Minutes from "General RFG meeting" on 2007-02-05 15:00

RCE Facilitation Group Meeting (RFG) and Coordinators of Theme Area Working Groups

Date: Monday, February 5, 2007 (3:00 p.m.)
Location: SIAST Boardroom, Regina


  • Tanya Dahms – U of R (Chemistry and Biochemistry), meeting secretary
  • Polo Diaz – Director, Canadian Plains Research Center
  • Gwen Evans – UofR Parking Services
  • Fidgi Gendron – FNUC (Biology and representing the Science department)
  • Malin Hansen – Regina EcoLiving Inc.
  • Glenn Hymers – Craik Sustainable Living Project (CSLP)
  • Dwight Mercer – SK RCE Celebrations Co-ordinator
  • Roger Petry – Luther College, U of R (Philosophy), meeting chairperson
  • Kim Sare – City of Regina
  • Curt Schroeder – SIAST (Faculty Trainer)
  • Glenn Sutter – Adjunct Professor in Biology, U of R; Curator, Royal SK museum
  • Wendy Winter – MacKenzie Art Gallery


  • Louise Jones, Road Map 2020
  • Peta White, SOEEA

SK RCE Celebrations

Roger Petry: update

  • Celebration for SK RCE set for March 1 (Regina and Craik), March 2 (Saskatoon), 2007
  • January 10, 2007 was the official recognition of the SK RCE by the U.N.U.
  • There are approximately 30 RCEs currently world wide – this is an exciting international effort that has attracted a number of regions with specific expertise in sustainability
  • Six themes of SK RCE– climate change; health; farming and local food production, consumption, and waste minimization; reconnecting to natural prairie ecosystems, supporting and bridging cultures for sustainable living and community building; sustainable infrastructure including water and energy

Dwight Mercer (RCE celebration coordinator): update

  • Seeking funding from a list of 50 Departments and Agencies (Mercer and Gilles)
  • Celebration Planning Committee includes representatives from Regina, Craik, and Saskatoon (e.g., Regina: Roger Petry, Lyle Benko, Jon Gilles; Craik: Glenn Hymers); seeking additional members
  • Many invitations have been sent out to dignitaries including Chuck Hopkins (representing UNU) and David Walden (Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO); Stephane Dion may be interested in attending and have invited all federal party leaders; local MPs, provincial government representatives, and municipal representatives (e.g. mayors) have been invited; Lieutenant Governor for SK invited
  • Rough draft agenda being put together for later this week
  • City of Regina, City of Saskatoon, U of R, and U of S communications departments approached to be involved with press releases etc.
  • Curt Schroeder and Tim Maciag are updating the SK RCE website
  • Exploring possibility for having free bus from STC or City of Saskatoon between locations (Biodiesel bus)
  • Looking for representation from grand chiefs and president of First Nations University of Canada
  • Request to Town of Craik to send mailings to other towns/RMs in region
  • Seeking a contact from the U of S
  • Invitations sent to U of R and U of S presidents
  • Room at Craik booked (smaller venue ~ 100 people); seeking a room at U of S; Rotunda is booked at U of R (though later agreed to try and book the Royal Saskatchewan Museum)
  • Speaker agenda – David Waldon (UNESCO), Chuck Hopkins (UNU representative) and Jon Gilles (CSC) attending all three events
  • Will try to use city mayors as the MCs (or their representatives)
  • Focus of each location:
    • Craik and focus on regional aspects of RCE; May get some additional media coverage at Craik given visual elements (e.g., eco-centre, composting toilets etc.) and grass roots initiatives
    • Regina: – welcome to SK; more of an emphasis on government involvement and official ceremony; though lots of media potential at the Royal SK museum (e.g., exhibits)
    • Saskatoon: emphasis on academic aspects of SK RCE: U of S and U of R (seeking both University presidents), SIAST president


  • Glenn: How do we present the RCE themes during the celebration?; suggestion was that each centre could focus on some of the 6 RCE themes (e.g. Craik and focus on Health and Sustainable Infrastructure; Regina and reconnecting to natural prairie ecosystem); up to area to decide how many times it might like to focus on
  • Glenn: It would be helpful to have a summary of SK RCE; Roger indicated one page briefing note sent to Minister John Baird and Summary from U.N.U. are available; Dwight indicated a press release-type document from a PR person would be great to distill the information for communication.
  • Gwen: Indicated she can co-ordinate parking if event at the U of R and also willing to help in other aspects of planning celebrations
  • Wendy: Indicated she has access to involving Grade 6 students involved in an earlier art project, but time is short.
  • Glenn: The prairie conservation conference occurring in Regina should be linked and thematically works well with the SK RCE themes; Louise Jones from Saskatoon, or Janet McVitty could be contacted as representatives
  • Kim: With event in Regina from 9:00 a.m. – noon: Do you have an idea of what the event would look like? Dwight: possible agenda – Mayor (or representative) would be the MC, Jon Gilles might welcome people (greetings), David Waldon or Chuck Hopkins talk about the RCE (background from an international perspective); short speeches from dignitaries in attendance (more formal protocol if Lieutenant Governor in attendance); time before and after this event for viewing displays/projects, interviews by media
  • Glenn: Will we have entertainment?
  • Kim: When you ask people for money, what are we needing it for? Dwight noted pledges of $500 from the International Development Office, U of R, and $500 from Allan Cahoon (UofR president) – funds can be used for transportation, renting Craik facility; Glenn S. noted Royal SK Museum could possibly be used free of charge
  • Curt: Nice to have one website for media releases i.e. SK RCE website; worth having photographer to document event; could have someone blog the event (semi-real time) that could be sent to other RCEs globally; re. photographer, could have someone from the School of Journalism; could also have an official photographer (e.g., Ken Jones) but would need honorarium; could also contact Don Hall from the U of R (and request Cahoon to release Hall for the event); RCE Technology Group could arrange some of these technological aspects
  • Polo: suggestion to talk to the LeaderPost for a contribution of 1-2 pages of coverage for the SK RCE; could also have an exhibition or talk as part of the event; Dwight indicated the LeaderPost has been contacted
  • Tanya: We need to develop a structure for the event, do we want one single venue in Regina and the other locations? Can we involve school children? Do we send out a press release to schools with a suggested sustainable development curriculum for part of the day? What about a fair?
  • Malin: Two of the SK RCE themes at each venue was first suggested; Malin suggested it was better to see what capacity each venue has for accommodating all or some of the themes. Each site could do as many themes as possible/as they were interested in. Can have a fair, e.g., in the lobby of the RSM + workshops (e.g., ½ hour workshops to deepen the themes) either during or after the speeches.
  • Glenn: Focus is not on each issue in itself, but is clearly on the educational aspect of each theme (e.g., education for addressing climate change). What do we have to learn to move towards reversing climate change and moving towards sustainable development? Could ask students/children what we have to learn (e.g., we could ask children and get their responses in writing and through art etc.)
  • Glenn: Confirmed we have the RSM if we need it. Committee decided our first choice for the Regina venue would be the RSM and our second choice would be the Rotunda.
  • Possible structure for speeches: MC – 2-3 minutes, UNU representative – 5-8 minutes, UNESCO representative 5 -8 minutes, Lieutenant Governor – 5-10 minutes; government representative (e.g. Jon Nielson) will want to speak; note that amount of time available at each venue will depend on number of dignitaries at each (e.g., possibly shorter speeches in Regina but lengthier opportunities in other centres)
  • Wendy: Can have an artist on site working with a group of kids. (Sean Wally, Kim Morgan (Tanya)?) – Wendy has a group of kids that she could call on short notice to be part of this event

Meeting of 6 Theme Area Working Groups (TAWGs) and RCE Technology Group (RTG)

  • Roger indicated Lyle is ill and we need a co-ordinator for the climate change TAWG; Kim Sare agreed to coordinate the first meeting/contact of this group.
  • Dwight is already very committed with the celebrations, so we need someone else for the farming and local food production; Malin Hansen agreed to try to find someone from that list of those interested in participating to arrange this meeting
  • Roger: If Dwight has venues penciled in and times set, we can start sending out notices and calls for presentations, posters, workshops etc. for the fair. Dwight agreed to send out a tentative schedule with tentative locations/venues and identification of opportunities for working group members to participate in each venue to highlight their respective educational theme by the end of this week.
  • Co-ordinators will be asked to email people on their TAWG lists regarding possibilities/ideas they might have for each event.
  • Curt: Will have the domain name of www.zebra.anatexis.net ready in 24 hours for the working groups to use; each TAWG has a working space with a discussion board, blog, file upload; the main webpage allows one to access files i.e. meeting minutes, documents etc.; Please give Curt feedback as we are upgrading to the next version of the software – will be new features, may be glitches; we should also use the site so that we are documenting our RCE progress; Make sure SK RCE URL is on all media releases.

Tasks for the initial contact meeting for each Theme Area Working Group (TAWG) and the RCE Technology Group: Re. tasks:

  • Curt: indicated SIAST has four campuses and that he would make a pitch internally (staff and students) about the working groups, RCE etc.; Roger indicated the region will shape itself over time in part based on interest.

Specific Tasks:

  • Roger will send minutes from Feb. 5 RFG meeting to all RFG members and coordinators as well as having them posted on the website.
  • Dwight will:
    • send a schedule with times and tentative venues to the RFG members and coordinators of the working groups some time this week (e.g. week of February 5)
    • identify possible opportunities in the schedule (e.g. fair for ESD activities, possible time for workshops, time set aside for speakers and interviews)
    • provide other communications materials regarding the celebrations as they become available.
  • Malin will contact each of the coordinators for the working groups providing them with
    • the updated lists of participants for each group (and brief instructions how to find one's group and extract the e-mail addresses)
    • instructions regarding the following possible activities as groups initially meet (see below) and possibly a draft letter of introduction to TAWG members that other coordinators might use
    • information regarding how to contact Curt Schroeder to help arrange a conference call or make use of the RCE website for networking of the committee
  • Theme Area Working Group Coordinators (see list at end of minutes) and RTG will send invitations to their respective members from the RCE committee participant list to arrange a meeting/conference call or discussion by e-mail or mediated over the SK RCE website (see outline of possible activities below)

Possible activities for meeting of each Theme Area Working Group and RTG:

  • Task of the coordinator to bring together the members of the working group (either an actual meeting, conference call, or by e-mail).
  • Coordinator introduces himself/herself to the group; seeks out co-coordinator(s) from the group (possibly representing other centres, e.g. Craik or Saskatoon, or other types of organization)
  • Ask members of the group if there are specific individuals who ought to be invited to participate in the working group to broaden the group's representation and scope
  • Bring members up to speed regarding the SK RCE celebrations (making use of Dwight's tentative schedule and reviewing these minutes for ideas)
  • Invite members to discuss or meet to explore possibilities for participation and showcasing ESD activities at each venue; more generally ask each group what activities they would like to do. Can also review SK RCE proposal (section 5.3 (specifically pages 55-56) and Appendix D) regarding what each TAWG is envisioned as doing over the long term.
  • Invite members of group to sign up on the SK RCE website (see link below) and add their own personal information as well as exploring how to potentially use some of the features of the site to advance the group's work
  • Over the next few months or ½ year try to inventory ESD activities within the group's theme area occurring within the SK RCE region and post these to the site to create an inventory of theme related initiatives for each area

Contact information for Curt Schroeder (RCE Technology Group) to help with arranging conference calls if needed or use of SK RCE website:
e-mail: schroederc@siast.sk.ca
telephone: (306) 798-9631

Current location of SK RCE website:

This address will soon be updated to:

Theme Area Working Group Coordinators:

  • Climate Change: Kim Sare
  • Health: Tanya Dahms
  • Farming and local food production: Malin Hansen will identify a potential coordinator
  • Reconnecting to natural prairie ecosystems: Malin Hansen
  • Supporting and bridging cultures for sustainable living and community building: Wendy Winters
  • Sustainable infrastructure including water and energy: Dena McMartin

Other Coordinators:
RCE Technology Group (RTG): Curt Schroeder
RCE Facilitation Group (RFG): Roger Petry, Lyle Benko
Celebration Planning Committee: Dwight Mercer