Western Riverfest

Thames River on campus with tree branch hanging over the water

Western Riverfest is all about connecting the campus community with the river that flows through campus. Deshkan Ziibi (Thames River) connects Western University with the broader London community as well as First Nations living downstream like Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Oneida Nation of the Thames, and Munsee-Delaware Nation. Eight First Nations have traditional territory that overlaps with the Thames River watershed and the area is covered by multiple Treaties (source: Upper Thames River Conservation Authority).

On campus the river also contributes to wellness, natural beauty, and spaces of abundant wildlife. Many members of the campus community walk or cycle along the Thames Valley Parkway which winds along the river directly onto campus. 

The annual Riverfest celebration provides unique opportunities for students, staff, faculty and community members to learn, enjoy and honour the river. Check out our annual event pages for specific events and opportunities to get involved. 

Introduce yourself to Deshkan Ziibi at any time by listening to a wonderful episode in the mbwaach'idiwag podcast that was created for Indigenous Awareness Week 2021. In the episode Walking Along the Deshkan Ziibing with Summer Bressette, hosted by Sara Mai Chitty, Summer shares about her take on land acknowledgements, relationships to land, Deshkan Ziibing and Indigenous nationhood. Try to find some time to yourself to listen to this podcast while out in nature, along the river.