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Community Stories

Community members have many stories to tell about their experiences with the Great River. Their stories are full of observations and lead to questions about the health of the river system. Here we share a sample of stories and observations about the river. As the project unfolds, we will link these stories to the project’s indicators and scientific findings. 

Portrait of Henry Lickers standing by the river

Henry Lickers

Dare to be Great

The connector: Henry is 6ft, but his height belies his weighty presence. A man rooted firmly in his Haudenosaunee culture, he holds the great gift of connecting cultures.

Ron MacDonald jumping into the river fully dressed in diving gear.

Ron Macdonald

Power of Water

The Diver: With a connection to the Great River dating all the way to the construction of the Moses-Saunders Dam, Ron Macdonald is a man-in-the know when it comes to changes to our local waterway.

Nancy Hildebrand picking cattails

Nancy Hildebrand

The Food Forager

We all connect to nature in different ways. For some, it’s through a walk, hike, snowshoe or cross country ski in the great outdoors. For others, it’s heading out to a river to paddle a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. For foragers, that bond comes from collecting wild foods.

Portrait of Jessica Shenandoah in a forest

Jessica Shenandoah

Community Building Through Foraging

For Jessica Shenandoah, foraging is all about preserving traditions, amplifying Indigenous knowledge, building community, and protecting plants for future generations to enjoy.

Mackenzie Petrie fishing on Lake St. Francis

Mackenzie Petrie

Know the River

There’s a new generation of avid anglers in our midst—and they’re filled with passion, generational knowledge, and a deep connection to the river. Meet one of them, Mackenzie Petrie.

Ian Macintosh launching his boat from his home in Lancaster.

Ian Macintosh


A boat ride on the St Lawrence with Ian Macintosh is a trip back in time and a painful reminder of tragedy.

Portrait of Abraham Francis

Abraham Francis

Roles & Responsibilities

Abraham Francis is both grounded by Indigenous and scientific knowledge. That’s a powerful combination that serves his community and all others who orbit him.

Norm Seymour holding up an osprey egg

Norm Seymour

The Duck Hunter

Norm Seymour lives and breathes ecology. He’s spent a lifetime studying it, teaching it, and writing about it. Now he’s sharing everything he knows for the benefit of Great River Rapport.

Steve DeRochie on his canoe on his way to check his traps for muskrats and beavers

Steve DeRochie

The Trapper

Steve DeRochie sees trapping as a role and a responsibility that will make a positive impact on the future of the wetlands at Cooper Marsh.

Steve DeRochie on his canoe on his way to check his traps for muskrats and beavers

Kate Schwartz

The Naturalist

Kate is a young, knowledgeable naturalist, with a deep love and curiosity for the natural world. She has translated this passion into lifelong learning, a career, and through it, she is making a contribution to the Great River Rapport.

We welcome you to enrich this project with your own story