About Us

Our Mission

Our Values

Our Board

Our Network

History of Success


Our Mission

Sierra Club Canada Foundation is a registered charity that funds leading-edge projects to restore and preserve the environment.

Our success depends on the support of like-minded individuals and organizations whose generous donations make our work possible.

(CRA # 11914 9789 RR0001)

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Our Values

Sierra Club Canada Foundation is an open, volunteer-led, democratic organization whose work is grounded in the values and principles as expressed through the UN Earth Charter process and document. Formally endorsed by us in June 2002, it is still the world’s best effort at reaching global consensus on the fundamental values and principles needed for global sustainability.

The UN Earth Charter ‘Four Pillars of Sustainability’ are:

  • RespectandCarefor theCommunity of Life;
  • EcologicalIntegrity;
  • Social and EconomicJusticeandDemocracy; and
  • NonviolenceandPeace

To learn more about the Charter and to endorse it yourself, go to: www.earthcharter.org.

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Our Board

Sierra Club Canada Foundation is a democratic organization. Board members are elected by our members at our Annual General Meeting.

Nick Bakish is a Financial Advisor currently living and working in Montreal and its surrounding areas. Nick graduated from McGill University’s Economics and Finance program with joint honours. Throughout his twelve year career, Nick has consistently been one of Investors Group’s top Consultants. He has built his reputation on understanding clients. Nick was approached by one of his clients who had a strong involvement at Sierra Club and was immediately intrigued. Since that time two years ago, Nick has been an advocate and supporter and now Board Member of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. Before his official involvement in the cause, Nick was also president of Country Solar, a company in the field of solar panels and sustainable energy. Nick is passionate about raising an awareness of environmental issues that affect us individually and on a global scale.

Wanda Baxter has an M.A. in English and a second Masters Degree in Environmental Design with specialization in policy and planning. 

She began her involvement with the Sierra Club as a member of the Youth Coalition at the University of Calgary and has been involved with the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter since 2009 when she took on the role of Atlantic Coordinator for Pedal for the Planet (a national, awareness-raising campaign leading up to climate talks in Copenhagen).Wanda has worked for: the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the United Nations Biosphere Reserve Network (Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve), Parks Canada, municipal government as an Open Space Planner, Helping Nature Heal, Clean Nova Scotia, Scout & Burrow (a PR firm working ‘for good’ and certifying B-Corporations), and the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation.  In addition to being on the National Board, Wanda is also a member of the Executive Committee for the Atlantic Chapter where she is their Program and Fund Development Coordinator.  

Wanda is also involved with Hope for Wildlife, Citizens for Public Transit (Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia) and is on the Advisory Committee for Greenpac.  She lives and works just north of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on an old farm where she is an organic gardener, landscaper, and fruit grower.She is the Atlantic Representative.

Michael Bernard has extensive experience as a communications strategist working for non-governmental organizations in the field of environmentalism. He has worked as a Communications Officer for Climate Action Network, Media Relations Director for Sierra Club Canada and as a Press Secretary for Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada. He currently sits as President of Sierra Club Canada Foundation and has been involved with the Club, in one way or another, for almost a decade. Michael graduated from the University of Windsor in 2005 with an M.A. in Communication and Social Justice. He moved to Ottawa shortly thereafter. He loves backcountry camping, hiking with his dog Farley, and all kinds of music. Michael currently works for Humane Society International/Canada, part of one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, as HSI/Canada’s Political Officer.

Alexandra Bly is a second year Masters student, studying Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University College that is affiliated with the University of Waterloo. Originally from Ottawa, and she has a Bachelors in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from the University of Ottawa, She spent her final semester abroad in Hanoi, Vietnam working at a vocational college as a student services officer. Alexandra is passionate about social justice. Her interests include: gender studies, social movements, the empowerment of civil society, and the connection between the environment and human rights. She loves coffee, pizza, baking, travel and, of course, her dog. She is currently the Youth Representative to the board.

Emily Boucher brings to the board an environmental consulting background in soil and groundwater investigations for the purpose of environmental site and risk assessment. She has worked in both Ontario and Alberta on remediating and monitoring projects across multiple sectors including commercial, industrial and energy-development sites. Originally from Ontario’s Green Belt region, she developed a strong foundation in environmental issues during her time at Trent University, and later refined this through a research master’s project on ocean acidification at the University of Toronto. Working in Alberta provided Emily with a lens into the issues involved in environmental conservation and enforcement in Canada. She continues to take strong personal and professional interest in environmental standards and their enforcement. She holds the position of Secretary. 

Mary Kainer has been active in environmental issues for more than twenty years. Currently, she is also serving as Environment Chair of the Lake Kasshabog Association and has successfully fought particulate and noise pollution from a nearby mine. Eight years ago, she brought about changes in aggregate extraction regulations for the area. From 1990 – 2000 she was very active in environmental transportation groups including: Environmentalists Plan Transportation; Co-Chair of a Auto-Free Cities Conference; City of Toronto’s Automobile Emissions Committee, Railways to the Future. She has extensive experience in non-profit management serving as the Executive Director of national, regional, and local non-profits (Scadding Court Community Centre, The Writers’ Union of Canada, the Social Planning Council of Peel). She has also been involved in numerous community and school associations. For the past decade she has been a professional artist. In 2014, she won a prestigious award at the John B. Aird Annual Juried Contemporary Drawing Exhibition for her political drawings on fracking.

Graham May is an undergraduate student in Environmental Studies and International Relations at Mount Allison University. Graham hails from the coastal B.C. rainforest, where his interest in environmental issues established during a childhood of cold, wet hikes. He has founded multiple environmental education initiatives, including an eco-pledge program that engaged more than 15,000 international youth, and bike-powered workshop tours across Canada and Turkey. In summer 2013, Graham had the pleasure to co-found the Youth Arctic Coalition, a circumpolar forum for Arctic education, culture, and policy initiatives. Graham’s current research addresses how rural and indigenous communities can develop natural resources while maintaining local control and benefit. Graham loves to sing, sail, and swing dance, though usually not all at the same time. H e is currently the Atlantic Representative on the SCCF Board.

Silke Nebel has been passionate about conservation for most of her life. She studied bird migration and conservation as a graduate student and then as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Assistant Professor, working out of major research institutes in Canada, Panama, the Netherlands, and Australia. Silke has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and has worked as a professional grant writer at the research office at Western University. In that role, she was responsible for securing external research funding from provincial, national and international competitions, working primarily with engineers and researchers in the natural and medical sciences. She now runs a science communication business (‘Science to Action Consulting’) and works as a research analyst for a Conservation Authority, where her current project focuses on the interface between environmental science and policy. She also serves as a board member on the London Institute for Public Policy. 

Gabriela Rappell grew up in Toronto and has been active in the Sierra Club family since high school when she joined the Sierra Youth Coalition (SYC), serving as an under-21 member of the Executive Committee and as a youth representative on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club of Canada. She is a graduate of Queen’s University, Kingston, with a BSc Eng. in Mining Engineering, focusing on Mineral Processing and the Environment. Upon graduation, she joined the staff of SYC, serving as Coordinator of the Sustainable High Schools Project, then as National Director of SYC, then as Youth Programs Director for the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. She currently works in the Office of Advancement at Queen’s University. Gabriela has also served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, le Partenariat Jeunesse pour le Développement Durable, and the Sustainability and Education Policy Network. She is currently the Ontario representative on the Sierra Club Canada Foundation Board.

PearlAnn Reichwein is an associate professor of history at University of Alberta and teaches in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation.  She enjoys nature outings of all kind and her research explores Canada's environmental history of prairie west and mountain regions.  Her work also tells how Sierra Club and Canadian mountain clubs worked to create an early transnational conservation movement in civil society. She has participated in Sierra Club since 2010, with a focus on urban sustainability, parks, and conservation in Edmonton. A public history and policy background informs her advocacy for natural and cultural heritage. She has interests in governance, policy, and education, and has worked in national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Past work with government and diverse community groups has helped inform her approach to heritage and cultural landscapes. She is the Prairie Representative.

Peter Smith has extensive experience in the energy and electricity sector, most notably in positions where he had responsibility for negotiating and managing multi-million dollar energy supply contracts and oversaw the financial operation of gas-fired, wind and hydraulic generating facilities. Recently retired, he has been active locally in environmental issues. He has given talks on climate change to the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative, the Professional Engineers groups, Green Drinks as well as open, public workshops to service clubs and churches. He has responded to climate deniers in the media and generally talked about the issue at every opportunity, sometimes to hostile audiences. He has about 20 years of board experience in other organizations, including the St Clair Child and Youth Services (Children’s Mental Health), Sarnia Community Girls’ Home and Lambton County Science Fair. He chaired the Children’s Mental Health Advocacy Committee of Sarnia-Lambton that successfully advocated for increased funding from the province. He recently joined Adopt a Scientist, an organization that puts retired scientists and engineers into the classroom to demonstrate science. He joined the Sierra Club to help make a difference.

David Snider is a strong believer in ecological wisdom, respect for diversity and sustainability. His education, B.Sc. Honours Physical Geography, and LL.B., both from McGill University, has provided him with a broad-based understanding of environmental issues. In 2013, David retired from the Canada Revenue Agency after 30 years of service. While at the Agency, he was the founding chair of the OECD Sub-group on Tax Crimes and Money Laundering from 2003 to 2006. He co-chaired the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Underground Economy Working Group from 2008 to 2013. He also led an OECD Task Group from 2010 to 2012 that surveyed over 30 countries and produced the report: Reducing Opportunities for Tax Non-compliance in the Underground Economy. David is a life member of the Canadian Kennel Club, a lure coursing judge, and a director on the board of Cantley 1889, Cantley’s historical society.

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Our Network

How does our small national office achieve so much for the planet? With our fantastic network of committed volunteers!

If you share our love and concern for all things wild and are eager to help then we want to hear from you. We will put your skills and experience to work on important projects in every province and region of the country.

Find out how you can help HERE.

What makes a small office great? A national network of experts and volunteers!

We work with people from every walk of life who share a concern about the state of the planet and want to help make it better.

Find out how you can help HERE.

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History of Success

They say experience is the best teacher and we have enough to fill textbooks!

The Sierra story begins way back in 1892 when the now legendary naturalist John Muir decided to take a personal stand against unsustainable logging in the California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Muir was a true visionary for his time. He organized the first ‘Sierra Club”, a small group that grew over the next six decades to become the largest, most effective environmental organization in North America with Chapters and local Groups in every U.S. state.

In 1969 a handful of British Columbians decided to adapt and apply what they considered a winning model to fight clear-cut logging in the Nitinat Triangle and West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. They became the first Canadian chapter of the U.S. Sierra Club and in 1972 a fully independent, 100% Canadian Sierra Club Canada Foundation was born.

Sierra Club Canada Foundation continues to promote the core values of courage, vision, leadership and hope first demonstrated by John Muir over a century ago.

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