Ecology Today

Ecology Today
We have been blown away by the outpouring of support for the Ecology Today campaign, and in turn the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw Peoples, the Ma’amtagila People, artist and Ma’amtagila Hereditary Chief Makwala (Rande Cook), and  Nawalakw  Lodge.
Our Trip of a Lifetime eco-contest to Nawalakw Lodge in Kwakwa’kawakw territory is over. We were thrilled to have 9000 people enter — a huge increase in awareness for Nawalakw Lodge. In turn, supporting the Lodge’s aim to revitalize and preserve Kwakwa’kawakw language and culture.

Fundraising for the Ma'amtagila People

We’ve been connecting with artist and Ma'amtagila Hereditary Chief Makwala (Rande Cook) since early 2021. Back then, we couldn’t have imagined the extensive collaboration our relationship would grow into. But once we started listening to his and the Ma’amtagila People’s story, we couldn’t stop. An integral part of Before They Fall, a magazine, an original artwork collaboration, fundraising efforts — it’s become one of the most cherished stories and projects our team’s been involved with in 2021. To hear more from Rande, you can read a conversation between him and Sierra Club BC's Mark Worthing on our blog

We're elated to share that through our various fundraising activities, and with the help of Sierra Club BC, within a month of active fundraising in November and December 2021, we well and truly surpassed our original fundraising goal of $20,000 CAD for the Ma'amtagila legal fund.

Rande Cook artwork for Maamtagila ecologyst
The Ma’amtagila are proud members of the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw and their territory bridges so-called northern Vancouver Island and the mainland British Columbia. Governments have been constantly negotiating Ma’amtagila Territory without the nation’s knowledge or consent in favour of further “resource extraction” — including old-growth logging.  In April 2021, they launched a legal challenge to stop the illegal treaty negotiations currently taking place on their territory. They have already taken steps to assert their jurisdiction according to Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw Law.

Recently, BC Timber Sales authorized logging of old- growth forests in Ma’amtagila territory and has plans to auction the entire territory which includes further areas of old growth cedars and Culturally Modified Trees - all without the consent of the Ma’amtagila. The Ecology Today fundraising campaign between ecologyst, Sierra Club BC, and Rande, was to support Rande 
and the wider Ma’amtagila leadership's legal fees to demand this stop through seeking recognition in court of their inextinguishable rights and title to their territory. 
Ecology Today product collaboration

Ecology Today

Rande Cook's original artwork for the Ecology Today collaboration — a new design, titled Ecology Today, carved onto red cedar, was up for auction as part of our collaborative fundraising efforts.

The artwork takes ancient forms from the art of the Kwakwaka’wakw that have been in existence for thousands of years on the coast and brings them into the 21st century.

In Rande Cook's words: "It’s an acknowledgment of First Nations people and their connection to the land. It’s saying: I support what these stories represent, and that there’s a really deep connection to the land that maybe we should all start looking at.

It’s a land acknowledgment. Even if someone puts it on, doesn’t know who the Ma’amtagila are, but recognizes that people just want to feel like they’re going home and want to share in knowing what that feeling is."
The design was then printed onto a series of sustainable ecologyst pieces (an organic cotton pullover, t-shirt, and t-shirt with pocket). These were incredibly popular and the equivalent of 20% of total sell through will be added to the grand total (regardless of us having a few left up for grabs — so you can still get yours here!). 
Before They Fall film and Ecology Today original red cedar artwork

The Results

In early January 2022, we will be providing the Ma’amtagila People, by way of Hereditary Chief Makwala (Rande Cook) with a grand total. A total that has surpassed our goals, and hopes. A total that sits at roughly $40,000 CAD at the time of publishing — double our original goal.

If you’d still like to be involved, you can spread the word on Before They Fall, keep our first magazine on your coffee table for months, years to come, follow Sierra Club BC, Rande Cook and his gallery Leaf Modern, or grab a hoodie, tee, or pocket tee in-store or online.