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I worked with Swiilawiid before it even had a name. A Haida-led organization, Swiilawiid has an amazing name (the Haida word for pine grosbeaks, a bird indigenous to the islands) and an amazing mission: to transition Haida Gwaii off diesel and onto renewable energy. I helped founder Valine Crist with some initial strategic decisions about engagement: moving away from educational programs focused on demand-side management (i.e. encouraging people to turn off their lights) and towards exciting demonstration projects that would get the community (especially youth) excited about renewables. I was also able to leverage my knowledge of the clean energy sector to identify potential supporters who were key in the start-up phase of the organization. These included business leaders, funders, and community pioneers in the renewable energy space. Through these partnerships, Swiilawiid was able to bring solar power to a community youth centre and Haida rediscovery camps. Learn more about how you can support their work here.

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