The Walrus Talks Water – Halifax, May 25, 2015

The Walrus Talks Water will be in Halifax, Nova Scotia on May 25. Don’t miss talks from Dave Courchene of Turtle Lodge, Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s John Geiger, Ecology Action Centre’s Susanna Fuller, and more!

The Walrus Talks Water

Eighty minutes of lively, thought-provoking ideas about the impact, use, and health of water in Canadian and global society


Featuring: Dave Courchene (Nii Gaani Aki Inini – Leading Earth Man), founder and leader, Turtle Lodge Susanna Fuller, Ecology Action Centre John Geiger, Royal Canadian Geographical Society Angela Giles, Council of Canadians Chris Henderson, Lumos Energy Stephen Leahy, International environmental journalist Kevin McMahon, Documentary director and producer Alanna Mitchell, Science journalist and author John Smol, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change

Dave Courchene (Nii Gaani Aki Inini) created the Turtle Lodge, a place for sharing ancient Indigenous knowledge about the environment and our relationship to it. He delivered a keynote address and conducted the opening ceremonies at the 2010 G8 World Religions Summit; shared the stage twice with the Dalai Lama, in Newark and Monterrey; and initiated the Makoose Ka Win and Vision Quest rites of passage, taking young people of all cultures back to the land. Dave received an Indspire National Aboriginal Achievement Award in culture, heritage, and spirituality and the Manitoba Volunteer Award for community leadership.

Susanna Fuller is a marine conservationist with expertise in bycatch and fisheries habitat issues and a Ph.D. on how bottom trawling affects sponges in the North Atlantic. She is the marine conservation coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, where she works on marine, transportation, and green-building issues; edits the institution’s quarterly publication; and serves as chair of its board. This past year, Halifax’s weekly paper named Susanna an Activist of the Year. An islander through and through, she finds solace both in the bustle of downtown Manhattan and the serenity of small coastal communities like Ramea, Newfoundland.

John Geiger was born in Ithaca, New York, and studied history at the University of Alberta. He is the author of five non-fiction books, and his work has been translated into nine languages. John is the editorial board editor at the Globe and Mail, a senior fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, an advisory board member of Wings WorldQuest, and a governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Angela Giles is the Atlantic regional organizer with the Halifax-based Council of Canadians, where she supports communities that are fighting to replace extractive energy projects, like fracking and tar sands pipelines, with locally run cooperatives and renationalized power companies. She co-authored a report on how CETA—the trade deal between Canada and the European Union—will affect Nova Scotia, and she envisions a future where trade agreements are not motivated by corporate greed.

Chris Henderson, head of Lumos Energy, works with First Nations communities to create hydro, wind, and biomass projects that enable sustainable prosperity. He is a mentor for Aboriginal clean-energy leaders countrywide, and he created the 20/20 Catalyst Program, the Canadian Aboriginal Fund for Energy, and the Aboriginal Renewable Energy Network. He is the author of Aboriginal Power: Clean Energy and the Future of Canada’s First Peoples.

Stephen Leahy has written for National Geographic, the Guardian, the Sunday Times, New Scientist, Vice, the Toronto Star, and the Inter Press Service news agency. In 2012, he won the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation / UNCA Global Prize for climate change and environment reporting. Stephen is the author of the critically acclaimed book Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts about How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products.

Kevin McMahon has made many documentaries about water, including The Falls, about Niagara; Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii, featuring Haida spirits on a war-canoe journey; An Idea of Canada, which follows Adrienne Clarkson on a tour of Canada’s three ocean coasts; Waterlife, about the Great Lakes; and Standing Wave, a journey with Shad down the Nahanni River. Kevin’s most recent project is the ten-hour epic The Polar Sea, which follows amateur sailors journeying through the melting Northwest Passage.

Alanna Mitchell, an international award-winning science journalist, turned her most recent bestseller, Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis, into a one-woman Dora Award–nominated play, which she is performing across Canada. Her new book, Malignant Metaphor: Finding the Hidden Meaning of Cancer, is due this fall from ECW Press.

John Smol is a professor of biology at Queen’s University, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in environmental change. He founded and co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab, a group of thirty students and scientists studying long-term global environmental change, especially as it relates to lake ecosystems. John has authored 500 journal articles and chapters and twenty-one books, focusing primarily on environmental stressors on lakes. The founder of the international Journal of Paleolimnology and the current editor of Environmental Reviews, John has won approximately fifty research and teaching awards or fellowships, including the NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal, and he is an officer of the Order of Canada.


The Walrus Talks is a national series of events produced by the charitable, non-profit Walrus Foundation as part of an educational mandate to provide forums for conversation on matters vital to Canadians. The Walrus Foundation produces The Walrus magazine, the most awarded publication in Canada, as well as producing content at, on Walrus TV, and on stages from coast to coast to coast.

The Walrus Talks format features eight speakers for seven minutes each on various themes relating to a single topic. Each event offers lively, thoughtful, inspiring, riveting, smart, new thinking from scientists, writers, performers, scholars, and leaders of business and the arts. Each Talks event is followed by a spirited reception with attendees and participants.

The Walrus Talks delivers fresh ideas and new ways of looking at big issues. The Walrus has no “wings.” Our speakers are chosen to reflect a range of experiences and viewpoints, but they all have one thing in common: the desire for real conversation about issues that affect the future of Canada. Our goal is for audience members to think “I never thought about it that way” when the Talks are over.

In 2015, The Walrus Talks will be held in Calgary, London, Winnipeg, Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, and Victoria. They will address themes including vice, creativity, the Arctic, the animated city, the Aboriginal city, being human, play, and water.

The Walrus Talks 2015 will feature more than 100 speakers from all walks and from across the country. The Walrus Talks are sponsored by forward-thinking members of the private and public sectors whose support enables the Canadian conversation and encourages dialogue on a wide range of issues. Dates, details, and ticket information are available at


© 2015 The Walrus Foundation

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