After over five years as a key player at the POLIS Water Sustainability Project, long-time team member Natasha Overduin is leaving POLIS as she transitions to the next chapter in her professional career. We wish her the very best in her next adventures, and look forward to future collaborations. Below is a farewell letter from Natasha.
Dear friends and colleagues,
A wonderful and formative five years of working with the dynamic POLIS team has flown by. The learning and mentorship I experienced in this time was profound, and I am both sad and excited to be moving on to my next professional chapter.
I am proud of my work and my contributions to strengthening B.C.’s freshwater movement. I am also thankful and honoured by the privilege I’ve had to work shoulder-to-shoulder with diverse communities across the province who are working to steward and protect their precious home waters. I found water champions everywhere I went: in Indigenous communities and First Nation organizations, in local governments, in Crown agencies, in community stewardship groups and partner NGOs, and in rooms of people with no affiliation—just the common belief that they need each other in order to take action.
These groups taught me so much. They offered lessons about how change ought to happen versus how it actually happens. About what it means to work respectfully with each other. And about how we move forward—incrementally but relentlessly, fuzzily but bravely—as we try to do the right thing, and find our roles and responsibilities as water leaders both at home and as global citizens.
As a wise person put it to me, we must “bash on regardless!” This is what I aim to do in my next career chapter, for which my work at POLIS has so generously prepared me. I look forward to new challenges and opportunities to move the dial on reconciliation and sustainability. And I look forward to continuing to join with the freshwater community as we strive for those aspirations we’ve always held in common: justice and stewardship.
Natasha Overduin is the former Program Manager for a unique joint partnership initiative between the POLIS Water Sustainability Project and the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources. Any personal notes or inquiries to Natasha can be directed to her personal email at [email protected].