By Pauline Paramo
3/13/2017

Blue Dot journey brings empowerment

Kelly Husack is a Blue Dot ambassador in Regina, Saskatchewan. She has also been an organizer with the Regina Blue Dot Movement group since January 2015. In her free time, she enjoys hiking in and around Regina with her two dogs. We asked her about her Blue Dot ambassador experiences.

“Now, I look forward to using those skills as a Blue Dot Ambassador to help establish the right to a healthy environment for all Canadians, from the prairies to the coasts. By coming together, we can make that happen”.

Blue Dot - Regina

“I began my Blue Dot journey at the public library. I was at an event while working for a local children’s program during summer break. Before the event started, a few children and I were looking at the DVDs. Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie caught my eye. I borrowed it and watched it later that evening.

Shortly after watching the film, I learned about the Blue Dot Tour that would be taking place across Canada later that fall. I then received an email newsletter from the David Suzuki Foundation looking for volunteers to help at events, and one happened to be taking place in my hometown of Regina. I applied instantly. I was already inspired by the film about David Suzuki’s life. I also took note that the mandate of the Blue Dot Tour was to affect policy change — a topic I was developing an interest in.

On October 27, 2014, Foundation staff members and David Suzuki stopped in Regina. It’s a day I have held close ever since. I was inspired by the energy and passion of everyone involved. I met David and his daughter Severn, members of Blue Rodeo and Royal Wood, and many other talented people who helped me decide that change-making (or social entrepreneurship, as it is sometimes called) was in my future. At the time I was close to completing my degree at the University of Regina and was exploring various career paths.

I got involved as a local organizer for the Regina Blue Dot movement shortly after the tour wrapped up. I like to say we are a different breed here in Saskatchewan, a diverse collective of Indigenous and settler populations with deep ties to the land. Most of my family are farmers who have spent much of their time close to nature, but not many think “Saskatchewan” and “environmentalism” belong in the same sentence. I kept thinking how thrilling it would it be to be a part of a team that could show the rest of Canada that Saskatchewan and Regina could be leaders on environmental rights.

So we got to work.

We began meeting monthly at coffee shops and in common areas of the university, picking our strategies as we went. We collaborated, learned more about one another and discovered how we could best utilize everyone’s talents. As a group, we settled on two major purposes: community organizing and government advocacy. Members began organizing opportunities for canvassing and educating on environmental rights in the community and others initiated conversations with Regina city councillors to begin the process of passing a municipal declaration.

On February 27, 2017, Regina city council passed a municipal declaration for the Right to a Healthy Environment. This was the second declaration in Saskatchewan and the first for a major prairie city in Canada. After presenting to Regina city council four times over the span of 13 months (and a year of organizing previous to this), our hard work and dedication had paid off.

If I have learned anything throughout this process it would be to trust my instincts and be patient. If something is calling your name, it is doing so for a reason. You never know where it could lead and you’ll probably meet some amazing people along the way. Also, never give up. Sometimes it can be a slow process, but if you do your research and are honest in your intentions, others will recognize that and it will work out.

The Blue Dot movement became an incredible opportunity for me to develop my skills while creating change for issues that are important me.

Now, I look forward to using those skills as a Blue Dot Ambassador to help establish the right to a healthy environment for all Canadians, from the prairies to the coasts. By coming together, we can make that happen”.