Elder Bill Jones wins 2021 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award

VANCOUVER / UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh AND səlilwətaɬ TERRITORIES —  The Wilderness Committee awards the 2021 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award to Pacheedaht First Nation Elder Bill Jones. 

Jones has been an outspoken advocate for preserving old-growth forests for years, spending time reconnecting with the rainforest and people passionate about protecting them. He has joined the Wilderness Committee and other activists on countless trips to the Walbran Valley, sharing stories and explaining the importance of old-growth forests to Nuchanulth culture and his own life. Jones has also spoken at rallies, demonstrations and public meetings all over southern Vancouver Island and the lower mainland over the past decade.

“For so many years, Elder Bill has stood up for endangered forests and been there to provide guidance, support and friendship to everyone who is working to protect them,” said National Campaign Director Torrance Coste. “Bill’s dedication is surpassed only by his kindness. We’re thrilled to honour him with this year’s award.” 

Over the past year and a half, Jones has been a fixture at the Fairy Creek blockade in unceded Pacheedaht territory, calling for the old-growth in the area to be protected for all time.

This is the 29th anniversary of the award. The Wilderness Committee presents it each year to leaders who go above and beyond in their efforts to protect the environment and advocate for a better society. The award comes with a $1,000 contribution. 

Because a larger ceremony wasn’t possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the award was presented to Elder Jones at his home in early December. 

Pacheedaht First Nation Elder Bill Jones receives the 2021 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award from Wilderness Committee Vancouver Island Campaign Organizer Emily Hoffpauir and National Campaign Director Torrance Coste. Photo: Wilderness Committee