Be the Change Initiative
North Star Silver is inseparably tied to me, my passion for the outdoors, and my family - so it’s only natural that my business would encompass a bigger vision - there’s so much meaning, so much heart + soul in the jewelry I create - but beyond that, I strive for North Star Silver to be a force for good in this world.
I started the Be the Change initiative in January 2020 when I went full time with my business. For more than a year I donated 10% of revenues from each monthly restock to an organization doing work that honours the connections that I hold sacred - and that I aspire for my work to honour - connections with the earth; with each other; with other living beings.
With some changes in the spring of 2021, and some increased financial pressure, the original model of Be the Change no longer felt sustainable. So, beginning in May 2021, I made some changes to the way North Star Silver contributes to causes, and held my first raffle. It was a huge success and together with the amazing people who make up this community, we raised $980 for Sovereign Bodies Institute (read more about their work below).
In September 2021 we raised $890 for Fairy Creek Blockade to support their work defending ancient forests from logging in the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht + Ditidaht First Nations in the Pacific northwest. I plan to hold Be the Change raffles on a roughly quarterly basis, in perpetuity. I'm forever grateful that together we can work to make the world a better place & be the change we want to see.
Here are some of the organizations + causes we've supported:
Since 1912, Humewood House has helped Toronto’s most vulnerable single parents and their children make their way in the world. In addition to helping young women give birth to healthy babies and transition into motherhood, Humewood House helps them plan and build goals for their future. We offer pre and post-natal residential services, transitional housing, life skills, childcare, a high school program and counselling all delivered by our highly qualified and dedicated staff in a safe and caring environment.
Wiindo Debwe Mosewin
About: We are a non-profit grassroots organization that is completely youth and community led. We go where we are needed and we do what is needed. Our goal: Keep the dialogue going! Love flows up! We are here to listen, to share, to educate, to patrol, to stand for the Eight (the addition of Forgiveness) Sacred Teachings and spread the love throughout the community. Our goal is to continue expanding in numbers and services to be able to help in all areas in time.
The Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning
Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning is a community-led educational experience established in Denendeh and delivered across the land. We deliver Indigenous centred arts, culture, language and educational programming in an innovative land-based environment. We support diverse needs and inclusive participation.
Safe BAE (Before Anyone Else)
SafeBAE is a survivor-founded, student-led national organization whose mission is to end sexual assault among middle and high school students. As the only national peer-to-peer organization of our kind, we help promote culture change by giving teens the tools to become activists and shift school culture through raising awareness about dating violence, sexual harassment and assault, affirmative consent, safe bystander intervention, survivor care, and their rights under Title IX.
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami is an Inuit-led organization working to improve the health and wellbeing of Inuit. They lead a national climate change strategy based on the pillar that “climate action in Inuit Nunangat must be based on an Inuit vision of our resilience in the face of our rapidly changing environment”.
Ancient Forest Alliance
The Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) is a non-profit organization working to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests and to ensure sustainable, second-growth forestry jobs. Learn more about their important work, sign one of their many petitions to protect old growth forest, or donate directly to their cause at:
Ontario Native Women's Association
The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is a not for profit organization to empower and support all Indigenous women and their families in the province of Ontario through research, advocacy, policy development and programs that focus on local, regional and provincial activities.
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) charitable organization with the mandate to educate and create awareness and understanding about the Residential School System, including the intergenerational impacts. These include removal of generations of Indigenous children from their families, as well as the Sixties Scoop, and the post-traumatic stress disorders that many Indigenous Peoples continue to experience. The LHF works to eliminate racism, foster empathy and understanding and to inspire positive action to improve the situation of Indigenous Peoples today. The LHF supports the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors, and their families and seeks their input on projects that honour them.
Sovereign Bodies Institute
Sovereign Bodies Institute (SBI) builds on Indigenous traditions of data gathering and knowledge transfer to create, disseminate, and put into action research on gender and sexual violence against Indigenous people.
SBI is a home for generating new knowledge and understandings of how Indigenous nations and communities are impacted by gender and sexual violence, and how they may continue to work towards healing and freedom from such violence.
Fairy Creek Blockade
ABOUT OUR MOVEMENT:
We're honoured to do this work on the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht First Nations. We're here at the invitation of Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones, whose unifying leadership, traditional knowledge, life experience and courage are at the heart of our movement.
We recognize and acknowledge the incredible work done by Indigenous youth, women and Matriarchs on the land, gathered from all nations to help support Elder Bill Jones.
This movement is also grateful for the guidance and support of future Hereditary Chief of Pacheedaht and Ditidaht, Victor Peter, and Pacheedaht band member Whale Tail Jones. We hold our hands up to the many Chiefs and Elders from other territories and Nations who have visited and shown support and solidarity.
We thank all those brave folx who have come to the front lines, to the forest, to stand together with Elder Bill to protect the land and trees. Without the people on the ground at camp the government would continue to #talkandlog until the last of these forests were gone.
We also thank the tens of thousands of supporters who continue to donate time and money - making phone calls, sharing posts, talking to friends and family about the importance of this issue, sending gear and writing letters to decision makers and news outlets. You are ALL needed to bring about the paradigm shift required to turn this climate crisis train wreck around.
To read more or to make a donation:
Bearskin Lake First Nation
In January 2022 we raised $1000 to support Bearskin Lake First Nation in getting through a COVID-19 outbreak.
From their Go Fund Me:
Bearskin Lake First Nation is a small, remote community with a population of 450. The first case was detected December 28, 2021 and 218 individuals have tested positive which roughly means fifty percent of the on-reserve population was infected. Those infected include the administrative and essential staff of the band’s administration, operations and maintenance unites. Most of our households were on lockdown order, even the ones who did not test positive, were living with members that did test positive.
The funds that were raised through Go Fund Me will be withdrawn and deposited into the Bearskin Lake First Nation Administration account. These funds will be used to cover food, supplies and wood cutting/delivery expenses for the community members. The community was in full lockdown, so the covid-19 Omicron virus can be contained. Therefore, the community members were unable to go shopping for their necessities and to get wood to heat up their homes. Most of the houses depend on wood for warmth. And honorariums will be given to our frontline workers (the foot on the ground) and any other expenses that had occurred to safely run our community during the outbreak. The Chief and council had asked for support from the Canadian government and military to provide assistance but it did not happen. Our own local people stepped up to provide assistance to the community.
In light of the Supreme Court's decision to allow states to ban abortion with the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, we held a raffle to raise funds for Planned Parenthood and donated $1900 in July 2022.
Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide.