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Remembering Bruce Hill, fellow advocate and friend

Tides Canada lost a long-time collaborator and dear friend when Bruce Hill, a pillar of environmental advocacy and strong, public voice for conservation in British Columbia, recently passed away.

Bruce Hill on Lelu Island, at the mouth of the Skeena River. Photo by Andrew Stegemann, 2014

Bruce led the Headwaters Initiative Project, a project of Tides Canada (2007-2015) dedicated to the conservation of the Sacred Headwaters in northwestern BC. He worked tirelessly to raise awareness of and build capacity around the impacts of proposed developments in the area, particularly those that threatened salmon ecosystems. The Project grew out of a belief that Bruce shared with friend and fellow advocate Gerald Amos that First Nations in northern BC needed an environmental initiative to voice their concerns and needs. Bruce and his team convened both local First Nations and settler communities to discuss issues and form a unified voice on conservation issues, but his approach was to stay in the background, empowering First Nations to achieve their own goals.

Tides Canada remembers Bruce as a passionate defender of wilderness and people, a dedicated mentor to new conservation leaders in BC, and a lover of good wine who never failed to share it.

“Bruce Hill was a force of and for nature. His passion for the people of northwest BC, and the land, water, plants, and creatures they depend upon, was buttressed so firmly by his keen sense of right and wrong. I will miss Bruce’s ineluctable, often sardonic, and always wise critique of dominant bullshit. I learned a lot from Bruce. I am in his debt. We all are.” – Ross McMillan, President & CEO

“For me, Bruce was the heart of the Skeena. He cared deeply, as reflected in his love for people and places, his anger at injustice, and his endless conservation efforts. He was particularly good at linking us to one another and to the places he cared so much about. And through his long and deep friendship with Gerald Amos, he modelled how comrades in arms can work respectfully from a place of true equality across cultures. He will be missed but will remain integral to the Skeena.” – Ivan Thompson, Senior Advisor

“I have no doubt that northwest BC would look very different today if it weren’t for the passion and tireless conservation efforts of Bruce. He connected and mobilized a strong and diverse network of allies towards protection of a shared place by distilling huge, complicated issues into their simplest form and inspiring us all to believe in our power. Bruce’s straight-up, clarifying advice, generous spirit, and boisterous, honest laugh will be missed, and the connections he cultivated and sparks he ignited in all of us will live on.” – Kim Hardy, Program Lead, Western Canada

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