During the past university year, at Laurentian University, I took a course entitled,” Aboriginal Beat”, the brainchild of Maurice Switzer.
One paper I wrote during the course analyzed the role of the media in laying a proper context for First Nations issues. The Kashechewan evacuation was the focal point of the paper. The mainstream media, especially Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail, held that the community was not viable and the people should be moved south.
I argued that there was a subsistence economy in the region and that if the mainstream media only looked through the lens of a capitalist wage economy, well, sure, the community isn’t viable.
The Dominion Newspaper has published a fine article, by Jaime Little, on the threat global warming poses to the goose hunt in the James Bay area. The goose hunt is a mainstay of the Cree in the area. I heard many an evacuee long to go back home in time for this important tradition.
It is ironic that the very system we used to destroy a culture – a capitalist wage economy, may finish the job with environmental disaster. Global warming will destroy subsistence economies first, since those economies exist closest to nature