Tonight we are sending out a message that our email account was hacked two days ago, and it has come to our attention that multiple temporary email accounts beginning with the name of our hike (Come Walk With Us) are being created and used to send out racist, sexist, homophobic, and otherwise highly offensive and completely inappropriate messages, as well as making false statements undermining our past careers and future intentions.
I have also been informed by the individuals responsible that through our regular email account Come Walk With Us has now requested that I NOT be in consideration for the Canadian Museum of Nature's Nature Inspiration award as I have apparently "not deserved my PhD", "falsified my ornithological research", "am mentally overwhelmed", and "have decided not to complete this Expedition". As a result I have been removed from the competition for the Nature Inspiration award.
In response to this let us be VERY CLEAR - each of these claims are ABSOLUTELY FALSE.
In addition, to be removed from consideration for this prestigious award is devastating to me.
This is extraordinarily dispiriting to have had happened and we are both personally as well as professionally devastated by the things that are being said about us and in our names.
Let us be clear - We will NEVER send messages of
hate, ask you for money, or make any shocking personal revelations by
email. If you receive any messages that look suspicious, please
disregard them. We remain fully committed to our #hike4birds
across Canada, to all the engagements we've previously agreed to, and
as always, our goal is to promote diversity in the outdoor community and
to inspire people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, physical
abilities, genders, orientations, and identities to reconnect with
nature through birds and Citizen Science.
We are taking steps to regain access to and control of our own email accounts, but this will take time. At present we have no access to our email. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience or unpleasantness you may experience as a result of this ongoing situation.
For the past several months we have been dealing with digital issues, emailed threats, troubles with former colleagues, and this seems to be yet another example of a challenge that we never anticipated in trying to make Canada and nature more accessible to a diverse range of peoples and while striving to encourage youth to reconnect to the outdoors.