The Saskatchewan Eco Network held its 10th Annual Environmental Activist Awards in Spring 2012 as part of SEN's Environmental Film Festival, Seed the Change Feed the Change. This year a number of fine individuals and groups received awards at the Saskatoon and Regina Festivals. Congratulations to all of the recipients!
The Brightwater Science and Environmental Centre of Saskatoon Public Schools is a leader and exemplar of powerful land-based education that strategically presents cohesive perspectives of Western Views of Environmental Science and Indigenous Knowledge of Nature. Since its inception in 1990, each year Brightwater delivers authentic and engaging Science, Environmental and Indigenous Knowledge of Nature educational programming to over 2000 Saskatoon Public Schools middle years and high school students, their teachers and parent volunteers. The centre is located 15 km south of Saskatoon in-situ of a quarter section of land characterized by a sand-based habitat of aspen bluffs and patches of native prairie surrounding a meandering creek (Brightwater/Beaver Creek). Of the 160 acres, Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) owns 60 acres and rents the remaining 100 acres and facilities through a rental partnership with the Salvation Army of their Salvation Army Beaver Creek Camp.
Jan Shadick is a remarkable volunteer who, despite working full-time, always seems to find time to volunteer for the causes in which she believes. Her home and yard have been turned into a wildlife rehabilitation facility. The summary line below that she cares for approximately 200 injured and orphaned wildlife each year does not do justice to the countless hours required to feed and care for these creatures. Nor does it reflect the hours spent training to learn the proper animal handling techniques and veterinary-style required to look after and return these animals to the wild. She is an active member of the Saskatoon Nature Society. Here again she has taken on a leadership role serving on the board of directors, leading field trips, and assisting with bird counts. She is also a licenced bird bander and volunteers to monitor bird populations. This is part of a larger North American monitoring program. Every summer, which is the peak time for animal rehabilitation, Jan is also spending hours and hours on two projects. One is the monitoring of bluebirds and Tree Swallows around Saskatoon. Jan's commitment to ensuring the biodiversity of our region is monitored and healthy combines citizen science and animal rehabilitation at a level which is rare for any volunteer.
Stephanie Sydiaha of the Coalition for a Clean, Green Saskatchewan has been a dedicated peace and feminist activist since her youth. She is unafraid to stand up and to speak out for truth and justice. Her organizational skills were a real asset in the years of uranium mine hearings bringing in presenters from Canada and different countries for the hearings and touring the province. Internationally, she has attended events in Europe and the United States providing many national and international contacts for the local groups with which she has worked and continues to do so. She worked with Maisie Shiell and collaborated with a film maker in the production of film about Maisie Shiell which resulted in Maisie receiving the very first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Munich-based Nuclear Free Future in 1998. In daily living she is an eco-gardener –bikes, walks, buses using her little Ford Fiesta car only when absolutely necessary. Recycling, composting and carefully monitoring energy usage is part of her lifestyle.
Deanna Trowsdale-Mutafov went to university for vet school, but switched into her true love - the love of the environment. She graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Science. All throughout her 20's, 30's, and 40's, and even to this day, she has volunteered at many organizations rallying to help the environment. She has given to countless charities, and continually reminds her family about the importance of the world around them. She now works for Nature Saskatchewan, an organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of anything natural here in Saskatchewan.