- May 2017
The native peoples and their land were, and to some extent continue to be, under siege.
Here Berger is making a reference to the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada and how they have been affected through the degradation of nature around them. The history of white people bringing disease and other hardships to indigenous people is a well documented one. But the less talked about part is how modern technologies affect on the environment has affected them. Andrew Stuhl writes, "the number of reindeer in Barrow- the largest town in the region with a population of 1,200 Inuit- had dropped from an estimated 35,000 in 1935 to 5,000 in 1940." This dramatic decrease in reindeer population had a lasting effect on the Inuit population as they eventually had to negotiate with the Canadian government to get reindeer herds as a means of subsistence. As technology advanced, over fishing and whaling practices in the 1980s and 1990s drove some species of fish to near extirpation from the Arctic. Furthermore climate change is having a profound effect on indigenous populations in the more recent past. The raise of temperature is creating less sea ice and making the migrating patterns of whales and caribou less predictable. This causes it to be more difficult for Inuit hunters to track and capture their food. All of these things put together shows how white people's affect on the environment has made life harder for the indigenous populations of the Arctic. Ford, James D.1, firstname.lastname@example.org. "Indigenous Health and Climate Change." American Journal Of Public Health 102, no. 7 (July 2012): 1260-1266. Social Sciences Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed May 8, 2017). Stuhl, Andrew. Unfreezing the Arctic science, colonialism, and the transformation of Inuit lands. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.
National Parks Act
In this section, Berger talks about how he believes that there should be an amendment to allow for the creation of wilderness parks. The Berger Inquiry was first published in 1977 and by "1988 amendments also enabled the Governor in Council to give legal recognition to wilderness zones within parks, heightening the level of protection on these lands by prohibiting any activities that are 'likely to impair the wilderness character of the area." The National Parks Act has been an evolving document and has changed throughout its history. The first national park in Canada was established in 1885 which was Banff National Park but the National Parks Act was not passed until 1930. This act allowed for Canadian Parliament to create designated areas as national parks where industrial development and activities like hunting would be restricted. As of 2000 there was over 68,327,742 hectares of land designated as a national parks which is about 6.84 of the land in Canada. While this is a good percentage, there has been a push to add more national parks in different areas of the country. There was a proposal to add over 15,000 square kilometers and establish five new regions to the national marine conservation areas. In general, Canadians care about their national parks and "this significance has been reflected in the additions to the amount of area protected and changes to legislation and policy over the last decade." Dearden, Philip, and Jessica Dempsey. "Protected areas in Canada: decade of change." Canadian Geographer 48, no. 2 (July 20, 2004): 225-239. Social Sciences Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed May 8, 2017).