Great Lakes Rising!

Great Lakes Commons Map Screenshot
Great Lakes Commons Map Screenshot

A year and a half ago, On The Commons brought 70 people together from around the Great Lakes bioregion to explore how a commons approach might help us create a life giving future for our Lakes.  Since then, the Great Lakes Commons has continued to come to life in many ways, with a growing network of people taking up this emerging initiative and finding ways to contribute.  There are educators and academics bringing commons principles into their classrooms and scholarship;  there are artists inviting communities to explore their relationship to water; there are new alliances and links between communities and issue campaigns; there are local projects that assert a new (and very old) water ethic of responsibility to and for water and there is a renewed interest in the commons-oriented legal strategies contained in public trust doctrine and treaty rights.

Excitingly Great Lakes Commons has also hosted the collaborative development of a social charter for our Lakes, involving leaders from various communities, US, Canadian and First Nations. We now have a draft Declaration for that Charter and are seeking broad community support and responses.  We want to inspire a new public discussion – one that explores and helps define the principles we feel should guide Great Lakes water governance - and one that activates commons leadership everywhere in the bioregion.  We are launching the Charter over the next month.  

Be part of this new story – Our Great Lakes Commons rising. This work needs an active and engaged community.  Here are some ways to :  

  • Read the Social Charter Declaration, sign on your support and add your thoughts on the principles –
  • Help us illustrate and illuminate the Great Lakes Commons by sharing your art, writing and other creative work in our website gallery