Spring 2020

Newsletter Archive


Executive Director Message

article image

One of the things I have most appreciated about the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is the approaches that marry the short game with the long game; short-term urgent actions taken to support a longer-term vision.

The climate crisis, the extinction crisis, and nature conservation in general all need this same approach. I think the subscribers to our newsletter know that. However, it is often challenging to keep your view long when the urgency is so pressing. I believe one of the most important ways to do that is to adopt that 'eyes-high' approach, not just in the large-scale dramatic efforts, but in the everyday work of an organization.

I have two Miistakis efforts to report on that I hope come in that category, and - as usual - we have our supporters to thank for them.

First... At the close of last year we announced the creation of an endowment, and a call out for support because a donor at the Edmonton Community Foundation was willing to match contributions 2:1. As a result, we were able to start our Endowment with an amazing $84,000!

It's important to understand the value here. Miistakis is a project-funded organization (meaning our dollars come primarily from conceiving projects, then seeking dollars to fund them specifically). Though the dollars that our Endowment produce at this point might be relatively small, they allow us to undertake non-project activities such as research, training, symposia, etc. In terms of our organizational impact, these dollars punch way above their weight class.

Second... Last fall, we contracted The Praxis Group and Leger to undertake an organizational evaluation of Miistakis. Many of you took part in the online survey and/or interviews (you can see the final report and a summary here).

The evaluation looked at relationship development, levels of trust, efficacy of tools, potential new directions, and overall impressions of and benefits provided by Miistakis. The results were very positive, and very instructive, with a strong message of 'stay the course' and 'stick to your niche'.

So at this challenging time, we wanted to say thank you to all of you who help us keep an 'eyes-high' view on our conservation work!

Guy Greenaway
A/Exec Dir

NOTE: I (Danah Duke, ED of Miistakis) would like to thank Guy for filling in for me for what was a much shorter leave from Miistakis than anticipated. I, like all of you, was profoundly impacted by COVID-19 when my family's 6 month travel trip was interrupted. I am grateful to be back in Canada and keeping an 'eyes-high' view with my Miistakis colleagues.