Overall Strategic Goals
Suzuki Elders communicate their vision, values, and an elder perspective on environmental issues and actions to specific groups and the general public.
Working from an elder perspective, Suzuki Elders provide environmental education and community engagement opportunities for elders, youth and the general public.
Suzuki Elders, working from an elder perspective, undertake non-partisan advocacy on environmental issues.
To build and grow the membership and orient members to the association.
2018/2019 Suzuki Elder Goals
Grow membership by 15%; Provide environmental education and engagement opportunities for elders and youth through four events, including a major Forum; Communicate elder perspective on environmental issues through two social media posts per week; undertake non-partisan advocacy on 2-5 environmental issues.
Click on the links above, and Recent Activities, to learn more about our working groups.
Although individual Suzuki Elders can and do accomplish a great deal on their own and as members of other groups, below is a summary of some of the accomplishments of our Suzuki Elder Working Groups over the last few years.
- Mounted Suzuki Elders First Gathering to introduce our Association to the interested public. Keynote speaker: John Hoggan, Chair of the Board, David Suzuki Foundation and author of “Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming.” Feb 2011.
- Developed Suzuki Elders web and blog sites
- Wrote letter to joint chairs of Alberta Oil Sands Review Panel re environmental monitoring at Alberta Oil Sands, March 2011
- Created a Suzuki Elders display and handout materials and participated at the 35th Annual BC Aboriginal Elders Gathering, Bowen Island Bowfest, and SFU Sustainability Day.
- Wrote Federal election broadsheet “Let’s elect a future for our grandkids” written and distributed to seniors groups across Canada, April 2011
- Participated in Burns Bog Pilgrimage, Enbridge/Kinder-Morgan pipeline protests and Defend our Coast rallies, May-August 2011
- Presented at “Growing Old in a Changing Climate Conference”, Vancouver, July 2011
- Participated in 350.org Momentum for Change events, Sept 2011
- Developed procedures for approval of Suzuki Elder non-partisan advocacy initiatives.
- Planned and mounted second “Elders and Environment” Forum, Vancouver, November 2011 featuring David Suzuki and Terry O’Reilly
- Started a Suzuki Elders Google Group
- Participated in a PICS-sponsored Children’s Science in Action Workshop, December 2011.
- Increased our membership from about 20 to 75 members
- Began a Suzuki Elder Facebook page
- Speakers invited to present at Suzuki Elder meetings: Ian Bruce, James Boothroyd, Vic Johnston, Tara Cullis, Warren McKay, Penny Cochrane, and Dermot Foley
- Made written and verbal presentations to the Joint Review Panel, Enbridge Northern Gateway Project
- Presented a six-part lecture series (14 elders involved) on climate change and the environment, “Transitions – Back to the Future” at Capilano University Eldercollege (Mar/Apr 2012)
- Held our first AGM, ratified our constitution and approved council members, March 2012.
- Participated in the Salt Spring Island Event “The Role of Elders Today” organized by Suzuki Elder Margery Moore
- Participated in DSF sponsored workshop “Connecting Youth with Nature,” May, 2012
- Took our display booth and materials to the 36th Elder Gathering in Abbotsford, Summerhill Earth Week event in North Vancouver, and Canada Day celebration in downtown Vancouver
- Started a members news update quarterly
- Participated in the Burns Bog Pilgrimage
- Joined a small study group, facilitated by Suzuki Elder Kathryn Cholette, to discuss “The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy”
- Joined the first of a series of Suzuki Elders nature walks organized by Suzuki Elder David Cook, July 2012
- Organized a story telling workshop at the annual Suzuki Elder Retreat and subsequently formed a Suzuki Elder story-telling group, Aug, 2012
- Mentored DSF/Justice For Girls teen interns on research project investigating impact of Canada’s environment policies on children
- Speakers invited to present at Suzuki Elder meetings. In 2013: Michiah Prull, Michael Bartusky, Deborah Harford, Kathryn Cholette, Miles Richardson, Justice Bruce Cohen
- Took our display booth to the ZoomerShow, White Rock Sea Festival, and the National Youth Track and Field Championships in Langley.
- Participated in Chinese New Year’s Parade with the David Suzuki Foundation, 2013
- Delivered stories at elementary schools in Vancouver, Spring, 2013
- Held our second AGM, amended our constitution, elected new council members, April 2013
- Maintained the Suzuki Elder blog, website, and resource materials
- Conducted a 3 part course on “Our Changing Earth: Which Way Now?” at Naramata, B.C., July 2013
- Planned and mounted the “Elders, Environment and Youth Forum” with David Suzuki, his daughter and grandson presenting, November, 2013.
- Completed a report and evaluation of this meeting.
- Prepared a discussion guide for David Suzuki’s Force of Nature video.
- Supported and attended several Suzuki Elders Walks with geologist and natural history expert David Cook
- Supported youth active in environment work by attending their rallies, conferences and workshops
- Developed and completed the Suzuki Elder Perspective, Aug, 2013.
- Co-sponsored and participated in a Reconciliation Canada Dialogue Workshop, Aug, 2013, and participated in the Reconciliation Walk in Vancouver, Sept, 2013
- Increased membership to just under 100 members
- Presented on Suzuki Elder work and principles at Unitarian Church worship services and GAIA choral concert
- Speakers invited to present at Suzuki Elder meetings. In 2014: Peter Robinson, Tovah Paglaro, and Candace Gossen.
- Formed a group to discuss “Playing without Plastic.” Worked with Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House and key youth on this project with a focus on elementary school children, Winter/Spring 2014.
- Began the Suzuki Elder Story Project and collected 32 short stories from our elders on the impact of nature in their lives, Spring, 2014.
- Worked with youth to create a video to showcase our short stories and attract an audience on the web.
- Worked with youth to improve the impact of our social media platforms.
- Attended a youth-sponsored Earth Day parade, a large anti-GMO rally, global movement for Climate Action Now rallies, Chinese New Year’s parade with David Suzuki, People’s Climate March, and Defend Our Coast rallies
- With youth of Sustainable SFU, co-sponsored the “Lose the Plastic” public event featuring discussions with Midway filmmaker Jan Vozenilek, Mar, 2014.
- Completed the Suzuki Elder Perspective
- Completed a Climate Change Pamphlet
- Organized the annual Suzuki Elder Retreat around the theme, “Elders and Youth – Listening to Each Other,” generated a report, and began selection of goals for follow-up, July 2014.
- Helped support and celebrate David Suzuki’s Blue Dot Tour to build a movement of support for the Right to a Healthy Environment initiative.
- Began organizing a Suzuki Elder outreach speaker series, the first featuring Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation speaking on the Future of Environmentalism
- Began Phase II of the Playing without Plastic program for school-age children.
- Organized our annual AGM featuring Jim Hogan, Speak the truth, but not to punish: Lessons in Public Discourse.
- Developed and delivered workshops to youth on the theme of Intergenerational Storytelling.
- Posted our elder stories to our blog.
- Delivered salons on Emotions and Climate Change and formed a Resilience Core Group to understand and deal with emotions and feelings related to climate disruption.
- Organized a salon on Genetically Modified Foods with scientists David Ng and David Steele.
- Organized the annual Suzuki Elder’s Retreat on non-partisan advocacy techniques and core energy issues with DSF staff.
- Worked with youth campers from the Catching The Spirit Youth Society and created a workshop module “What Moves Me”.
- Co-sponsored an All-Parties-Forum before the federal election to provide the opportunity for candidates to discuss policies on environment, economy, climate change, aboriginal issues and housing.
- Improved the educational booth with updated information and brochures
- Repeated a salon called Food Security in the 21st Century; Are We Prepared? on April 18 at The North Shore Elder College
- Facilitated and evaluated an inter-generational workshop in May 2016 called Building Resilience to Climate Disruption. Tools from this pilot series will be shared and offered as a blueprint for future such conversation gatherings.
- Planned a major session of the annual Elder summer retreat in August 2016. Our theme “What do we say Yes to” was inspired by the recent book written by Jim Hoggan “I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up”.
- Contributed to the Suzuki Elder Facebook page and Suzuki Elder website and continued to explore new ideas and tools for innovative and creative use of social media
- Added 27 posts to the website (144 subscribers) and reached 660 fans on Facebook
- Formed a new advocacy group in 2016 and wrote letters to the BC Premier requesting a moratorium on the Site C dam project and conveying our concern over the lack of a “world leading spill response system” related to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion proposal
- Conducted direct phone calls with existing members in the BC region in order to update ourselves on members’ current status and activities, and to connect and facilitate their involvement with Suzuki Elder Programs
- Presented a talk in October 2016, titled” Search of happiness under the threat of Climate Change” to a group from Chinese Canadian community
- Told elder stories to 40 young people at Camp Suzuki in Howe Sound
- Spoke to community groups (Chinese Elders, West Side Seniors, high school youth, community events)
- Participated in the Vancouver School Board Sustainability Conference in January for a “Rethinking Plastic” event.
- Presented at the Global Rewind 2018 event, “How Can Metro Vancouver Youth Be a Catalyst to Inspire Intergenerational Leadership and Action for Sustainability
- Presented a series of “conversation circles’ at Kitsilano Neighbourhood House on “Staying Resilient as Our Climate Changes: Thinking and Feeling Our Way Forward”.
- Organized a salon at UBC in September on Green Chemistry: A Way Forward.
- Organized a salon in October on Rethinking Plastic: What’s in your Sushi?
- Organized a salon in November on New Energy in Action
- Began developing “how-to” tool kits for hosting salons and community circles.
- Set up a “buddy system” to match Suzuki Elders with new members to better connect and become engaged in Suzuki Elder programs and activities.
- Participated in a Green Ambassadors Program for Vancouver seniors in October
- Held summer and winter socials to connect Suzuki Elders.
- Added 34 posts to the website.
- Increased the number of visits to our website, the number of likes on our Facebook page, and comments on our blog articles.
- Participated in a conference on Pender Island organized by the Institute for Environmental Children’s Rights.
- Advocacy Group submitted a letter to B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham expressing concern about the effect of fish farms in B.C. coastal waters on wild stocks of salmon.
- Participated in Global Rewind at the Vancouver School Board Sustainability Conference.
- Reviewed the components of the strategic plan dealing with key communications media including the web site, blog, email list, Google Group and Facebook page.
- Held a salon on Health and Climate Change, attended by a full house of 83 participants.
- Held a salon on Talking with Young people about Climate Change in Vancouver, attended by 31 participants.
- Held a successful Elders’ Tea Social at the Vancouver Unitarian Church.
- Published 14 new Elder stories on this website.
- Confirmed the historical documents being archived, physical resources stored at DSF, and electronic resources kept in a SharePoint cloud under Council supervision.