My name is Catherine Marie Gilbert. I am a British Columbia historian and author working on the life story of David Garrick, also known as Walrus. Garrick was an environmental activist who devoted his life to numerous well publicized causes beginning with All Seasons Park in Vancouver in 1971, then joined in the protest at Wounded Knee, South Dakota on behalf of the Lakota nation, followed by journeying with a Greenpeace crew to the Pacific on two whale campaigns in 1975 and 76 to protest whale hunting. Soon afterwards, he and Paul Watson conceived of a campaign to halt the slaughter of baby Harp seals in Newfoundland for their fur. Garrick spent the following decade educating the public on the hazards of nuclear power and uranium mining. From 1993 to 2018, he lived in an off the grid camp on Hanson Island off Vancouver Island's east coast, where he documented Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs). His efforts assisted local First Nations with reclaiming traditional territory. He wrote a seminal book on CMTs, and he gave workshops to the public on how to identify them.
Garrick spent the remaining five years of his life in Alert Bay, suffering from a pulmonary disease and passed away in May, 2023. During the last three years of his life, we worked together on his life story.
Garrick was often behind the scenes and much of his efforts have gone unrecognized. I believe that Garrick's story is important to Canada's environmental history and in many ways describes this history as he was involved in so many campaigns and protests. Garrick often took monumental risks to stand up for what he believed in, with little or no reward.
Garrick left behind numerous documents and images, and I have many months of reading and research to go through these materials.
Funds raised here will support my work and allow me to spend time going through his materials, the notes I took while we conversed and to continue interviewing his many friends and former colleagues such as Rex Weyler, Rod Marining and Paul Watson, residents of Alert Bay, and his family. With these funds I can travel if necessary, then focus on pulling together my findings to write Garrick's story for publication.