From Eric Peterson, president and founder of the Tula Foundation:
You may have noticed that I am on the list of inductees into the Order of Canada on Canada Day. Everyone should treat this as an award to the Tula Foundation for the work we’ve all done together.
I always said that if the honor were to come, I would insist that:
* Absolutely it must include Christina Munck as well.
* That it not talk about “philanthropy” but rather all the work and activities that Tula does.
In the end, I was phoned up a couple of weeks ago by a charming woman from the office of the Governor General, notified that I would be honored, and it just did not seem like an appropriate time to start negotiating. I had no idea how the citation would read. In the end the honor is to me alone, and for being a “philanthropist”. Oh well.
So what does it mean?
In the last 15 years the Tula Foundation has done great work. Without a doubt the honor is merited.
First, throughout all that time we have done fantastic work in Guatemala in nursing and primary health care in rural indigenous communities, most recently under the TulaSalud banner. Christy Gombay and Ray Brunsting in Canada, and a great organization in Guatemala led by Isabel Lobos all deserve the award.
For several years we supported a great nursing program in two First Nations communities on the BC coast, which was in effect inspired by the work done in Guatemala. Joanna Fraser, Evelyn Voyageur, and many dedicated nurses deserve the award.
The Hakai Institute–everyone at our Calvert and Quadra observatories; all our partners at universities, agencies and First Nations; everyone working on our science, education, community engagement activities. What can I say–it has become amazing creative, dynamic, innovative scientific enterprise.
Hakai media, including the Hakai Magazine, which gets our science and stories our to a wider audience.
Other partners such as the UVic Environmental Law Centre been so effective is supporting the causes and principles we believe in.
So, the award has come to me symbolically, but please treat it as something that has deservedly come to everyone, and be proud of the achievement.