Winners & Sinners for 2009

See the champions and the setbacks making environmental history

WINNERS - All Hail the Chief

In late July, the Assembly of First Nations elected Shawn A-in-chut Atleo as its new national chief. The 42-year-old Atleo, hereditary chief of Vancouver Island’s Ahousaht First Nation, is the youngest chief in the assembly’s history—and arguably one of its most progressive. Atleo’s agenda has long emphasized education and the environment; he sat on Premier Gordon Campbell’s Climate Action Team for greenhouse gas reduction, was one of 200 Canadians trained by Al Gore to deliver the climate change message behind his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and made green development a cornerstone of his campaign. A-in-chut translates as “everyone depends on you,” and for the man hailed by many as the First Nations’ Obama, that name means more than ever before.

Photo courtesy shawnatleo.ca