June 4-8th, Howe Sound was represented at the 58th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) and the Canadian Biosphere Reserve Network Association (CBRA) meetings and AGM on Ottawa.
The theme over the four days was preparing for the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages. Reconciliation is a focus within CCUNESCO's priorities of peace, equity and sustainable development and CBRA's priorities of biodiversity conservation, reconciliation and sustainable development.
Highlights of the four days included the Day on the Hill Reception hosted by CBRA. Members of Parliament were invited to enjoy food and beverages from each of the Biosphere Reserve regions and to hear about the work of the 18 Canadian Biosphere Reserves. This was a well attended event and many enjoyed smoked spring salmon caught in Howe Sound, chocolates featuring local art from Art Meets Chocolate, Squamish made Elderberry cordial from Frost Bites and award winning craft beer from Howe Sound Brewing and Persephone.
The delegates to the CCUNESCO AGM were honored to have the presence of the Indigenous Chiefs, leaders and Elders that made the journey from their territories.
Howe Sound Biosphere Region is a prospective Biosphere Reserve and only becomes a member of the Network once an application to UNESCO has been submitted. We were one of two prospective reserves welcomed to attend. We are richer for the experience of meeting the representatives from the Canadian Biospheres and the members of the Indigenous Circle. Howe Sound will be in good company should our nomination be accepted. We already benefit from the network and we look forward to sharing those benefits with the Howe Sound community.