Antler River Guardians from the 4 Directions (August 2015)
August 2015 – Participants in the Thames River Clear Water Revival’s First Nation Youth Stewardship Program have been out canoeing on the Thames to visit the three First Nations located on the river. The four youth and two leaders are mapping erosion sites, and collecting water quality data, pictures and stories along their journey.
The participants come from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Caldwell First Nation, Chippewa of the Thames First Nation, and Walpole Island First Nation. They have named themselves “Antler River Guardians from the 4 Directions,” or ARGFT4D, as Antler River is the First Nations name for the Thames.
The First Nation Youth Stewardship Program is engaging First Nation youth and helping them learn about and make a connection with the Thames and the communities, both First Nations and non-First Nations, along the river. Over the course of 12 weeks, the participants are being trained in both Western Science and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge, and are learning about the spiritual and cultural significance of the Thames River.
The Thames River Clear Water Revival (TRCWR) is committed to a healthy and vital Thames River, which will ultimately benefit Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie. The TRCWR brings together all levels of government, Conservation Authorities, First Nations and the local community to achieve this common goal.
The TRCWR First Nations Engagement Committee initiated the Youth Stewardship Program with funding from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the Tides Canada Dragonfly Fund. In kind support is provided by the participating First Nations, as well as the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the UTRCA.
Contact: Tara Tchir, Project Manager, Thames River Clear Water Revival