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Help Co-Create a Great Lakes Commons Charter

  • Jun 19, 2014 · 1:00 PM

We invite you to join us in charting a fresh and hopeful course in the care, governance and defence of the Great Lakes -- the life sustaining watery heart of the North American continent.

Join us for an on-line meeting about the Great Lakes Commons Charter -- an emerging strategy to transform our human relationship with the Lakes. Register here.

The cumulative, disparate, and drastic threats to the Great Lakes need to be matched by a collective and unifying response. The Commons Charter is a participatory, community-led initiative to shape that vision and build community leadership for it around the Lakes. 

On June 19th find out what the Charter is and where it came from. We will explore how it can be a powerful instrument in your hands and in concert with other people and communities around the Lakes region facing similar challenges. We want to share this Charter with you, hear your responses, innovations, and insights. Only with your participation and wisdom can the Charter become the instrument for change it is being created to be. Register here.

Event details

Register for this free on-line event here. You will be participating through your computer from 1 – 2:30pm eastern time. The event will feature various speakers addressing the vision and history of the Charter and the emerging campaign to bring it to life among the communities of the Lakes. 


The Great Lakes Commons is a grassroots effort to establish the Great Lakes as a living commons — shared waters that we all take care of and protect in perpetuity.

The Great Lake Commons draws on the knowledge and practices of both commons and Indigenous governance traditions. These long-standing and complementary models offer viable paths for reorienting how we care for water. They are both rooted in values of shared benefit and responsibility, sustainable use, and participatory decision-making.

We do not seek to turn the Great Lakes into a Commons but rather to recognize that this is what they are and have always been -- something essential for all, belonging to none. But a commons must have ‘commoners’ -- engaged populations empowered to act as its stewards and protectors. Otherwise, the waters are vulnerable to misuse, abuse and degradation. This is the logic and purpose of the Charter.

GLC works to:

- Renew and restore our relationship to these living waters;

- Awaken a spirit of responsibility and citizenship in the bioregion; and,

- Establish stewardship and governance by which communities can protect the waters in perpetuity.

Water can unite people across interests, cultures, and borders. That unity is necessary for the many courageous and disparate efforts to sustain and protect the waters to succeed.

Hosted by Great Lakes Commons and the Council of Canadians.

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  • paul b.

    we ended up having about 60 folks connected at the same time - stay tuned for follow up events/actions and share what you're doing (or needing) on the Great Lakes Commons Map.

    June 26, 2014

  • paul b.

    hi everyone - good news - the video from yesterday's event is up - see it here:

    1 · June 20, 2014

  • Alexa B.

    Great conversation today on the Charter. Would love to see local happenings over the summer that bring our love of the Lakes to light.

    2 · June 19, 2014

  • Melissa Mo J.

    Would love to help organize an "upclose & personal" meetup sometime soon after, here in Toronto. Anyone interested?

    June 14, 2014

  • Alexa B.

    i am excited to see all kinds of people standing up on behalf of our waters - this week have talked to people in Milwaukee, Cleveland, Toronto, Duluth and Houghton about things they are working on locally. The Charter is a way we can come together too.

    2 · June 6, 2014

    • Heather D.

      Hello, Heather Derks here from Central Elgin Ontario. Can't participate in this event time wise but i support the agenda and will be interested in hearing the outcome. Something needs to happen soon to get the lakes protected.

      1 · June 8, 2014

    • Alexa B.

      We are the ones we have been waiting for as the saying goes.

      1 · June 10, 2014

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