Submitted by Anita on Thu, 01/12/2012 - 11:40
Hearings into the "Northern Gateway" pipeline are underway. I would hope that this article, originally published in my last book, Anita Stewart's CANADA, will shed a little more light onto the discussion.
From the boreal forest to the tundra; from the Prairie grasslands to Ontario’s Carolinian woodlands, Canada is stunningly rich with flora and fauna. Bio-diversity is our most valuable heritage. With 71,000 species which have been scientifically described and another estimated 69,000 * species yet to be named and classified, it becomes crystalline that the protection of our ecological heritage is absolutely paramount. These raw materials are the building blocks of future crops, both food and medicinal. As plant breeders head to the original cradles for the landraces of the particular crops with which they are working, so too, will future biologists come to Canada.
For the First Nations, the rhythm of life was in the harvest and the attitudes towards it. The notion of ‘oneness’ with the earth and its gifts was embedded in Aboriginal belief long before contact, predating the modern concept of “eco-systems by millennia. For the Nuu-Chah-Nulth people of coastal B.C their physical reality was transposed into their culture. “All things are related and interconnected. All things are sacred.”