Events, Videos, Courses, Seminars and Sites of Interest to Suzuki Elders  
Recent Events:
The Elders and Youth Environment Forum was held at the UBC Longhouse on Saturday, November 16, 2013. The forum's focus was on sharing inspiration and strategies that make social movements matter. Peter Robinson (upper right), CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation, motivated us with an opening address.  Michiah Prull, the DSF Foundation's Director of Communication and Public Engagement (lower right) guided us in building our authentic personal stories. Later in the day, the power of personal stories was demonstrated by three generations of one family committed to protecting the environment: David Suzuki, his daughter Sarika (middle right) and grandson Tamos.  We listened with awe to Ta'Taiya Blaney, the Raging Grannies, and Musqueam story-tellers (lower panels).  Diana Ellis, our Council Chair and Forum Organizer, received well-deserved thanks for bringing us together for a memorable day of sharing and learning across generations. 
The Walk for Reconciliation brought more than twenty Suzuki Elders to downtown Vancouver on Sunday, Sept. 22, along with 70,000 people!  In spite of pouring rain, talks by Chief Joseph and Dr. Bernice King were inspiring and spirits were high.


Work with Reconciliation Canada.  In late August, a group of Suzuki Elders and Aboriginal Elders spent two days together sharing their stories.  Miles Richardson encouraged the Suzuki Elders to link with Reconciliation Canada, and Diana Ellis reported on the workshop on our Suzuki Elder Blog. Along with thousands of others, Suzuki Elders will be carrying their banner as they join  The Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver on Sept 22.  Please join us.


Suzuki Elder nature walks hosted by David Cook.   On June 23, several Suzuki Elders accompanied by a dozen enthusiasts from the Lower Mainland were led on the first Suzuki Elder sponsored Nature Walk by geologist David Cook (at right). The walk took place at Acadia beach west of Spanish banks where we examined the effects of glaciation and river action that produced the myriad of rock types visible on the shore.  We learned about the  slow upward movement of the North Shore mountains and the changes in the basin over time. On July 27th, several  Suzuki Elders accompanied David on a trip to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver to consider the effects of climate change.  Another walk is planned for UBC botanical gardens on August 27th.   (See below for details)
Conrad Guelke steps down as Chair of the Association of Suzuki Elders.
After many years on Council serving as Acting Chair and then Chair, Conrad stepped down at our annual AGM on April 13, 2013, but he has agreed to remain on Council to act as Past Chair.  Above, Michiah Prull, Acting Director of Communications and Public Engagement at DSF presents Conrad with a gift from the Foundation for his many contributions over the years.
Effective use of  story-telling to get your message across (Feb, 2013).
April 9, 2013:  Diana, Neale and Patricia took their stories on the road for a visit with 550 students at Vancouver's West Point Grey Academy.  See the photos and article by DSF's Winnie Hwo and the Suzuki Elders on the DSF blog.
June 6, 2013:  Conrad, Patricia, Diana, Margo and Jeanette visited Cavell Elementary School in Vancouver for a story-telling session. 




Feb 23/24, 2013:  ZoomerShow at the Vancouver Convention Centre. 

Thanks goes to Ted Stout for arranging a free booth for our Suzuki Elder display.  It was a productive venue for us.  We ran out of most of our pamphlets and information sheets and conversed with an almost continuous stream of interested “Zoomers”.   More than 30 people signed up to receive more information and consider joining us. 




Feb 17, 2013:   Chinese New Year parade through Chinatown. Suzuki Elders happily joined DSF staff and  volunteers as participants in the parade, and crowds cheered and clapped David, Tara and the DSF contingent, who were dressed in animal outfits to fit the theme "Nature comes to Chinatown."   Sallie Graham had donned a brown bear outfit and zipped about on small scooter!  Penny Wilson hopped around in her handsewn green frog costume, and Patricia Grinsteed ambled regally in her year of the snake costume and cane.  Diana Ellis, subtly dressed in earth tones as 'soil' joined the fray.  (We are ages 67, 71, 84 and 79). Thanks to DSF staff and volunteers who took banner-carrying shifts.  All this thanks to Winnie Hwo of DSF's outreach staff, who, in her great communicator's wisdom, knew that participating in an event like this was a great way to reach thousands of watchers in person (and on TV) with a friendly and fun environmental message.

August 3, 2012:  Suzuki Elders Walk, Kitsilano to Jerico beaches.   This walk covered the region under discussion by the Vancouver Parks Board for a possible seawall extension. David Cook led the walk with Diana Ellis helping with the local history.  Jim Park summarized the event on our blog.

August 30, 2012Annual Suzuki Elder Retreat at Rivendell on Bowen Island.  A workshop was held on the theory, practice and fun of storytelling to aid elders in presenting their own stories.
Oct 4, 7 pm: Bowen Island Community Forum at the Gallery at Artisan Square. Viewing of the video White Water Black Gold. Speakers: Reuben George, Sven Biggs, and David Lavallee. Contact Suzuki Elder Pauline Le Bel
Oct 10, 7-9 pm. Burnaby Tankers and Pipelines Town Hall Meeting. Organized in part by Suzuki Elder Karl Perrin and sponsored by Tanker Free BC, the Wilderness Committee and BROKE. Confederation Community Centre, 4585 Albert St., Burnaby, BC.
Oct 22: Defend our Coast Rally: Peaceful sit-in at the BC legislature in Victoria to defend the health of our coast and the stability of our climate by saying no to the tarsands pipeline and tankers.  Several elders attended this event - the largest anti-pipeline rally to date.
Oct 24: Day of Action Across B.C. Against Pipelines and Tankers.  Thousands gathered in front of MLA offices across BC, and Suzuki Elders took part at West Van, the Sunshine Coast, and in front of the Premier's office.
Upcoming Events and Activities:

Videos:  The videos below have been recommended for viewing by Suzuki Elders.

Wankan Tanka

Wake Up, Freak Out, Then Get a Grip


YouTube Video


Will We Listen?







The Pacific Institute of Climate Solutions (PICS) offers a web-based course called Climate Insights 101.
David Cook's upcoming nature events:

Saturday July 5th, 2014

Yew Lake wetland, Yew Lake old-growth, Bowen Lookout and Sunset Trail in Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver.

A joint field trip for Nature Vancouver and Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society.

Meeting Time & location: 9:30 am at McDonalds, Park Royal (West Vancouver) for car- pooling. An alternate meeting location will be at the green Olympic rings at 10:30 am in the downhill ski area of Cypress Provincial Park.

Trip leaders: David Cook & Katharine Steig.

Duration: Two to 4 hours depending on the route taken which will be dependent on whether Bowen lookout is clouded in or not.

Terrain& elevation gain: Yew Lake and old-growth trails are flat terrain. To Bowen Lookout is a steep climb of about 120 metres but the trail is well maintained. Sunset Trail is moderate terrain.

Distances: Yew Lake plus old growth (roundtrip) 2.1 km. Bowen Lookout an additional 2.2 km roundtrip from the old-growth loop. We may walk the first 500 m of the Sunset Trail if Bowen Lookout is clouded in.

Description: We will look at the wetland ecology and geology of the Yew Lake area and the ecology of an old-growth forest. Our lunch stop will be the Bowen lookout where there are spectacular views west across Howe Sound to the Tetrahedron Plateau which has geological interest. If Bowen Lookout is clouded in then the hike will be rerouted along the Sunset Trail which is old-growth forest.

Registration is not required. Membership in Nature Vancouver or Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society is not required.

Monday July 14th, 2014

Sea-to-Sky Geology: Interpretive geology bus tour along the Sea-to-Sky Highway

A field trip for Elders Council for Parks in British Columbia.

Meeting time & location: 9:30 am, Parkgate Plaza 3625 Banff Court, North Vancouver, B.C.

Trip leader: David Cook, Geologist.

Duration: 6.5 hours

Description: Rediscover the east side of North America’s southernmost fjord, Howe Sound. See 100 million year-old granitic rocks and features left by the glaciers that once covered the area to a depth of nearly 2 kilometers. We will stop at Lions Bay, Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, Britannia Beach and other locations of geological interest along the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Enjoy spectacular views of the jagged peaks of the Tantalus Range that were once the only peaks that poked above the ice sheet and the dissected cone of Mt Garibaldi, our areas most recently active volcano.

Registration: Call 604-983-6350 & quote Barcode No. 327823

Cost: Member of Elders Council for Parks: $22; non-members: $30.

For more information contact Elise Roberts at or 604-986-4892 or David at or 604-924-0147.


Saturday July 19th, 2014 (Canada Parks Day)

Forest ecology along Baden Powell Trail in Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver.

A joint field trip for Nature Vancouver and Friends of Cypress Provincial Park to celebrate Canada Parks Day.

Meeting time and location: 09:30 am at McDonalds, Park Royal (West Vancouver) for car- pooling. An alternate meeting location will be at the green Olympic rings at 10:30 am in the downhill ski area of Cypress Provincial Park.

Trip leader: David Cook

Duration: Two hours approximately.

Terrain& elevation gain: Moderate terrain but several rough and rooty sections. Deep-tread hiking boots with ankle support definitely recommended. Hiking poles recommended. 140 metres elevation gain.

Distance: 4 km roundtrip.

Description: Forest ecology and plant identification along the Baden Powell Trail for 2 km east of the downhill ski area.

Registration is not required. Membership in Nature Vancouver or Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society is not required.

Independent Advocacy Work by Suzuki Elders

The Jelly Fish Project (elder Dan Kingsbury's passion;  see ) comes to Vancouver, Feb/March 2014.

Evaluation of Kinder Morgan Expansion Draws Reaction.  Letter to the editor by  Karl Perrin in the Vancouver Sun, Sept. 17, 2013.
Risk yes, but which risks we take is open to debate.  Letter to the editor by Stan Hirst in the Vancouver Sun, Friday, May 5, 2012.
Fears grow over pipelines, climate change  Letter to the editor by Stan Hirst in the Vancouver Sun, Feb. 27, 2012.

Gateway pipeline would pose damage to the environment: readers. Letter to the editor by Stan Hirst in the Vancouver Sun, Jan 30, 2012

Short-term oil jobs not worth long-term harmful effects.   Letter to the editor by Stan Hirst in the Vancouver Sun, Dec. 3, 2011.
Ten top technologies that could save the world.  Blog by Pauline Le Bel, Feb. 6, 2012
Concerns over changes to Canada Fisheries Act.  Letter to an MP by Roger & Mary Ann Sweeny, Mar. 20, 2012
CBC  radio interview with Rick Cluff on BROKE (Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder-Morgan Expansion) featuring Suzuki Elder Karl, Perrin, Dec 19, 2012.
 Paul Fast and Pauline Le Bel gave their Telling a Better Story presentation on Bowen Island to an enthusiastic audience.  Pauline followed up with a one-hour storytelling workshop to encourage participants to tell stories about their land. "It was thrilling - everything from a whimsical story about a radish that saved a man's life, to a touching true story about the relationship between a Canada Goose and a white goose, an imaginative and chilling tale about the oceans being fed up with acidification and plastic and deciding to abandon the Earth, and an educational story about a woman who learns a lesson from her Japanese Maple Tree."  March 8, 2013.
Evolution: Increasing Awareness: Increasing Communication. Seminar given by Dan Kingsbury at the Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver, March 9, 2013.

Pauline Le Bel published her book, "Becoming Intimate with the Earth," a scientific cosmology that redefines the role of humans and offers hope in these challenging times, Nov. 2013.

Web Sites of Interest: