We would like to acknowledge that Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island have held a relationship with this land since before time immemorial. This 15,000 year history has and continues to be distinguishable by a unique and enduring connection to the natural world that exists across a diversity of Indigenous identities, experiences and worldviews.
As a BIPOC led community, the BIPOC Outdoor Gear Library hopes to acknowledge, actively learn from and respond to colonial histories which impacts BIPOC experiences of the outdoors.
The BIPOC Outdoor Gear Library has generously been donated storage space in Guelph. Guelph is situated on the occupied territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation of the Anishinaabek Peoples.
Mission: We are a community-based lending library focused on providing access to outdoor equipment for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) communities of (so-called) Guelph and the surrounding areas. Through collaboration with partners and our membership, we are working to increase the representation of BIPOC people engaging in outdoor recreation by reducing barriers to access, creating community, providing resources and facilitating education.
Vision: We want to contribute to developing a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, where people can exist in natural spaces with dignity and autonomy, free from harm. Our hope is a society that values and prioritizes joy through outdoor activity as well as racial and environmental justice.
Values: Coming Soon!
We understand that the acronym BIPOC has limitations and has been critiqued for not adequately representing the diversity of identities and experiences claimed under the umbrella. We also understand that there are various ways to use the acronym and that some communities do not find it useful at all.
Our use of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) seeks to create an affinity space in which those who have experienced structural exclusion based on race can access outdoor gear. Our choice to make this a BIPOC library is in response to historical and ongoing experiences of exclusion. Affinity spaces like the library are commonly used in racial justice and equity work to create safe(r) and more accessible opportunities.
While our gear is specifically for those who identify as Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour, we hope to offer education and opportunities for everyone.
If you identify within another historically excluded community and are looking for support, please reach out.
If you are a parent or caregiver to someone who identifies as BIPOC, please reach out.
If you are interested in collaborating on an event or learning opportunity that connects to BIPOC communities' experiences of the outdoors, please reach out.
Did you know we are a registered not-for-profit in Ontario? Meet our working Board of Directors and Volunteers.
Dee (she/her) has been adventuring outdoor for most of her life. Camping, canoeing, hiking and more. She has worked for many years in the heart of Algonquin Park (Algonquin Anishinaabeg traditional territory. From her working experience, she saw first hand that these activities are not familiar (or comfortable) for everyone - especially those in the BIPOC community.
Caroline (she/her) is an avid adventurer and loves to be active in nature - whether hiking, paddling, skiing, biking... or most any activity. She feels strongly that everyone should be able to enjoy natures, and wants to help facilitate that access for the BIPOC community.
Lauren (she/her) is a lover of camping, hiking, being in the mountains, winter weather and cold beers. She is an anti-oppression/anti-racism educator and organizer who lives on the Haldimand Tract, the territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples.
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