How I got involved in the Blue Dot Movement
In the summer of 2014, I was offered an internship with the David Suzuki Foundation. As a student passionate about positive environmental change, and as a Canadian who grew up watching the Nature of Things, I was beyond excited. During my internship I provided research and support for the Blue Dot Tour, the 2014 cross-Canada journey where David Suzuki engaged Canadians on the need for a Right to a Healthy Environment in the constitution.
After my position ended in August 2014, I was eager to stay involved.
The Blue Dot Tour in Victoria
In November 2014, I volunteered for the Blue Dot Tour in Victoria, the second last stop along the tour. The evening show featured a powerful talk by David Suzuki, music by Hey Ocean, Shane Koyzan who preformed an original poem entitled Shoulders, and inspirational words from David Suzuki’s daughter Severn Suzuki and grandson Tamo Suzuki. I was captivated by the use of stories, music, video, poetry and art – all beautifully woven into an evening to inspire local action.
Victoria City Council passes a Municipal Declaration
In December 2014, 10 individuals, including myself, spoke to Victoria City Council about the importance of making a Municipal Declaration for a Right to a Healthy Environment. The motion was passed unanimously with great enthusiasm from council. The vote showed a willingness and dedication from city council to protect the local environment and to encourage other municipalities to do the same. To date, 23 Canadian municipalities have made the same declaration.
What’s next? The Blue Dot Campus Challenge
An undergraduate from Queens University, Leah Kelley, was inspired by the Blue Dot Tour and worked to bring this movement to Canadian colleges and universities. With support from the David Suzuki Foundation, more than 12 other campuses have since joined this initiative. We call it the Blue Dot Campus Challenge (it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?). I’m heading up the Blue Dot Campus Challenge at UVic. Each campus will compete to collect the most signatures for the petition asking for the Right to a Healthy Environment in Canada. The challenge runs from March 7th to 14th.
In my Environmental Studies classes, we have often talked about the importance of long term change. I think that the Campus Challenge is a way for students to engage in the issues they learn about in class and contribute to a larger movement.