Ever since John Cabot landed in Newfoundland in 1497 and started trekking westward into the unknown, exploration and later development has left its mark on The Environment.
In fact, it’s left more than a mark; it’s scarred the earth forever thanks to an unquenchable thirst for discovery, but like it or not, the world wouldn’t be what it is today if not for yesterday’s adventurers.
Regardless of how appreciative we are to John Cabot and The Vikings before him, Mother Nature has taken the brunt of their quests through the loss of trees, the displacement of wildlife, polluted waterways and often the disappearance of fish, and most recently in the news, air quality because of toxic emissions resulting in climate changes.
Morning lake reflection.
In just over 500 years, the world has gone from pristine to polluted, and it wasn’t until recently when the “World Leaders Unanimously Agreed” at the United Nations’ Climate Summit in Paris, France, that everyone became more aware of the fact that the world has had enough; it can’t take any more.
And that’s when The Environment started receiving the worldwide attention it deserves.
“And, it’s about time,” says The Assembly of First Nations of Canada, and the 634 bands it represent across the country, because that’s what indigenous people from coast-to-coast-coast want most… a clean, safe, and bountiful place to live and work.
As one delegate attending the 23rd Annual Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association’s meeting in Vancouver said late last year: “We’re the canaries in the coal mines, we’re out there to warn.” Philosophical, yes, straightforward, no question, but moreover, it was a sincere and insightful message that Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett later echoed by saying, “There is every evidence Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples are indeed on the front lines of climate change.” As already mentioned, concern for the well being of The Environment is a centuries-old topic for discussion, and when you look at the photo on these pages, it’s hard to understand how mankind can do what it’s doing to endanger such perfection.
But it is, and doing so at such an alarming rate that no matter what the 197 world leaders agreed to in Paris last year, scenes like this are being threatened around the world every day, and unless we take The Environment seriously, future generations will have only photographic images of the ‘Way We Were.’ Thankfully, both the First Nations and the Canadian Mining Industry are two groups working on improving the ‘Way We Are’ so that future generations don’t have to look back on reference material to see how things used to be.
Stories on the following pages take a closer look at First Nations and Mining Relations and how they’re working in harmony and in the best interest of everyone, and everything involved.