As one of North America’s largest clean electricity providers, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) meets about half of Ontario’s power needs. To continue advancing towards a greener Ontario and fight climate change, OPG launched our Climate Change Plan in 2020, which sets out our plan to become a net-zero company by 2040 and provide more reliable, clean electricity to Ontario.
‘Net-zero’ refers to achieving an overall balance between direct carbon emissions produced and carbon emissions taken out of the atmosphere. Along with setting an ambitious goal for mitigating climate change, OPG also strives to enhance and maintain Ontario’s biodiversity and is committed to building mutually beneficial relationships with First Nations communities, organizations, and businesses through our recently launched Reconciliation Action Plan.
In 2019, OPG partnered up with the South Nation Conservation Authority and the local Algonquin and Mohawk Nations near Shanly, Ontario. In the fall of 2020, “The Healing Place” was created though a Reconciliation and Climate Change planting event that was planned through our partnership with the South Nation Conservation Authority.
Planting is seen as an act of reconciliation to bring together people of all backgrounds while creating and enriching a relationship built on mutual respect.
What is The Healing Place?
The Healing Place is in eastern Ontario, on the traditional territories of the Algonquin and Mohawk Nations. It is a community green space, created with the intention of connecting to the land, spurring ecological restoration, and advancing truth and reconciliation.
The Healing Place was also created as a gathering space to allow for harmonization with nature and to bring people together as one, with respect. For this reason, the Medicine Wheel design of the trees and edible shrubs was suggested by the Algonquin and Mohawk Nations. The Wheel stands for the four pillars of life which are at the four cardinal directions of north, south, east and west, representing mental, spiritual, emotional and physical connections.
On October 5, 2022, OPG attended a Thanksgiving Harvest event at the Healing Place. The event started with a beautiful opening ceremony, with more than 60 participants. Everyone helped in harvesting the fruits and vegetables for the event, including potatoes, tomatoes, green beans and more. The Healing Place partners and volunteers planted native trees before the event came to an end with a closing ceremony and drumming circle.
OPG would like to thank its First Nation partners, South Nation Conservation Authority, and Eastern Ontario First Nations Working Group for all their efforts to make The Healing Place a reality.
Author: Fatima Mohamed
Guest blogger posting on Ontario Nature's blog about wild species and wild spaces. Together, we are the voice for nature in Ontario.