10/23/2012 01:23 EDT | Updated 12/23/2012 05:12 EST

Stand Up And Add Your Voice To B.C. Environmental Fight

A worker uses a small boat to move logs on the Douglas Channel at dusk in Kitimat, British Columbia, on Wednesday Jan. 11, 2012. Douglas Channel is the proposed termination point for an for an oil pipeline from Alberta as part of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

Think of it as your backyard. Wouldn't you raise your voice? Well, this is your chance. Because sooner or later, the environmental issues at the forefront in British Columbia will be on all our doorsteps.

Small Change Fund has launched our "Voices of British Columbia" and we're calling on all concerned citizens of Canada to stand up and add your voice to your neighbours in B.C. who are fighting for their -- and ultimately all our -- environmental and social justice rights.

We believe this is just the first battleground. Resource extraction, First Nations rights, development encroaching on natural areas -- how these issues are resolved (or, without action, not resolved) in B.C. will have an effect on every single Canadian.

From standing up to the development of a mega-ski-resort in pristine forest, to managing oil tanker traffic in the Georgia Strait, to the story of one raven who stops a mining development, the projects you can support in B.C. have a direct impact.

You can take action and support grassroots projects where you can see, hear and feel change as it happens. That's how Small Change Fund works. You fund grassroots environmental projects that empower insistent local people to create change. You harness the energy and passion of local people who have a visceral and intimate connection with their environments. When you read about our projects, you'll hear the voices of your neighbours in B.C. for yourself. Watch their videos, read their stories -- these are in their voices.

If a mega corporation wanted to build a ski resort in your most treasured forest, you'd raise your voice. If a little girl in your community was standing up to big oil because she wanted to save sea otters, you'd raise your voice.

If a thoughtful group of First Nations said to you "how can we understand the total impact of all these development projects unless we are working together?", you'd raise your voice too.

Well, this is your chance. Your neighbours in BC are facing unprecedented environmental challenges. And it's a fundamental law of nature that what happens to our neighbours affects us. Just like our streams are connected to rivers, connected to lakes and eventually, the ocean -- all our environmental and social justice rights are connected.

Join us and add your voice to the voices of B.C.. It's your voice. Your neighbours. Your environment.

I am a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, whose traditional territory stretches around the coastal community of Bella Bella, BC. I am the Director of Traditional Ecological Knowledge for Qqs (Eyes) Projects Society, an indigenous-driven non-profit organization whose suite of programs focuses on engagement, education and advocacy around the stewardship of Heiltsuk cultural and natural resources. A finalist for Ecotrust's 2010 Indigenous Leadership Award, much of my work is concerned with building leadership capacity in coastal indigenous youth by reconnecting them to traditional values and place-based cultural identity. I studied medieval literature at the University of Victoria and have returned to my territory and to Bella Bella to carry on my community work supporting Heiltsuk youth, culture and environment.