olivia Chow’s vision provided a clear path, and the insights I gained will guide our community work. The stories and calls to action from the conference serve as a powerful reminder of the need for collective action to address systemic issues. My commitment to community land trust work is stronger than ever, and I am determined to create a fairer future for my community.

Background snowy land photo by James Wheeler, Pexels.

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