12 Nov What Sustains Us
I am unabashedly an urban denizen. One might say that for generations my family was raised in the comforts of the city. I grew up thinking Alberta was Calgary and Banff (and Edmonton). The outdoors was the place where “outdoorsy” people went. As a result, my connection to the land as many Indigenous Elders would say is broken.
In the city we are afforded clean water, clean air, and easy access to food. On one hand, the modern conveniences of life allow me to sit here and write and reflect. On the other hand, it becomes easy to forget about the fundamentals of life. My journey has taken me to the hot arid prairies of the south where I interviewed a bison ecologist describing the ecocide that happened only recently. I’ve driven up to the far north where Indigenous communities depend upon the oil and gas industry to survive as less and less people live off the land. I’ve travelled halfway across the world to the river polluted city of Kathmandu. We are in the anthropocene, the era of human global impact. I am concerned about the world our future generation will live in.
Narcisse Blood, a Blackfoot Elder, spoke eloquently about rights of the rivers, the trees, the animals, the birds… all of life that sustains us. Films like Planet Earth and Anthropocene help us to see the scale of the world, our impact on it and hence our responsibility to it. There are many more stories that need to be told and I hope to continue contributing to that conversation.