Our culture, our relationship to the land

I wrote this comment in the forum at bowegover.ning.com. I felt that this view should appear here, on my blog, as well. Be sure to visit that site to see what others around here are saying about Bowen Island in the Salish Sea.

For centuries Canada has been dominated by the ambitions of people who came here for all the free natural resources: the free animals (pelts), free fish, free trees, free lands, free minerals, and free fossil fuels.

Now, to maintain our biodiversity, some of us are working to preserve endangered species, the fish stocks are largely depleted, there are no free lands, and hardly even any tall grass prairie, those who mine want the last of the riches in the ground that belong to our grandchildren (and in return pay us with a few years of jobs, some taxes and fees, and an eternity of pollution), and just tour the Province in Google Earth to see the devastation to our forests.

Like it or not, this practice of allowing the exploiters to take all they can is our history and the existing culture. Our ‘economy’ (whatever that means) has grown to depend on it. The owners of these resources (we, the people) live largely in urban areas, and most of our children are growing up not knowing what they own. And you cannot blame governments for letting the companies have these resources because some temporary funds will flow into the treasury, a few people are employed for a while, and the urban crowd who don’t see the consequences won’t have to pay for some of the government’s services with higher taxes.

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