Who is Simon
Jennifer's Weekly Feature
Simon Jackson is a young Canadian teenager who
is fighting for the life of Canada's rare, great white Kermode
bear, or Spirit Bear. These bears look a little like polar
bears, but they are only found here on the west coast of BC,
and there are currently less than 400 of them. They're in
danger because we keep cutting down the trees in their forest
home, upsetting the careful balance of the fragile ecosystem
(naturally occurring system of life) they need to live.
Logging their forest will mean the end of this wild and
majestic relative of the black bear.
SBYC: Spirit Bear Youth Coalition
Jackson, at 13, became interested in the fate
of BC's rare, white Spirit bear in its central west coast
habitat. So he started the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition,
Begun by just three of Simon's friends in the basement of
Jackson's North Shore home, it now is 6 million young people
strong, from 65 different countries, and is now the only
youth-led environmental group in the world.
There A Movie?
Yes, there is. There are two movies. One of
them, The Spirit Bear, is animated, or cartoon-like, and it's
the only movie ever made solely to preserve an endangered
species. Another animated movie, Finding Nemo, made $300
million. It's hoped that this animated movie too will be
similarly successful because its profits will go to the Spirit
Bear fight. The other, a TV movie of the week, is Spirit
Bear: the Simon Jackson Story, done by CTV. It is about
Simon's life and his quest to protect our great Spirit Bear
(so-called because we believe spirits or ghosts are white).
It's Hollywood-ized, with some things changed, but essentially
it's faithful to the basics of this story. There's even a
short, CTV video of the making of the movie.
Jackson, at age 7, entered the fight to save
another bear, the Kodiak bear, by writing letters and raising
money through a homemade lemonade stand. That fight was
successful and he began to believe that "one person no matter
their age, no matter where they live can make a difference for
all life. Winning that fight was "a gift of hope" that has
spurred Jackson to believe that change is possible, and one
person can indeed make a difference.
What Can i Do?
There are several ways you can help, and
listed on the website. You can go to the website and send
an already-written email to the Premier who's promised to
protect this bear in its 80,000 hectare Green wilderness.
Just add your name and email address. Or join the Coalition -
everyone, not just youth, is welcome. Or make a donation to
help the fight. There's even a Schools Program for $30.00.
Voice added to voice makes a difference. "Like ripples in a
pond, this is how we will save our spirit bear."