The Hakai Institute – Think Globally, Act Locally

By Meg Beckel, President/CEO,
Canadian Museum of Nature

It is wonderful and amazing how life works. The C3 journey has offered many opportunities to see places and meet people that deserve to be better known by all Canadians. I’d like to share one such place that I visited as an ambassador on Leg 14 of the journey: the Hakai Institute, founded by Eric Peterson and Christina Munck.

According to Eric, Christina had visited the British Columbia coastal communities of Bella Bella, Namu, Koeye then Hakai, situated on Calvert Island. After meeting the people and seeing the sights, she declared to her husband Eric that they must do something with the Hakai site.

A former fishing lodge was thus on the path to becoming an internationally renowned research station dedicated to observation, experimentation, innovation, collaboration and the application of technology in support of the operation of the site.

Eric and Christina planned and built a small village that we got to visit: from sewage treatment and power to accommodation and research labs; from roads and pathways to vegetable gardens; from solar farms to battery-based power storage.

Hakai is now a place dedicated to creating knowledge about this part of British Columbia in collaboration with universities, government and the Heiltsuk Nation. It is also totally cool to see the use of new technology in support of basic science!

Thanks to Canada C3, this innovative institute on the coast of British Columbia now has some new fans.