I'm incredibly pleased and humbled by the success of our recent Open House, celebrating the official unveiling of the Plenty Canada CampUs. It was a wonderful day of celebration, good conversation, and reflection on our collective responsibility towards Indigenous peoples, truth and reconciliation, the environment, and ourselves. If you were there, thank you very much for coming out! And if you weren't, no problem. I'd still like to thank you for keeping up with the development of the CampUs, from its conception to completion. Your support means the world, wherever you happen to be!
The more I reflect upon the events of the past few weeks, the more excited I am for the future of our organization. Not only do I firmly believe that the CampUs has a bright future ahead of it as a physical legacy and meeting space, a place for people of all backgrounds to congregate, but I also believe that it can act as a standing representation of our deeply held values.
As stated in some of our past communications, Plenty Canada is striving to further decrease our carbon output, rendering our organization even more Energy Negative than it already was! True to our mandate, the CampUs was built in its entirety with sustainability in mind: siding and roofing to prevent air leakage, a rainwater collection system, an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV), and more. We've installed solar panels on the roof of our second Lanark building and our Six Nations Bureau office is also adding a new solar system that will have capacity to charge an electric car!
But despite our recent advances, I'd like to remind you all (and myself) that these values we cherish should not be optional. As the leader of an Indigenous organization, I feel that this commitment, this unshakable mandate, is a responsibility we must carry with us. The principle of Two-Eyed Seeing, fusing an Indigenous perspective on the environment with the best of Western science, simply cannot remain theoretical, not when our collective future is at stake.
Thus, we will continue to embody our values in everything we do, until our entire country chooses to embody them as well. As a result, we challenge all of our partners, organizations and individuals, to plan and resource your own energy neutral existence.
Chi Miigwech. Niá:wen. Merci. Thank you.
Larry McDermott, Executive Director, Plenty Canada