Bagida'waad Alliance receives donation from Truli Wetsuits
Truli Wetsuits supports Bagida'waad Alliance with a donation of 1% of all wetsuit sales in 2022
Advocacy is one of the three core values of Truli Wetsuits, alongside Empowerment and Community. In addition to advocating for body positivity, size liberation, and promoting access to water activities, I wanted to support work that educates on the marine environment (aka our water playground!). 1% of all wetsuit sales in 2022 have been donated to a local non-profit organization, Bagida'waad Alliance, lead by the Chippewas of Nawash Fishing Families. Located on the traditional land of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation and along 800km of Great Lakes shoreline, the organization combines climate research, education and knowledge sharing between youth and elders, and acts as stewards of the land.
Ever since I moved to the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula, I struggled to find information about the underwater marine life. In all my ocean dives around the world, you could always find colourful cards and books for fish ID, but up here, I could only see some fishing IDs that didn't help me too much. They always showed what the fish looked like OUT of the water. Many local divers kept telling me there was no wildlife under the water, but that wasn't true! I could see the marine life and they were weird looking and cool - what are they?
I sought to find some fish experts and came upon Bagida'waad Alliance. I sent a message to one of their founders, Natasha Akiwenzie and we arranged to sit down for a chat, lakeside, with board member, Victoria Serda. Natasha told me her story of her family's fishing business being affected by the changes in the weather and specifically the decline in Whitefish over the years. They didn't feel it was ethical to keep commercially fishing, but they also couldn't keep quiet about the climate changes they were experiencing firsthand. And thus, Baida'waad Alliance was born.
For me, I discovered a source of knowledge and experience that I had been looking for and recognized the importance of getting this information to the business owners, residents, and tourists. So many people come to this region and enjoy being in and on the water but are not aware of the affects that climate change have been taking. They will eat the local fish and chips offered at every restaurant and not understand that those fish are no longer in abundance.
For anyone who purchased a Truli Wetsuit in 2022, your order has contributed to the work that they do, so THANK-YOU! I encourage everyone to give them a follow as this education will inspire a more conscientious water experience whether you're swimming, surfing, scuba diving, paddling or simply taking in the view.
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