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She’s published Op-Eds in The Ottawa Citizen, The Globe and Mail and Rabble.ca.

Today I Stand upon the Shore

Today I Stand upon the Shore

'Today I Stand Upon the Shore' original music written and performed by Pat Mayberry 2014 Video by Heather Menzies Blog Series: A journey of reckoning and reconnection I went looking for my ancestors after writing No Time: Stress & the Crisis of Modern Life, which...

Honouring the Peace

Honouring the Peace

printed in the  Watershed Sentinelon Sept 14, 2017. The river, the beauty of the valley, the treaties With the drums and chants of “Makh Chi” (by Ulali) blasting on the car stereo, we descend into the Peace River Valley – we being Rita Wong and Valeen Jules with Poets...

Reclaiming Common Ground: past and present, part 1

Reclaiming Common Ground: past and present, part 1

Based on Heather Menzies' presentation at Camp Gabriola on August 26, 2016. Part 1 of 2 A politics of hope can prevail over a politics of despair if it’s guided by a vision that itself is grounded in what has worked in the past...  when the so-called unseen hand of...

Reclaiming Common Ground: past and present, part 2

Reclaiming Common Ground: past and present, part 2

Based on Heather Menzies’ presentation at Camp Gabriola on August 26, 2016. Part 2 of 2 I won’t go into what killed the commons. Nor will I risk being a romantic and nostalgic by suggesting that it always worked out well.  And I certainly don’t want to suggest that we...

Canada’s National Library as Cultural Commons

Canada’s National Library as Cultural Commons

Based on her presentation celebrating the re-opening of the LAC to the public By Heather Menzies It might be rude when celebrating the Library and Archives of Canada being re-opened as a public cultural space to ask why this matters. But it still might be appropriate,...

Living the Limits to Growth with Heather Menzies

On March 9, 2016, Heather Menzies spoke to the Canadian Association of Clubs of Rome in Ottawa, Canada, where she spoke on the theme "Living the Limits to Growth." Have a listen and let us know what you think in the comments. So sorry to miss it in person! It is...

Reclaiming the Commons wins the Ottawa Book Award

Reclaiming the Commons wins the Ottawa Book Award

Heather Menzies received the honour of the Ottawa Book Award for Non-Fiction on Wednesday, October 21, 2015.   Here is what the jurors said: Jury Statement: "In this eloquent memoir written from the heart, Menzies takes the reader on a fascinating trip to the...

Ancestral Relations with the Land

Ancestral Relations with the Land

If we are to heal the earth, we must also heal ourselves, individually and as communities. Moreover, the two are inter-connected. It’s all about relations -- relations of mutual recognition and respect and mutual support and sustainability. It’s also about the daily...

Doing Development Differently

Doing Development Differently

I recommend that Rachel Notley bring together not a blue-ribbon commission, but one with a green ribbon and a yellow, black, red and white one to represent the equal voice that will be given to Aboriginal understandings of ‘development’. The election of Rachel Notley...

Reclaiming Cities as Commons

Reclaiming Cities as Commons

People working to reclaim cities as habitats, especially habitats that can sustain them with healthy food, water and transportation options, are in a sense reclaiming the commons. Certainly the commons offers a useful heritage to draw on, starting with the shift of...

People’s Climate: Di-vestment and Re-vestment

People’s Climate: Di-vestment and Re-vestment

“The People’s Climate” Blog Series, Part 4 When the great Crash, ecologic or economic, comes, Heather Menzies' brilliant critique will provide an understanding of why it came about, and a path towards a truly sustainable way for humanity to live on the planet. - David...

Occupy Habitat?

Occupy Habitat?

Occupy Habitat? Reviving the Occupy Movement, Climate Change & the Commons By Heather Menzies (author of Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good) Oxfam’s recent report, Working for the Few, on one per cent of the world’s population controlling most of the...

People’s Climate:  Countdown to Paris, 2015

People’s Climate: Countdown to Paris, 2015

“The People’s Climate” Blog Series, Part 1 This article starts “The People’s Climate” blog series by Heather Menzies, author of Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good: A memoir & a manifesto. In Reclaiming the Commons, I praise Bill McKibben and 350.org as...

Remembrance Day in Ottawa

Remembrance Day is always an important day for me as a peace activist and also as a writer who tries to speak truth to power. I participated once again in a White Poppy ceremony at the Cenotaph in Ottawa, after the main Red Poppy event. In my speech I made it clear...

Why I wear both the red poppy and the white

Peace activist Heather Menzies wears the red poppy to commemorate the sacrifices of Canadians who have died in war, and the white one to honour those who brought the war home. By Heather Menzies Published in the Toronto Star on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 I will be wearing...

Cheers to Blue Communities

Cheers to Blue Communities

Every time a community passes a resolution or otherwise chooses collectively to become a “blue community,” I cheer. A blue community is one that recognizes access to water as a human right and promotes publicly owned water and waste services. (See Brent Patterson's...

David Bollier reviews Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good

Commons blogger David Bollier has reviewed Heather's new book, Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good. "The great virtue of Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good is its willingness to probe into the deep personal and spiritual dimensions of commoning -- while...

Healing our Relationship with Bees

Healing our Relationship with Bees

Walking the land of my ancestors helped me remember that we live in nature, even as we turn on the tap for a drink of water in a high-rise apartment, or hang a planter full of marigolds and salvia in the backyard of our suburban home. Walking the land that they...

Our common connection to the land

Our common connection to the land

In Halifax, the last leg of my book-launch tour, I met a beautiful person: a Mi’kmaw elder, Billy Lewis, who welcomed me to his ancestral land. I offered him a pouch of tobacco as my gesture of thanks. I also told him that I now understood why it was so important to...

The Road to Tullicro

The Road to Tullicro

I had only one small clue to guide me: the word Tullicro. It’s where my great, great, great grandfather James Menzies was born, in 1792. Turns out it’s a fermtoun or township, a commons community, half way up into the hills rising on either side of the tumultuous Tay...

Breaking from the Status Quo

Breaking from the Status Quo

When you’re stuck, you’re stuck because you know you’re at a dead end. You know you’re just flapping your lips, moving words around on the page or in your mouth but without cutting through to something that truly is an alternative to the status quo. I knew that the...

Karl Polanyi and the Commons

Commons blogger David Bollier posted recently about the works of the great Karl Polanyi now being available online. Yes, too, I am cheering over this. I quoted a lot from Polanyi’s classic The Great Transformation when writing Reclaiming the Commons for the Common...