Together, Canadian Geographic and Swim Drink Fish are creating storytelling tools to illuminate the lands and languages of the greatest freshwater system on Earth.
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is among Canada’s largest bilingual education organizations in the not-for-profit sector. Founded in 1929, the Society works to make Canada better known to Canadians and to the world. The Society is a content creator and curator — communicating with Canadians through print, digital and social media, including its flagship magazine Canadian Geographic and its educational arm, Canadian Geographic Education. As it approaches its 100th anniversary (2029-30), the RCGS has pledged to deepen the engagement of Canadians in pursuit of a healthier planet as one of its key initiatives over the next 10 years (2020-30).
Established in 2001, Swim Drink Fish is a registered Canadian charity working to connect people with water, including through the use of citizen science and communications technology. Everyone has a right to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. One of Swim Drink Fish’s mandates is to teach people to monitor the health of their local water bodies and advocate for the protection and restoration of the places where they live. The charity’s web-based apps and programs reach over 171 communities in 11 countries and encourage people to get to the water’s edge, connecting them with their water bodies and their communities.
Canadian Geographic and Swim Drink Fish worked closely with Indigenous leaders, knowledge keepers and language speakers from the watershed to name Biinaagami and start a movement. Biinaagami will take shape and grow with every collaborator, partner, organization and individual who gets involved. A large, diverse network is needed to protect the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed — and we are only just beginning.