With stunning Howe Sound as backdrop, David Suzuki was honoured by, and adopted into, the Squamish Nation during the Blue Dot Tour stop at Porteau Cove in November, 2014.
In a traditional Squamish welcoming ceremony, David and fellow canoe paddlers were called back to the shore to begin the day’s events. Chief Ian Campbell spoke of the Squamish Nation’s respect for David’s work on environmental stewardship and with First Nations. David, he said, shared an understanding with First Nations about nature and interconnectedness. Carleen Thomas, a Tsleil-Waututh Nation leader and member of the Sacred Trust Initiative, also honoured David and his long history protecting B.C.’s coastal waters.
The moving ceremony, which included a presentation to David of a traditional cedar cape and head band, marked the deepening relations the Foundation has with Howe Sound First Nations. Volunteer divers with Marine Life Sanctuaries Society gave families and children opportunities for close-up interactions with starfish and other marine treasures from Porteau Cove, a popular scuba diving destination.
As work to create a long-term vision and plan for the Howe Sound region gains momentum, the Squamish Nation’s commitment to take a marine planning leadership role is creating a way forward for conservation.
Communities in the Howe Sound region are joining local governments to protect the people and places they love. Squamish, Bowen Island and the Islands Trust B.C. are among the more than 50 local governments representing more than five million Canadians that have passed declarations for the right to a healthy environment. Nowhere is it more evident what could be lost without this right than in the centre of the marine and mountain majesty of the Howe Sound fjord.