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Simon Lucas

Environment (2003)

You might call Chief Simon Lucas a traditional scientist. Named an Elder when only 40, he’s played the lead role in integrating First Nations’ knowledge and values into emerging modern ecosystem science. A spellbinding orator, Chief Lucas, a leader of British Columbia’s Hesquiat First Nation, has devoted his life to the cause of fishery conservation. He played a lead role in forging the BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission into an effective and representative organization for conservation and Aboriginal rights. He’s also brought consensus to an often polarized atmosphere which surrounds environmental debates on Canada’s west coast. Famed environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki says you have to go beyond Chief Lucas’ impressive C.V. to fully appreciate this man’s countless impacts. “His role in treaty negotiations and fighting for fish and fishing rights is well known,” Suzuki says. “But for me, Simon’s great contribution has been his eloquence in articulating an Aboriginal perspective that is absolutely critical in dealing with issues of forestry, fisheries and global warming. Simon Lucas makes a magnificent contribution to the future of this planet.” His speaking skills have enabled this walking repository of traditional knowledge to transmit his people’s values and culture to audiences here and around the world. “Simon can captivate an audience, passionately appeal to our inner selves, and stimulate people to action,” another admirer says. He is at peace with the natural world around us all. “Don’t ever forget that everyday you learn something,” Chief Lucas says. “You don’t have to pray for a long time: just look up into the sky, look at the trees, and say thank you.”