On Tuesday November 8 Bras d’Or Lakes Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative (CEPI) will host a discussion on sustainable practices across key industry sectors for the Bras d’Or Lakes at a conference, “The People of the Lakes Speak.”

Ian MacNeil emcees the three-day event that concludes with a keynote address by Dr. David Suzuki on Thursday November 10.

The first day features The Youth Speak, presentations by community youth leaders, and continues with sessions on Building a Culture of Sustainable Development– renewable energy, best practices, and tourism.

Day two looks at aquaculture and fisheries, mining, forestry, and agriculture. The evening will celebrate Charlie Dennis, Protector of the Lakes and feature a dinner, celebration, and awards ceremony.

The third day of the conference will review What We Heard–The People Define Sustainability Practices for Bras D’Or Lakes. Dr. David Suzuki will close the conference with his keynote address.

Building on the current work of UINR stemming from two successful workshops held as a response to the Cape Breton First Nations Chiefs in 2003 and 2004, CEPI hosts the conference November 8-10, in Baddeck at Inverary Resort and Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre.

Lisa Young, UINR’s Executive Director is a proud sponsor of CEPI. “The conference brings stakeholders together to focus on defining sustainable practices for the communities of the Bras d’Or Lakes watershed, inspire movement towards best practices in sustainable development for communities, and examines how these best practices can be key drivers in economic development.”

Dan Christmas, Chairperson of CEPI, is pleased the event will be held this fall and its outcomes will build on the work completed at the previous workshops. “The conference is all about bringing people together from the Bras d’Or Lakes communities and discussing how we can develop this sensitive ecological area in a sustainable way.”

CEPI Coordinator Stan Johnson gives some history of the group, “In November, 2005 the Bras d’Or Lakes Charter was signed by all the Mi’kmaw communities, municipal, provincial and federal agencies which committed them to the Bras d’Or Lakes Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative. The spirit of the Charter is collaboration: one eye on past history and teachings and one eye on modern science (Two Eyed Seeing). Agencies work together, bringing their statutes, expertise and interests to the group, sharing information and ideas. The People of the Lakes Speak will be in keeping with the spirit of the Charter and build a path forward for establishing sustainable development around the Bras d’Or Lakes.”

You can register for the conference at brasdorcepi.ca

For additional information contact Coordinator Stan Johnson at 902 379 3852 or email stan.johnson@brasdorcepi.ca