February 2, 2023
Freebruary and Black History Month 📅
Clearing a New Path™ and Clearing a New Path Podcast™ are products of Radar Media, located in Dorchester, Ontario on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral peoples who once used this land as their traditional beaver hunting grounds. As a settler here I’m committed to deepening understanding of Indigenous communities and reframing responsibilities to land and community.I am grateful to Mother Earth for the opportunity for love and connection and to the spirits of the Elders and the Medicine People who still walk the Earth.
FEBRUARY 2, 2023
I come to this work as a white woman of privilege; a vulnerable allyship student.I get things wrong often and I am open to, and welcome opportunities to be called in about the content in this newsletter, in order to create safe, brave spaces for all.The purpose is to unite people in rural Canada.I am grateful to walk along this journey in grace, love and empathy together.Simply hit 'reply' to contribute, suggest and correct.
Solutions-based journalism is reporting about people and organizations responding to social problems.I'm looking to add folks to my team to cover more issues with more urgency.Your support, no matter the size, can help.
WATCH A VIDEO SUMMARY OF THIS NEWSLETTER
WHAT IS FREEBRUARY?
Hello Amazing Humans!
Last week, my good friend Stella Sehn, a family farm honey producer in the Prairies told me about Freebruary. She started to explain and then she said she’d just send me this one minute video and it would explain everything.
Basically, it’s a low investment campaign for producers who may want to expand their reach and grow their customer base, without spending a fortune on a digital advertising campaign or hiring staff to do those campaigns for them.
Stella was thrilled to be participating in this annual campaign and immediately saw the value in it for her as a producer, extending her reach through a Canadian national campaign collaborating with other Canadian producers to grow each others’ brands.
WATCH THE FREEBRUARY EXPLAINER VIDEO
BLACK HISTORY MONTH:
AMPLIFYING BLACK RURAL ENTREPRENEURS
HIGHLANDER STUDIOS - WOODSTOCK, ONTARIO
February is Black History Month, but lasting change requires consistent efforts and solid commitment, year round, not just one month of the year.
I have had the privilege of interviewing a number of Black rural entrepreneurs since starting the podcast, and we’ll look back on a few of them throughout this month but the latest is Duane Kumala-Thomas from Highlander Studios in Woodstock, Ontario. (It has been a joy to get to interview folks in person again!)
Not only did Duane give me an amazing tour of his studio, but we talked about his stunning installation depicting the history of a Black church in the nearby town of Ingersoll. (Photo by me below)
Below is a picture of me standing in front of it for scale. It’s massive, and apparently very heavy! It is made from authentic railway materials. A spoken word poem accompanies the installation. It is representative of the Underground Railway that ended in Ingersoll, symbolically coming out of the ground into the sky.
Duane’s episode will air next week (and include the spoken word piece). You’ll see more pics of his studio too!
Weather and a whole lot of circumstances have hindered my visit to Oneida Nation of the Thames but I’m excited to be headed there next week for an in-person interview.
The PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise’s approach to supporting women is unique in that it meets women where they’re at. “Whether it’s your geographic area, or where you are on your business journey, PARO’s programs and services are designed to support you wherever you are!” We’ll talk to PARO.
Michelle Friesen is a female Indigenous councillor in Whitehorse, Yukon Territories. She spoke about the discoveries of graves at Canada’s residential schools at a recent council meeting and the reaction was despicable from some members of her community. I’ll speak with Michelle. Below are some of the posts from her Instagram account.
Three new rural female municipal councillors in rural Ontario talk about their takeaways from a recent Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference. What should the priorities be for rural communities moving forward?
Fierté Canada Pride has a new Rural and Remote Pride Collective. We’ll talk to the project lead and find out how your rural Canadian community can get involved.
Want to suggest a topic?I'm always open to amplifying you and/or your organization.Want to partner with me?Send me an email and/or leave a voice message.
Like this newsletter?Please help fund original stories focused on rural Canada.Every donation helps!
This newsletter and the Clearing a New Path™ podcast are supported by Xplore Business, formerly Xplornet Enterprise Solutions.