Words by Bodhi Patil (United Nations Ocean-Climate Leader), photo courtesy of Sebastian Velasquez (Surf Club President and Orca Expert)
On October 14, UBC Surf Club, Ocean Uprise, and community partners hosted a screening of Coextinction, an Indigenous-led storytelling session, and afterparty. It was truly incredible that over 150 people came to the event in support of the Southern Resident Killer Whales and this special hydrosphere in the Salish Sea, and beyond, that depends on them. Ocean-climate heroes from Washington state and across British Columbia made the long journey to partake in finding pathways for coexistence. Again, a HUGE thank you to all community partners and sponsors that made this lovely event possible!
With tears shed, hearts gripped, and the reflection of this reality settling in, we have some wonderful calls to action for you and your respective communities to take. Before we dive in, know that you are a powerful creator and have the unique opportunity to help build systemic change as human health, biodiversity health, ocean health, environmental health, and economic wealth are inextricably connected.
Ways to get involved and take action.
• Take action with Coextinction!
• Support and follow Will George’s Sacred Canoe Journey past tanker route and Trans Mountain Pipeline terminus, as well as his ongoing opposition campaign to the pipeline project
• Call/email Minister of Fisheries, Joyce Murray, to close the remaining open-net Atlantic salmon fish farms in British Columbia
• Join Clayoquot Action to rid the Clayoquot biosphere of open-net fish farms
• Connect with Redfish Restoration and learn from the Tribal Parks Alliance
• Follow and support event partner Sea Legacy campaign’s in favour of Expanded and Monitored Marine Protected Areas in the lead-up to IMPAC 5
• Support the Towards a People's Endowment Reinvestment Campaign
• Share linktr.ee/oceanclimateaction, linktr.ee/coextinction, and linktr.ee/UBCclimateemergency
Share this heart-felt event description from student-activist Rhiannon Pierce.
"The Coextinction event at UBC was an unforgettable night. The atmosphere of the audience after the premier reflected how moving and impactful the film was. The care for our planet and each other was palpable. Listening to Will George, Tsleil-Waututh water protector, share stories was especially powerful and inspiring. I truly believe each person who attended gained a deep appreciation for protecting our BC waters, fighting fossil fuels, fish farms, dams and, most importantly, uplifting Indigenous peoples voices. Although the film was full of both sadness for our planet and the destruction we have caused, it was also inspiring bringing together a community of people who care deeply about making a positive impact and helping to restore our beautiful planet to a healthy thriving one.
This film was a call to action, listening to Indigenous voices as they have historically, and still are, the leaders of environmental movements, and stewards of land and ocean. We cannot have environmental change or regeneration without centering around Indigenous peoples' values, as they have cared for this land for time immemorial. Our planet and ecosystems are intrinsically interconnected and rely on all aspects to work cohesively in order to function as a healthy planet. As the name of the film suggests not one extinction happens independently of another. Through the progression of the documentary it shows how closely linked environmental issues are in the Pacific Northwest. As someone who is hoping to work in marine conservation, this film inspired me to take more action in several areas of the environmental movement. It showed me how each issue (fossil fuels, fish farms, dams, etc.) contributing to the climate emergency is interconnected, and every action trickles down and positively impacts other parts of the environmental movement. The film premiere presented concrete ways to get involved by providing actionable steps and links to websites or organizations that have been consolidated at linktr.ee/coextinction." – Rhiannon Pierce, Student, She/Her
Thanks again for taking ocean-climate action – everyone has a role to play in this movement for Ocean Health and Human Health!