The awards gala program cited Don’s “leadership attributes”, his skill in raising awareness of the climate emergency, and his work “educating people about divesting from financial institutions.”
Present to celebrate were Don’s family members (in town from BC), friends Rose Janson (also an Elder) and David Cooke, who each submitted a letter of support for the application, and fellow Elders 4 Climate Sanity.
At first (after cheering!), we found ourselves chuckling at the irony that someone who challenges the economic system in which private banks play such a central role and encourages people to divest from them would receive the “Economic Leadership” award. Upon reflection, however, despite the odd wording on the plaque, we HOPE the award was about serving the community by providing alternatives, given that economics is “the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth”.
The Bread and Roses credit union served a lower- to mid-income community in Toronto by allowing entrepreneurs low-interest loans when the banks had refused them. Several of those entrepreneurs developed successful businesses that served the community for many years. In the same way, using a local credit union that invests locally rather than funding huge corporations who are not responsive to community needs, and who disregard UNDRIP, provides an alternative. (For more on Wet’suwet’en, look here:) https://hamilton350climate.org/get-involved/elders-for-climate-sanity/
Here are a few photos that give a sense of the warm comradeship the Elders share with our eldest (98 going on 99!) Elder, who inspires everyone he knows with his stellar character and active lifestyle. As I write this, Don may be line dancing at his residence!