The Freshwater Alliance runs a virtual office with staff located across the country.
Raj Gill, Great Lakes Program Director
Located in Simcoe, ON.
Raj's water story: Rolling down the hill on my bike for a swim was my first date with Lake Couchiching. The relationship grew to exploring the evening shoreline by kayak for birds and skiing by winter’s ice-fishing huts. Getting to know this lake and its web of intimate relationships brings home the larger water protection issues. It sustains my motivation to apply my community organizing experience to build a stronger water advocacy network.
Danielle Paydli, BC Organizer
Located in Ladysmith, BC.
Danielle's water story: My neighborhood water source, located just minutes from my home on Vancouver Island, flows to a beautiful waterfall called Stocking Creek Falls. When my family and I first moved to our new home, in the heat of summer, I was ecstatic to hike to the falls. I convinced my family to go on a 'fun' hike to see this breathtaking wonder. When we finally arrived after numerous mistaken 'shortcuts', sore and tired, we saw an anticlimactic trickle down the side of a rock! However, over the course of the next few months, following the rainy season, we watched it build to a powerful, gorgeous waterfall. I feel this has mirrored my personal experience within my new community. It takes time to build relationships, understand the unique culture of a community and build a life somewhere new but it is very worth it. I'm passionate about protecting our waters because I am passionate about community. Communities are built around water - it is our source of life and it is what truly connects us.
Coree Tull, National Organizing Director
Located in Vancouver, BC.
Coree's water story: My childhood memories of Vernon, BC where I grew up are of swimming in turquoise lakes, skiing on the powder of record snowfalls and watching streams in my neighbourhood come alive with spawning salmon every year. In 2003, I saw first-hand the devastating impact of low snowpacks, severe drought and wildfires in my community. I learned quickly about the connectivity of our water systems and the important role water plays in our lives--a source of recreation, health, wealth and connection for our communities. Since then I have been committed to learning about human relationships to water. Water is life, and this is what drives me every day.
Ashley van der Pouw Kraan, Digital Engagement and Fund Development Coordinator
Located in Vancouver, BC.
Ashley's water story: I was fortunate enough to grow up on the edge of the Fraser, British Columbia’s longest river. I spent my childhood cycling around its southern length, captivated by the beaver-chewed trees lining the banks and red-tailed hawks soaring overhead. Only after moving inland did I truly appreciate the sense of peace and belonging that came from spending time around this waterway. Acting as a lifeline for the communities that live along its banks, a critical stopover site for migratory birds and the permanent home to a dazzling array of creatures, it is the needs of the Fraser and all of the waterways that flow throughout Canada that inspire me to work every day.
Melissa Bramham, Director
Located in Simcoe County, ON.
Melissa's water story: Growing up on the shores of Lake Scugog in Southern Ontario, I can fondly remember swimming and boating both the Nonquon river and water skiing as a teen with friends in Lake Scugog. It wasn’t the most pleasant of water bodies as it was shallow and weedy; intentionally flooded for commerce, trade and travel in the 1830s and is now part of the Trent-Severn waterway lock system. The word Scugog originates from the Mississauga First Nations who have traditional land on Scugog island meaning “waves leap over a canoe” as the waters are shallow and can quickly turn the water into whitecaps. My fondest memories of enjoying water would be in my undergraduate years while living in Thunder Bay with the astonishingly beautiful Kaministiquia River, Agawa River and Lake Superior. I would spend hours swimming and paddling in these beautiful places with friends and my faithful canine Darby. My canoe adventures have taken me to many beautiful places around Ontario from the well-travelled French River to the group of seven inspired paintings within Killarney Provincial Park, Temagami, and many places around Haliburton and Muskoka, ON. I now enjoy family canoe trips and my young son has had the enjoyment of canoe tripping and swimming in some amazing places with me. I have the privilege of fresh, clean drinking water whenever I turn my tap on. I can access beautiful rivers and lakes within minutes of where I live. I know this is not the same for all Canadians. I aspire to help advocate and unite with other water advocacy groups to make this a reality for our people.
The Alliance is guided by the advice and support of our trusted advisors and our Steering Committee members, including:
- Kat Hartwig, Living Lakes Network Canada. Steering Committee Member.
- Danika Littlechild, Onion Lake First Nation. Steering Committee Member.
- Susi Porter-Bopp. First Nations Fisheries Council. Steering Committee Member.
- Jill Ryan, Freshwater Future. Steering Committee Member.
- Krystyn Tully, Entremission. Steering Committee Member.
Want to join our team? Check out our current postings.