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Nelson Grade 12 student Jade Osecki wins Suzy Hamilton Award

Carolyn Schramm was also honoured in this year’s environmental award for West Kootenay women
Jade Osecki leading a Fridays for Future climate march in Nelson in 2020. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by the Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund

The family and friends of the late Suzy Hamilton are pleased to announce that Grade 12 student Jade Osecki is being honoured with this year’s Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award. The cash award is presented annually to a female-identified environmental activist in the West Kootenay region.

Suzy Hamilton was a writer and change-maker with an impressive record of successful environmental and social activism in the Nelson area. She co-founded the West Kootenay EcoSociety, hosted the Ecocentric radio show, founded Kootenay Barter, led the revitalization of the Kokanee Creek Nature Centre, started the Nelson Garden Festival, and won legal fights to protect local wildlife habitat.

Having only just completed her last high school course, Jade Osecki has already demonstrated a strong commitment to both environmental and social justice actions. She has helped to organize Fridays For Future West Kootenay and has been an engaged advocate for environmental justice in numerous national organizations including Citizens Climate Lobby, Climate Strike Canada, and Stop Ecocide Canada. During the recent B.C. elections, Jade devoted hundreds of hours of her time to encourage people to vote with these issues in mind.

“Being nominated for this award means a lot to me. Suzy has been my biggest motivator and inspiration in the world of environmentalism,” said Jade. “For me, this feels like a very full circle moment and like she’s here with me. I’m honoured to receive this award.”

“Jade was a fantastic choice for this year’s award,” said committee member and Suzy’s daughter, Jesse Hamilton. “She has demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment to making a significant change to her community, even in times where we’re all a little uncertain.”

The committee is also honouring award nominee Carolyn Schramm, with a new extension of the award meant to recognize the enduring dedication of a female-identified champion of the environment. Carolyn is being recognized for her work on her co-founded organization Mt. Willet Wilderness Forever, which proposes to add Argenta-Johnsons Landing to the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park. The area includes habitat for the endangered mountain caribou.

“I am deeply grateful and honoured to receive the Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award as a tribute to Mt. Willet Wilderness Forever. This award provides an opportunity to bring attention to our campaign at this critical time with the imminent threat of clear cut logging on the Argenta-Johnson’s Landing Face,” said Carolyn.

Additional nominees for this year’s award were Sally Hammond of the Wild Connection and Lorna Visser who stewards the Snk’mip Marsh through the Vallhala Foundation for Ecology. The Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund continues to grow, and with it, the size of the annual award. Donations are warmly welcomed and can be made through the Osprey Foundation.