Nature Canada

Member Spotlight: Joanne Papineau

“If I Had Gills, I Would Stay Underwater”

Joanne Papineau has been a proud member of Nature Canada since the 1980s, and a monthly donor for more than 20 years. 

As a child, Joanne fell in love with nature, especially the underwater world. She was inspired by the underwater discoveries and adventures of Jacques Cousteau, and at a young age she told herself “I’m going to be a marine biologist!” Her work has allowed her to explore her passion for nature and conservation, especially whales. “Underwater is my favourite place to be. If I had gills, I would just stay there. It’s quiet, beautiful, colourful.”

Joanne has many nature stories to share, but one of her most recent experiences holds a special place in her heart. “I visited Antarctica a few years ago, and as I sat down, a baby penguin came and pecked at my boots. I felt so privileged—we were respecting their space and they were happy to share their environment with us. We were a curiosity, but not a threat. It was a magical moment of connection.”

And it’s this connection with nature and species that drives Joanne to be involved with Nature Canada and stay informed on conservation issues. “You don’t need to be a scientist to understand the cycle of life. My membership is my way to have a voice in the conversation, since animals and the environment can’t speak for themselves. It’s our duty to protect them, and I’m fiercely proud of the work we’ve done, and hopeful about the work we have yet to do. Choosing to give monthly to Nature Canada was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

“We live in such a beautiful country. The first time I saw the totems at Haida Gwaii was an incredible moment. It was so spiritual and profound. My goal is to discover every national park, and visit the jewels in every province.”

Thank you, Joanne, for sharing your story and your passion for nature! Members who give monthly as Guardians of Nature providing us crucial support on a steady and ongoing basis.  You can join as a monthly donor online or by calling Anna at 1-800-267-4088 ext. 225.

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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.