Next Tuesday is the last day of our spring campaign, which means it’s your last chance to support local, in-depth journalism in the Cowichan Valley. The time is now to stand up and say that you believe in the power of storytelling to inform and connect our community.
A few weeks ago, The Cowichan Discourse published my investigation into the death of Chris Bloomfield, who was fatally shot by police in his Mill Bay home last November. I pursued this story because you told me you wanted a real conversation about mental health and addictions, and its impact on our community. It’s scary to face these hard truths, and I worried about how you’d react to my story. But your response showed me that the Cowichan Valley is ready and willing to tackle tough conversations together.
“Somehow, I think stories like you are choosing to write, with such depth, with such care, with such accuracy, are part of what is needed for humanity to wake up and make changes around connection and tribe and so much else,” community member Kate Marsh told me in an email.
The other day, I sat down with Dr. Shannon Waters, Island Health’s chief medical officer for the Cowichan Valley, and she said that one of her top three priorities for improving public health in the region is the environment. She sees that climate change and other human impacts on Cowichan land and water are stressing our communities — particularly our mental health. I was surprised, but perhaps I shouldn’t have been. You also told me that environmental degradation is a key concern for the people of Cowichan.
I want to tell stories about our changing environment and its impact on our communities, specifically the record droughts we’re anticipating this summer, the calls for North Cowichan’s municipal forest to be managed more democratically and the youth who are rising up for a more sustainable future.
With your blessing and support, I’m keen to get started. The Discourse is well short of its goal to get 1,000 supporters by June 15. It’s clichéd to say that every little bit helps, but in this case, it’s true. By stepping up and going through the process of filling in your online payment details, your contribution will mean more than its dollar amount. It’ll represent a vote of confidence — a way to say that you want to see more community-powered journalism in the Cowichan Valley. You can also help by spreading the word, and telling your loved ones why you support The Cowichan Discourse.
I believe in a future for journalism that is truly driven and informed by the community of the Cowichan Valley. Together, we can build it.