Community Impact Conference:  Climate Commitments in Action

Actions Panel

Community Impact Conference: Climate Commitments in Action

What are people doing about climate change in rural Nova Scotia? How are communities leading the way in moving from ideas to action?

When and where

Date and time


Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre 606 Reeves Street Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2R7 Canada

Map and directions

How to get there

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event
Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

What are people doing about climate change in rural Nova Scotia? How are communities leading the way in moving from ideas to action? In this one-day conference, RCFNS highlights the work of several communities dealing with a wide variety of climate change issues to create a circle of informed, innovative, and supportive problem solvers. We set the context with RCFNS' impact giving programs and introduce community members to national initiatives on climate change, truth and reconciliation and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We will discuss deep issues underlying climate change work in rural Nova Scotia, such as building trust and mutual benefit between communities with diverse experience and knowledge bases and what the future might hold. And to top off the day, attend an exciting dinner, concert and discussion led by award winning Cape Breton country music artist Drake Jensen. Join us as we set a path towards a healthy, just, and sustainable future!

Keynote Speaker: Dana Decent

Dana has worked across multiple sectors — non-profit, corporate and academic — all with the goal to advance sustainability in Canada by working with a wide range of people and organizations.

Previously, she worked as Manager of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, a partnership between Intact Financial and the University of Waterloo to prepare Canadians for the impacts of climate change. There she led operations, strategic initiatives and partnership management in the centre’s scaling stages and she also led research on the mental health impacts of flooding.

Dana has also worked as a Sustainability Analyst at Sun Life Financial and as Operations Coordinator at Green Economy Canada. Dana has an M.E.S. in Sustainability Management and a B.E.S. in Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo. She has been recognized as a Clean50 Emerging Leader (2018), named the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association Leader of the Year (2017) and Corporate Knights’ Top 30 Under 30 (2016) and received the St. Paul’s Young Alumni Award (2016).

In her spare time Dana can be found reading, biking, and hiking in her new home of Nova Scotia.

Speaker: Albert Marshall

Albert is a leading environmental voice in Unama’ki Cape Breton. He is advisor to and is a highly regarded spokesperson for Mi’kmaq natural resources and environmental issues.

Albert advises and lectures internationally on a wide range of topics:

  • the environment
  • tribal consciousness collaboration with non-Aboriginal society
  • traditional healing, traditional teachings
  • Mi’kmaq orthography and language
  • First Nations’ vision of science

He is the creator of the “Two Eyed Seeing” concept–Balancing Traditional Aboriginal Knowledge and Contemporary Science.

Albert works to further positive work within Mi’kmaw communities, to seek preservation and understanding of cultural beliefs and practices among all communities and to effect a strong vision for his people and the future.

Concert Performer: Drake Jensen

Drake Jensen is a driving force, and a man on a mission, to bridge the gap between the LGBTQ Community and Country Music. Jensen’s vocal style is an earthy combination of Cape Breton grass-roots country with a strong draw to a vintage, organic platform of sound.

Drawing on his ability to spin a yarn, wind it around a note and tie it all with honest emotion and raw passion, Jensen’s music is driving him ever forward, on the road to recognition as a dexterous country vocalist and a force to be reckoned with in the country music genre.

Cape Breton Country Recording Artist Drake Jensen has collaborated with the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia to create a fund for persons who identify with LGBTQI+ and work with the community. He is generously donating 100% of the profits from his new single, “Rise Again”.

The Soaring Eagle Fund’s purpose is to ignite a conversation on challenges facing the LGBTQI+ community in Rural Nova Scotia and identifying and implementing solutions. The fund will focus on these issues and unite the members of the LGBTQI+ community within Nova Scotia to resilience work led by others identifying with LGBTQI+ through conversation and projects within their communities. The initial emphasis of the fund will be on youth projects, but the focus will expand in future years to highlight projects led by other groups. In addition to grants to qualified donees (accordance to CRA) and often in partnership with community organizations, The Soaring Eagle Fund Program will encompass convening, capacity-building, outreach, and other activities which further its goals.

Community Impact Conference: Climate Commitments In Action AGENDA

Saturday Morning:

Intro (9-9:15)

Welcome from Potlotek First Nations Elder, Brenda Chisholm-Beaton Mayor of Town ofPort Hawkesbury and RCFNS

RCFNS’s Commitment to Climate Change Joan Feynman Climate Change Fund

Keynote Speaker (9:15-9:45)

Dana Decent, Community Foundation of Canada Keynote Speaker

Community building and the UN Sustainable Goals (specifically Goals #13).

RCFNS (9:45-10:30)

Impact Granting by RCFNS

  • Brenda Chisholm-Beaton: Women in Politics
  • Tahirih Paul: Climate Action in Potlotek First Nations
  • Jordan Mackie: Mobile Music Studio.

Break (10:30-10:45)

Round Table: (10:45 - 12:00)

Relationship Building with First Nations on Climate Action, Land/water Guardians

Saturday Afternoon

Thinking Lunch (Buffet Style 12-1:00)

What does Relationship mean to you?

Round Table Continues: (1-1:30)

Relationship Building with first nations on Climate Action (Q&A)

Community Solutions: (1:30-2:30)

Community Solutions on Climate Change

  • Kim Thompson: Deanery Project and Heartwood Project
  • Ebony Demers: SuperNova
  • Paul Strome: Thinkers Lodge

Break (2:30-2:45)

Community Solutions: (2:45-3:45)

Community Solutions on Climate Change

  • Clean Nova Scotia/Blue Line Initiative
  • Melody Pardoe: Ocean Supercluster
  • Kathleen Aiken: ACAP
  • Tim Menke: Arc of the Coast

Alternative Structures: (3:45-4:30)

Training for Community Groups – Thriving Non-Profits

Future (4:30-5:00)

PhiLab Atlantic: Brady Reid giving and generosity and climate change initiatives

Saturday Eve

Dinner and music (6:00-8:00)

Drake Jensen Un-plugged