Simon’s story has been made into a children’s book, ‘A Voice for the Spirit Bears’ by Carmen Oliver, and he is interviewed about the book and his work in this month’s Canadian Geographic digital edition.
Simon is always embarrassed when the focus of the work to save the spirit bear is made to be about him, especially when there were so many other true heroes involved – from indigenous youth leaders in Klemtu and Hartley Bay to the likes of Wayne McCrory, the bear biologist who first sparked the spirit bear campaign. But like the CTV movie made on Simon’s life story, he hopes it serves as a reminder that every single one of us can make a difference ever single day – no matter your age; no matter where you live.
While Simon took a particular perspective in tying to save the spirit bear, he always believed the issue was about reconciling different perspectives to find a solution that would meet the needs of all stakeholders. And while nothing is ever perfect, the final plan that truly saved the bear was supported by over 90% of British Columbians, proving that we can find a better balance between the needs of people and nature without being disagreeable or advancing solutions that will divide.
Being honest about his failings and learnings through the campaign are part of the personal lessons Simon will offer students through Nature Labs, and will share with our patrons on Patreon. For we both feel strongly that change is not about one idea triumphing over another, but about learning from our elders (and our peers!) who speak honestly and really listening to different perspectives (even if they can be hard to hear) in order to think critically and act creatively. That, ultimately, is the goal of Nature Labs: help a new generation move beyond standing against something and toward standing for something; demanding better of not only our world, but ourselves.
Want to support Nature Labs? Join us on Patreon! One lucky Patreon patron will receive copy of ‘A Voice for the Spirit Bears’, signed by Simon. Be sure to sign up by the end of May in order to be entered into the draw!