Blog | April 14, 2013

Medicine Hat News
By Alex Mccuaig on April 13, 2013Hatter Evelyn Schuler was feted earlier this week for her contributions to promoting health and the environment in southern Alberta.In a ceremony in Calgary on Wednesday, Schuler was handed the Public Interest Alberta Award for her work in advocacy for a healthier province.A resident and nurse in Medicine Hat since 1950, Schuler said she immediately fell in love with the city and the river flowing through it named after her home province.A resident and nurse in Medicine Hat since 1950, Schuler said she immediately fell in love with the city and the river flowing through it named after her home province.Her first foray into environmentalism came in the 1960s with a grass-roots movement in the city encouraging Hatters to purchase phosphate-free soaps.“I used to see the froth in the South Saskatchewan River and nobody was too interested in why it was there. But I figured it was the phosphate soaps,” said Schuler.“I put signs up in all the department stores saying don’t use this soap, use this soap. And you know what, the department stores let me do that.”That first step into environmentalism has been anything but the last for Schuler who has since been part of advocacy against the Old Man River Dam. She also holds membership in organizations such as Grasslands Naturalists, Prairie River Stewards, Greenpeace Alberta, Peace River Environmental Society, Council of Canadians and is an executive member of the Medicine Hat New Democratic Party.But despite the progress of the environmental movement in the past 50 years, Schuler said she laments its current trajectory.“We’re going a little bit backwards again because it’s very hard to get any information on what chemicals, pharmaceuticals and antibiotics from the intensive livestock operations are in the water,” said Schuler.But in the bigger picture, Schuler said her focus is on social justice.“It’s through social justice that everybody gets universal healthier and it’s universal that everybody should have clean air and water,” said Schuler.“That’s social justice.”Read the full article at Medicine Hat News

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