A Brief History of the Suzuki Elders
The Council of Elders of the David Suzuki Foundation was established in 1996 by David Suzuki. In forming this group of volunteers, David had in mind the model of the role of elders in aboriginal communities. In its early years, the Council met regularly, received presentations, discussed a host of environmental issues and imagined itself as a potential sounding board for the programs and policies of the Foundation. For a number of reasons, this consultative role did not materialize to any great extent and, in 2009, it was suggested to the Council that it become more active in reaching out to the elder demographic for the purpose of raising the profile of environmental issues amongst this increasingly influential segment of society.
Elders Forum 2009 – “Elders and the Environment” - was held as a one-day conference at the Vancouver Public Library in November 2009. It was attended by 170 delegates and its purpose was “to address the urgency of environmental issues and to inspire all elders to involve others, so that meaningful action will occur on the issues.” As a direct result of the Forum, the membership of the Council was increased. At a subsequent workshop, a strategic plan was developed and the scope of the Council’s operations was expanded. We became the Association of Suzuki Elders whose planning and programs are formulated by the new Council of Suzuki Elders.
Council of Suzuki Elders
25 July 2011
On March 24, 2012, Phillip Hewett, our longest-standing Suzuki Elder, retired from Council. He was asked if he would deliver a talk at our Annual General Meeting concerning the history of the early days of the Council of Suzuki Elders. The photo shows Phillip receiving a small token of appreciation for his years of service on Council from our Council Chair, Conrad Guelke (Sallie Graham and Diana Ellis are seated). Please don't miss reading Phillip's informative presentation which is attached below.