Fonds RBSC-ARC-1824 - Greenpeace Canada fonds

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Greenpeace Canada fonds

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Physical description

17.6 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

Greenpeace was founded in Vancouver in 1971, originally as the Don’t Make a Wave Committee to protest the testing of nuclear weapons on Amchitka Island, Alaska. With the growing international awareness of environmental issues and to better coordinate their efforts, Greenpeace offices around the World came together in 1979 to form Greenpeace International, based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Greenpeace Canada has been a part of Greenpeace International since its inception in 1979. With offices in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, Greenpeace Canada has a national presence which it uses to raise funds in order to support campaigns.

Greenpeace is independently funded and aims to promote environmental causes through lobbying, public awareness campaigns, and civil disobedience. With Greenpeace International helping to coordinate campaigns in more than 55 countries across the globe, local offices have an important role to raise awareness and respond to local environmental issues. Since its founding, Greenpeace has focused on causes that include ending the testing of nuclear weapons and the dumping of toxic waste in the World’s oceans, opposing whale hunting, raising awareness of acid rain and uranium waste, and achieving environmental protection in Antarctica. While Greenpeace has been involved with a number of civil disobedience activities as part of their campaigns, Greenpeace has also relied upon market boycotts and public awareness to convince people to change their behaviour and businesses to stop buying certain products. This notably occurred with Greenpeace’s campaigns in Clayoquot Sound and the Great Bear Rainforest, which led to forestry companies re-evaluating their logging practices to reduce the amount of old growth forests harvested through clearcutting.

Though Greenpeace Canada is responsible for national and local programs, as a member of the larger international organization Greenpeace Canada supports and participates heavily in international campaigns organized by Greenpeace International. The functions of Greenpeace Canada are divided into five categories which include campaigns, education, democratic development, fundraising, and administration. Campaigning by Greenpeace Canada in recent decades has focused on conservation of wildlife and protecting forest ecosystems throughout Canada, notably with campaigns in Clayoquot Sound in the 1990s and in the Great Bear Rainforest from the 1990s to 2017.

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Scope and content

The fonds primarily includes records that were produced and acquired by Greenpeace Canada, such as research and publications to support their campaigns and projects. Notably, this includes jointly produced documents with other environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) to coordinate their efforts in Clayoquot Sound and the Great Bear Rainforest. The records of Greenpeace International within this fonds reflect their broader campaigns to inform people and shape public opinion to oppose the clearcutting of old growth forests in Canada and elsewhere in the World. Records by Greenpeace Canada primarily include their efforts to cooperate with environmental non-governmental organizations, First Nations, forestry companies, and governments to achieve greater protection for old growth forests. The primary types of records include reports, communications, legal advice, court cases, planning materials, photographs, maps, ephemera, and posters. Most of the records in this fonds produced by Greenpeace Canada is from their Vancouver office. The fonds is organized into the following series: Clayoquot Sound Campaign and Protests (1980-2017), Great Bear Rainforest Campaign and Protests (1980-2017), Forest Stewardship Council (1992-2017), Rainforest Solutions Project (1991-2017), Research and Resource Collection (1979-2017), Ephemera and Posters (1993-2016), and Maps (1964-2015).

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Physical condition

Some maps are torn and will be repaired time permitting.

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As requested by the donor, access to some files in this fonds are restricted until July 21, 2035.

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Physical description

871 images (199 photographs: col., 12 large oversized photographs: col., 13 photographs: b&w, 474 slides: col., and 173 negatives)
ca. 420 maps; 150 x 93 cm or smaller
ca. 15 leaflets
ca. 20 posters
ca. 10 buttons
5 awards
3 stickers
2 magnets
2 napkins
1 enlarged cheque
1 banner
1 countdown clock

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Authority record and fonds, series, and subseries descriptions were completed by Graeme Niedtner in December 2021.

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