WSDA President

Eddie Gardner : WSDA president
Eddie Gardner, a Stó:lō Elder from the Skwah First Nation in Chilliwack B.C., is elder-in-residence with University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). Eddie works tirelessly to inform the public about the health risks and the threat to wild salmon posed by net-pen fish farms, and to challenge retailers to adopt a sustainable seafood policy that protects their customers.

In June of 2013 Eddie organized and spearheaded the Spirit of Wild Salmon Gala Fundraising Dinner – a hugely successful event that raised funding for and public awareness of the need to protect Wild Salmon. A pioneer of Boycott Rallies in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland, since 2013 Eddie Gardner has organized and led Farmed Salmon Boycotts in Chilliwack and Abbotsford – as well as supporting new Boycott chapters in Duncan, Nanaimo, Burnaby, Coquitlam and North Vancouver. His Rallies have also inspired Boycott startups in Cranbrook, Kamloops, and Kelowna, and as far away as Halifax Nova Scotia.

Eddie is a shining example of the leadership coming forth across Canada from First Nations peoples. He actively supports the work being done to reverse the reckless expansion of fossil fuel extraction and transportation, and energetically participates and speaks at Idle No More and First Nations solidarity Events such as Elsipogtog and Standing Rock. But Eddie’s passion and first love remains with Wild Salmon, and he continues to champion this vital cause.
WSDA Vice-President

Tracy Lister: WSDA director
Tracy Lyster lives by the Stave River near Mission, B.C., where wild chum and coho salmon spawn in large numbers every year.

“I joined the Wild Salmon Defenders Alliance because I understand the critical importance of wild salmon to the entire Fraser Valley ecosystem. Wild salmon feed orcas, bears, eagles, cedar trees, and a host of species, while open-net fish farms only degrade the natural environment. We support local First Nations people and other land and water defenders in the quest to safeguard the environment and re-establish healthy wild salmon returns.”

Tracy is also the chair of Citizens Against Urban Sprawl Society (CAUSS) and editor of the FootprintPress magazine.
WSDA Treasurer

Terry Wilkinson: WSDA director
Terry Wilkinson’s outreach and advocacy work with residential school survivors, her life long interest in Native and ancient prophecies and her desire to learn more about the First Nations culture, led her to become involved in the Idle No More movement. It was during the Idle No More events that she met Eddie Gardner and through Eddie’s words and powerful passion about the importance and protection of Wild Salmon, Terry became involved in attending and supporting the Wild Salmon rallies. For the past four years, she was able to mentor with Eddie Gardner and become more active in the planning and organizing of events, including public relations and promotion of the 2015 and 2016 Wild Salmon Caravans.

“I am blessed to have been given the opportunity, through Eddie, to travel and meet with many First Nations leaders and communities, and to experience the hospitality, the love and the openness of the culture and the people firsthand. It was on these journeys that I discovered the true significance and importance of the Wild Salmon as relates to culture, ceremony and food sovereignty. It was also here that I gained knowledge of the interconnectedness of all things within our intricate and precious ecosystem.”

Drumming, singing and the joy that comes with the socialization work involved in educating the public about Wild Salmon, is what continues to inspire and motivate Terry to be involved in the W.S.D.A. and nothing brings more joy to her than the opportunity to meet people of the four colours and the four directions and collaborate on an action plan to protect our beautiful Mother Earth! Terry came to us with a background in banking and school board administration, a natural fit for the position of Treasurer on the Board.

WSDA Director

Don Mair : WSDA director
Don Mair is a long-time resident of Mission and a prolific painter, carver and outdoors enthusiast. His work has been featured at the première of Vancouver’s Atropolis Exhibition in the Woodward’s Building, at the Arts Council of Vancouver, at the Richmond Art Gallery, and at the Mission Leisure Centre.

Inspired by Mission’s natural heritage and the incredible bounty that comes with wild salmon returns, Don believes that art is a way of life, enriching our existence and inspiring people to truly value the biodiversity upon which we all depend.

WSDA Director

Yvette John: WSDA director
P’eq sq’oyes Slha’:li’ – Yvette carries her traditional name White-Plume-Woman meaning close to the heart. She is Sto:lo meaning “People of the Fraser River” and is from Chawathil First Nation. Her healing journey began over 24 years ago – traditionally, culturally and spiritually. Many of those years have been spent working alongside elders, spiritual healers, teachers and people of many different cultures and hierarchies. She has an extensive knowledge of traditional plants and medicine.

Yvette is a care taker, works in archaeology, and also works with storytelling, Salish weaving, spiritual cleansing, and runs sweat lodge. Yvette’s talk is entitled “Traditional Plants and Medicine.” This knowledge, which is common to First Nations people, has been passed on to her by mother Ida John, elders, herbologists and botanists.