The public knew Paul Walker best for his roles as an actor: The Fast and the Furious series, Into the Blue, Eight Below and Pleasantville, among others.The Monterey Bay Aquarium knew him better as an aspiring marine biologist and a lifelong friend of the ocean. Growing up, Paul was inspired by Jacques Cousteau – his mentor and role model. He studied marine biology in college and planned to make that his career before he was drawn into acting.But the ocean was never far from his life – or his concerns.Now the aquarium, in collaboration with Walker’s family, will honor his memory and continue his legacy through the Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award – recognizing individuals who are using their public stature to advance ocean causes and support philanthropic ventures.The inaugural recipients – actress and supermodel Marisa Miller, and singer Jack Johnson – will receive their awards in June.Miller will be honored in a public presentation on Saturday, June 7 during the aquarium’s World Oceans Day weekend celebration. Johnson will receive his award at the aquarium on Saturday, June 14 during a special 30th anniversary event supporting the aquarium’s Children’s Education Fund.Paul Walker’s daughter and brothers will participate in the presentations.“The ocean plays a central role in the lives of both Marisa Miller and Jack Johnson – as it did for Paul Walker,” said aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard. “Like Paul, they recognize how important it is to work for a future with healthy oceans, and to inspire others to do their part. We’re proud to honor them in this way.”Walker helped the aquarium celebrate World Oceans Day in 2005, and told visitors that day about about his personal commitment to ocean conservation – urging them to step up their own involvement.“I was fortunate to have visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium with my father on several occasions,” said his daughter, Meadow Walker. “It held a special place in his heart, as it now does in mine. I am proud of him, and this award that honors his commitment to ocean conservation.”Marisa Miller is an actress, supermodel, a surfer and Monterey Bay area resident who has been inspired by the aquarium’s work since she was a schoolgirl. Today, as a young mother, she actively promotes an ocean-friendly lifestyle – one that eliminates single-use plastic water bottles, and incorporates sustainable seafood choices, as well as organic foods and natural personal care products that keep pollutants out of the ocean. In addition to her philanthropic work with the American Cancer Society and the USO, she has been associated with Surfrider Foundation, which works on behalf of healthy oceans.Jack Johnson is an acclaimed singer-songwriter, surfer and filmmaker. The Hawaii native and his wife, Kim, have been effecting change worldwide by leading the music industry in greening practices and using their success to support many social and environmental issues. Their Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation supports environmental initiatives, art and music education worldwide – including the aquarium’s Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit, where teachers find new ways to engage their students around the issue of plastics and ocean health. A graduate of the University of California-Santa Barbara, Johnson has released multiple platinum-selling albums on Brushfire Records, including Brushfire Fairytales, Sleep Through the Static and To the Sea.“I’m honored to be receiving the Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award,” said Marisa Miller. “The Monterey Bay Aquarium has been a part of my life since I was six years old. Its programs for education and ocean awareness are still impacting me today. I look forward to celebrating World Oceans Day with the communities that support all the work that the Monterey Bay Aquarium does.”“The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a special place for our family,” said Jack Johnson. I appreciate the energy they put into educating the public on sustainable seafood, marine debris, and the overall health of our oceans. I’m honored to be working with them and to be receiving the Paul Walker Award.”At the June 7 World Oceans Day celebration, the aquarium will also present a youth award to 17-year-old high school student Ailis Dooner of Carmel, who took second in the world at the International Science Fair for researching a way to prevent lung cancer using substances found in sea anemones and seaweed. Ailis is a Teen Conservation Leader at the aquarium.The nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2014. Its mission is to inspire conservation of the oceans.
When the Harper government left day scholars, like Jo-Anne Gottfriedson, out of the Indian Residential School settlement it opened the door for 101 bands to sue the feds. Gottfriedson, above, stands in the room where a priest abused her. Kenneth Jackson/APTN photoKenneth JacksonAPTN NewsResidential school survivors in Kamloops can see the building where they went to school.They can walk in the front doors and down the same halls as they did as children.But they can’t get Ottawa to see them as residential school survivors.And they certainly can’t get an apology.Because for the Trudeau government to do that, it first needs to reach an “equitable” settlement for these day scholars who have been suing the federal government since 2012.Day scholars attended residential schools during the day and went home at night because they lived close by, while other kids resided at the same schools.The day scholars are now scheduled to take Ottawa back to court next month after years of mediation recently fell apart.This was around the time Ottawa reached an agreement-in-principle with day school survivors last December. Those are students who attended residential schools that operated only during the day.Both groups of survivors were left out of the 2006 Indian Residential Schools settlement agreement and have separate lawsuits against Canada.All of it is pretty hard to accept for Jo-Anne Gottfriedson, a day scholar who was sexually abused by a priest at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.Gottfriedson and other day scholars at Kamloops weren’t allowed to participate in the common experience payment process negotiated for other residential survivors of the Kamloops school, the ones who slept overnight, and all the others across Canada.That also means that the 2008 apology from former prime minister Stephen Harper didn’t include them.“It’s very disheartening and very frustrating to know our people’s lives aren’t honoured because Canada can’t decide what is a fair and just settlement for day scholars,” said Gottfriedson who attended the Kamloops school for several years as a child.“To witness people passing away and were denied that opportunity for reconciliation is devastating.”One of the survivors that passed away was her sister, Violet Gottfriedson, and there has been dozens more, including descendants, she said since the class-action was certified in 2015.Violet passed away shortly afterwards.“She left this world knowing Canada was responsible,” said Gottfriedson. “The day she died I was with her… she said ‘I want you to continue the work you are doing. Our people deserve justice. Don’t give up.”Gottfriedson’s story was part of a special Nation to Nation episode in November where she entered the room where a priest abused her for the first time in years.”At the 13th hour the Harper government said drop day scholars or we don’t have a settlement”: see a special report on residential school survivors still fighting for justice.https://t.co/SYTLH3y8VOKamloops residential school below. pic.twitter.com/CTiRei6t0p— APTN National News (@APTNNews) November 30, 2018When the class-action was certified in 2015, it also included descendants of survivors as defendants and bands, the actual communities.By leaving the day scholars out of the residential school settlement package, a judge agreed that bands could also sue the federal government for the loss of language and culture caused by the residential school policy.It had never been done before. All previous settlements were only for survivors.The two bands that first signed on were Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc (Kamloops) and Sechelt First Nation in British Columbia. There are now over 100 bands signed on stretching across the country.Garry Feschuk, the former chief of Sechelt, is a representative of the band portion of the class-action and has seen the impacts his community suffered because of the residential school policy.“The day scholar stories are no different than the people who resided in the schools. They suffered the same pain, they same abuses and the genocide that everybody else went through,” said Feschuk. “How many more of our survivors are going to have to die before we actually seek redress for them?”He said there was hope the action would get justice for the day scholars and reparations for the bands itself but that doesn’t seem to be the case any longer.A “senior person” on the case previously appointed by the federal government was replaced in February 2018 by Department of Justice lawyers and they came in with a “minimal mandate” or a settlement offer well below than what day scholars are expecting.The offer is confidential.“What happened is we have gone full circle and we’re back on the steps of the court house again because Canada is minimizing the pain day scholars went through and I think it’s wrong,” said Feschuk.They are willing to settle the survivor portion of the claim today if Ottawa can agree to the 10:3 formula, the same as the other residential school survivors received. That means $10,000 for the first year at a school and $3,000 for every other year.The number of day scholars and descendants are estimated to between 14,000 to 18,000 survivors said Feschuk.Matthew Coon Come is part of the action and said he is disgusted by the Trudeau government.“Day Scholar survivors are literally dying, and yet the government is going to force us to litigate whether there was a residential school policy aimed at destroying our language and culture? That is the opposite of reconciliation,” said Coon Come, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, in a press release.From Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc, alone, 39 day scholars have passed since the court action began with 80 still alive, while 18 descendants have died, 187 remaining, during the same period.The Trudeau government didn’t respond to questions from APTN by [email protected]