My farewell love letter
By SCBC Campaigns Director Caitlyn Vernon
After 13+ years with Sierra Club BC I am moving on, with a very full heart. It has been an honour to do my small part in the broader struggle for this beautiful, hurting world – to dare to dream with so many of you of a just, equitable, climate-safe, ecologically abundant and resilient future for all people and all beings, where Indigenous law and jurisdiction are respected, and to put my heart and my energy into making it a reality.
Together we have done wonderful things. Supporting the Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network – the ‘eyes and ears’ monitoring their territories. Working closely with Indigenous and non-Indigenous coastal and northern local leaders as they (successfully!) organized amongst their communities to stop the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tankers. Launching Pull Together with our partners as a way for people and businesses across the province and beyond to raise funds in support of Indigenous legal challenges opposing tar sands pipelines and tankers. Keeping oil tankers out of the Great Bear Rainforest and legislating a North Coast Tanker Ban!
Yet there is so much more work still to be done. It is my hope that you will continue to support Sierra Club BC – I know I will personally continue giving. We must continue ringing the alarm bells to draw attention to the climate emergency and the last remaining big old trees. Sierra Club BC’s science-based research, policy advocacy and grassroots organizing are exactly what the world needs in this moment. I believe that if we can bring many voices together, the change we need is possible.
None of this happens with just one person or one organization. What we are collectively up against is beyond daunting, and yet what I have witnessed is the strength of a collective vision that is held with love, determination, and a heck of a lot of smart strategy, deep collaboration, and skillful organizing.
I have so much gratitude for everyone on all the various frontlines, your strength and courage is humbling and inspiring. And I have deep respect and appreciation for everyone who has, who is, and who will continue to step forward to lend your voice, your time, and your $$ for a world where we care for the earth and we care for one another. It takes each and every one of us. My heartfelt thank you.
Being part of the wonderful, inspiring and dedicated Sierra Club BC team has truly been a joy. My new position is on a slightly different path, but still pulling in the same direction – I will be working to uplift Indigenous jurisdiction in the context of shared decision-making with local governments, including around new protected areas and climate action.
When I worry about the severity and urgency of the climate crisis – not just for the future of the young people in my life but also for the coming years for us all – it brings me comfort to know and trust that the Sierra Club BC team will be making an impact.
When I think about it feels to stand under an old-growth tree – such a humbling sense of perspective and reminder that we are but one being amongst many – I am grateful to know that here also this amazing team will be making a difference, for the last big old trees and all who depend on them.
Over my 13+ years, this organization has had a deep commitment to finding a path towards ecological abundance that supports all people, and I am deeply heartened by the current team and the direction of our collective efforts. So much so that I will be increasing my monthly donation!
More than anything, this farewell note is a love letter to each and every one of you. Thank you for holding a vision of a better world, and for taking action in your own life – and in your own way – so that together we can chart a new path forward.
It has been an honour to have your trust and support and to know that so many of you had my back when the going got tough, as it often does in this work.
Thank you, in advance, for continuing to back everyone who steps forward to serve in this way, on all of our behalfs.
We are in this together and we need all hands on deck.
With respect and gratitude,