Northern Ontario in a Climate-Changed World

Exciting news! In conjunction with the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre and Keewaytinook Okimakanak, a conference focused specifically on the challenges and opportunities for northern Ontario in a climate-changed world is being held in Red Lake on April 20 and 21st.

Poster Final Resized

Guest Speakers include:

  • Groundbreaking social entrepreneur and author of “An Army of Problem Solvers” Shaun Loney will be discussing Social Enterprising (via video)
  • Chief Jim Leonard from Rainy River First Nation
  • The Honourable Robert D. Nault, Member of Parliament
  • Ian Staley from Ministry of Natural Resources will be discussing climate change and its effects on forest fires.

On Thursday, April 20, from 1:00 – 5:00 pm and from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, the speakers will be discussing climate change and sustainability. Local gardening, foraging, composting and traditional knowledge will be shared by local experts Chrissy St Jean, Barb Laverdure, Kaaren Dannenmann, and Ian Mochrie. Donald Meekis and Alan Kakepetum will be discussing ice roads in a time of climate change. Jaclyn Shewchuk from the Northwestern Health Unit will discuss Nutrition and Food Sustainable Programs. Golden Learning Centre will present on their Ontario Eco-school certification. Local author and climate-concerned parent Christine Penner Polle will discuss taking action to preserve a livable future.

From 9 am to noon on Friday, April 21, Chief Leonard, the Honourable Robert Nault, and Dr Mark Polle will be discussing alternative energy, funding and green building. Local expertise will be shared by Mayor Phil Vinet and Ted Novak.

Click here to view full schedule.

Next TRL Meeting Wednesday March 22nd at noon

Wednesday March 22nd at noon on the ground floor of Living Hope (off Highway 105 behind the Red Apple store) is the next Transition Red Lake. We will be continuing to plan for 2017, including the upcoming Climate Change Exhibit and Conference April 20 and 21st in Red Lake.

All are welcome to drop in and join the conversation. Bring a bag lunch, there will be coffee and hot water for tea, and Dayle has promised to bring soup to share.

Next TRL Meeting Wedns February 22 at noon

Wednesday February 22nd at noon on the ground floor of Living Hope (off Highway 105 behind the Red Apple store) is the next Transition Red Lake. We will be continuing to plan for 2017, including the upcoming Climate Change Exhibit and Conference at the Red Lake Heritage Centre.

All are welcome to drop in and join the conversation. Bring a bag lunch, there will be coffee and hot water for tea. And possibly even fresh bagels if Christine gets organized!


The Great Red Lake Squash-Off Table during the Harvest Festival, September 2016

First TRL Meeting of 2017 Coming Up!

This Wednesday January 25th at noon on the ground floor of Living Hope (off Highway 105 behind the Red Apple store) is the first Transition Red Lake meeting of 2017. On the agenda will be planning for the new year, including:

  • Harvest Festival – do we want to organize one in September?
  • Liaising with farmers and posting announcements for summer Farmer’s Markets
  • Community gardens in RL & Balmertown – do we want to be involved as an organization?
  • Garden tours – should they be on our to-do list this summer?
  • Upcoming climate change display and conference at RL Heritage Centre
  • Recruiting two new TRL board members

All are welcome to drop in and join the conversation. Bring a bag lunch, there will be hot water for tea.



Harvest Festival Celebrates Local Food

Hearty Red Lakers were not discouraged by rainy weather, and came out to check out the displays of rabbits and chickens, local spinning, fish smoking and bannock-making. Children and parents were entertained by a steady stream of guest readers in the reading tent, including Association francophone de Red Lake member Marielle Pellerin, school librarian Phyllis Van Dusen, several of the English River Miners hockey players and OPP officer Josh Klug.

The Red Lake Squash Off competition chose this years winners for size, girth, and beauty. Local gardeners brought produce to share, and local schools created harvest scarecrows to decorate Centennial Park.In the gardening contests, Agathe Breton-Plouffe won the prize for largest zucchini, the Daryl and Karen Enns family won for weirdest carrot, and Suzanne Daigle took the award for the largest garlic.

Local musicians Agathe Breton-Plouffe and Jada Siwak serenaded attendees after a reading by local author Kathy Tetlock. Tetlock read from her most recent book, This Land, This Water.

Transition Red Lake

Transition Red Lake is a group of local people working towards increasing our community’s capacity to look after ourselves, our land, and our water.


Permablitz. Spring 2013


Gardening tours, 2012

Clothing Swap poster


Cheese -making workshop


Permablitz. 2013

donna and jim

Farmer’s Market Photo: Lindsay Briscoe


Gardening Workshop

fresh trout

Fresh fish at the Community Kitchen


Spinning at the Community Kitchen

quinoa crust pizza

Quinoa crust pizza baked at Community Kitchen

squash and pumpkin

Red Lake grown squash and pumpkin from heritage seeds

3 musketeers,small file

In Washington to lobby for a price on carbon pollution. June 2014


Artisanal bread a the Community Kitchen

cochenour garden going in.june15.2012.4

Cochenour Community Garden goes in

cochenour garden going in.june15.20127

Putting in the Cochenour Community Garden

cochenour community garden. june.2012

Cochenour community members come out to create their community garden

cochenour community garden

Cochenour Community Garden. Summer. 2013

Meeting Dr James Hansen in Washington

Meeting Dr James Hansen at Citizens’ Climate Lobby Conference, Washington DC

growing your own food poster


  Why Transition Red Lake?

There’s a grassroots movement sweeping the globe called the Transition Network. In 2006, the first Transition community was born in the small town in Totnes, U.K (population 7,500). People in this south England resort town acted on the knowledge that more and more people are recognizing – the cost of growing food and running our economy on fossil fuels doesn’t just impact our wallets, it impacts the stability of our climate as well as our access to clean air and water. The people of Totnes decided not to wait for their local or national governments to act on these threats, and created Transition Totnes to make their community more resilient in these uncertain times. Totnes, and other Transition towns, aim to “strengthen the local economy, reduce the cost of living, and prepare for a future with less oil and a changing climate”.

Resiliency is the capacity of a system, person, or community to withstand stress and catastrophe. Resilience contrasts with brittleness – the tendency to shatter or lose function when impacted or stressed. The Transition movement is about exploring and developing ways to strengthen our communities from within in order to reduce our vulnerability and increase our ability to respond, survive and prosper.

The Transition movement recognizes that our industrial society has lost the resilience to be able to cope with energy shocks (remember the scramble for gas and food during the unexpected power outage in October 2013 in Red Lake?). Other principles undergirding the Transition Movement (from The Transition Companion by Rob Hopkins) are that :

  • Human beings have demonstrated great ingenuity and intelligence as we raced up the energy curve over the last 150 years. There’s no reason we can’t use those qualities as we negotiate our way up from the depths towards the sun and air.
  • We have to act together, now, to respond to the challenges of climate change and peak oil, as well as economic uncertainty.
  • If we plan and act early enough, and use our creativity and cooperation to unleash the genius within our local communities, we can build a future far more fulfilling and enriching, more connected to and more gentle on the Earth, than the life we have today.

The Transition movement encourages us to view the coming changes away from oil dependency and high-carbon living not as a movement away from something, but rather a push towards something:

“A push towards clean air, sunshine, beauty, rediscovering each other; community and celebration. This is a key shift in our perception. The difference between change that feels like being torn away from something and change that feels like moving towards something is huge. This is the approach Transition takes. It suggests that collective intentional transition could lead us to a far better place than where we are today. Who’s to say that the world we see today is the best we could ever do?” (Rob Hopkins, The Transition Companion)

Transition Red Lake is here! If you want to get connected and start moving towards a positive future, email us at, sign up to receive updates (see box on right) or ask to join the Red Lake Let’s Eat Local Facebook page.


Transition Red Lake: Inspiring, Encouraging, Connecting, Supporting, and Training to Rebuild Community Resilience and Reduce CO2 emissions.