Jackie K. (India)

Jackie K. (Chintan Environmental research and Action Group): Jackie grew up on the Canadian prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba where she became deeply interested in the impact of environmental change on marginalized peoples. She graduated in 2007 from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Environmental Science (First Class Honours) and a University Gold Medal as the highest achieving graduate in her faculty. While completing this degree, Jackie worked in the University of Manitoba’s Environmental Conservation Lab, helping research on the social impacts of mad cow disease and other ecological challenges. In the fall of 2007, Jackie began a Law degree at the University of British Columbia where she worked with Dr. Natasha Affolder, researching biodiversity and mining. While at UBC Law, Jackie was the Co-Chair of UBC’s Environmental Law Group and co-coordinator of the Public Interest Law Society.

Drops in the River

10 May

I have never been to Washington, DC. So, as my plane took off from the west coast and began its journey across the US a couple of hours ago, a sense of excitement took hold. I am really looking forward to touching down in DC, the location of so many important political decisions that affect even me, a Canadian. Granted, I have spent some time in the US, and even took off from the Seattle airport having just spent Memorial Day weekend at a music festival in George, Washington. Somehow, DC seems different.



The Gorge at George

The Gorge at George

I am equally excited to meet the other Peace Fellows that will be receiving training through the Advocacy Project this week. We are a group of about 40 students being sent around the world to aid with capacity building within grassroots organizations working for social change.

I am heading to New Delhi, India with another AP Fellow, Ted Mathys, where we will be working with Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group on issues of environmental injustice within the informal waste-sector. I am nervous about spending time in India and working with a grassroots NGO. In fact, I have completely shied away from international work until now.

Throughout my life as a student, I have focused my work on local issues and have always found many cultural and sustainability challenges to work through in my own back yard. For instance, in working with cattle ranchers on sustainable farming policies for the Canadian prairies, I encountered many communication and trust barriers as an urban vegetarian environmental activist. However, I have found facing these barriers incredibly rewarding and have ultimately made many wonderful friendships while working through cultural differences at a local level.

Yet, upon finishing my undergraduate degree and entering law school, international work has landed in my lap. Increasingly I am asked to work on international environmental law projects and to present my viewpoints on the impacts of this law on sustainable development around the world. Having never worked in a ‘developing’ country I feel uncomfortable adding my perspective into the international environmental law dialogue. Thus, I have signed on to intern in India, and look forward to learning form the people at Chintan and the other AP fellows about how treaty law plays out in practice in New Delhi.

For now, my departure date to India is a few weeks away and as a result I still have time to reflect on where I will be going and what kind of changes this experience will bring to my life. As my plane begins its descent into Reagan International Airport I let the Fleet Foxes lull me to sleep and put both my excitement and apprehensions around what is to come in the back of my mind.


Posted By Jackie K. (India)

Posted May 10th, 2009


  • Megan Alexander

    June 22, 2009


    Yay Jacqui! So glad to see you will be keeping a blog while you are gone. XOXOXO

  • Ali Arslan

    July 30, 2009


    I want to be a part of this NGO. I live in Pakistan. I’m student of Art & Design. I want to know how i can be a part of this Group. I wish this kind of NGO to start here in My Country Because the situation of Pakistan is Going Very bad. We need Light of Peace just Because of this darkness.

    Ali Arslan

    reply me here:u.s.a_01@hotmail.com

    • Jacqui Kotyk

      August 3, 2009


      Thank you so much for your interest! I think there are a lot of NGOs also working on environmental justice issues within Pakistan that you might consider working with. See the following link for a list of such organizations.


      Good luck!

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