6 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2017
    1. 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, james.ford@mcgill.ca. "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.

    2. 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).

  2. Apr 2017
    1. The buffalo herds, estimated to number about 75 million, were reduced in only a few decades to a few hundred survivors

      American buffalo also known as bison were at one point the thought to be the most abundant mammal living in North America. They have been reported to grow up to 6 feet tall and weigh over 2000 pounds. Buffalo, in the wild, are indigenous to the Great Plains region of North America but lived all throughout the continent all the way into Canada and Alaska. This massive animals played an essential role in for many Native American populations throughout history. In the 19th centuries mass hunting of these animals began with the use of horses and rifles. Before this hunting it was reported that one would be able to see entire parries filled with millions of these animals. Over the course of the century, reckless hunting of bison led to a massive collapse of their population. There was many different reasons for their hunting ranging from sport hunting, to killing them to hurt the Native American populations that heavily relied upon them. The American Buffalo has become a symbol of conservation and there has been an ongoing effort to try and rebuild their populations. Recently they were named as the official mammal of the United States as "the bison is North Americas largest land animal the embodiment of American strength, resilience and the nations pioneer spirit.” Many national parks including Yellowstone have protected bison populations that have been steadily growing over the last decades.

      "American bison designated national mammal of U.S." St Louis Post-Dispatch [MO], November 24, 2016, A17. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed April 10, 2017). http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T004&docId=CJ471488256&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0..

  3. Mar 2017
    1. Metis

      The Metis are a group of aboriginal people in Canada who trace their descendants back to the First Nations and European settlers. In the early part of European expansion into Canada the Metis were a tribe of aboriginal people that lived in the North Western part of Canada. The Metis people today are an interesting group because most of them are not direct result of intermarriage between European and First Nations people. The Metis primarily live in the Western Part of Canada and today there are about 500,000 people considered part of the Metis community. They represent about a third of the aboriginal people in Canada today. However, because of assimilation of Metis into European Canadian populations, many people can trace their ancestry back to some aboriginal past. Much of this interaction occurred in the mid 20th century with the fur trade as many European Canadians interacted with Metis tribes. Because of this, today it is hard to define someone who has a clear legal or moral ability to call themselves Metis because of the extensive assimilation into the Euro-Canadian culture. Unfortunately, "a universal consequence of the meetings of people is the rise of a mixed population whose social status is ambiguous..." This is partially true for the Metis today because there it is hard for the Canadian government to discern what people are Metis. When Berger refers to the Metis in this report he is most likely talking about a tribe of aboriginal people who identify themselves as Metis.

      Berry, B. (1968), GENERAL AND ETHNOLOGY: Metis of the Mackenzie District. Richard Slobodin. American Anthropologist, 70: 373–374. doi:10.1525/aa.1968.70.2.02a00330

    2. Now they recognize they are not essential

      In the late 1800s and early 1900s northern explorers depended on the indigenous people. The natives knew the land, the climate, and the wildlife. Because of their knowledge, the indigenous northerners served as local guides in this harsh and uninviting place. The native people also served as interpreters for researchers and were a lifeline for those that had little-to-no knowledge of how to survive in that kind of environment. However, they were not always seen as important figures. As southern technologies became more and more prominent in the far north, native peoples were pushed aside. “The airplane and helicopter strained relations among researchers and northerners. These technologies relieved field-workers from establishing extensive and regular relationships with locals as guides, interpreters, and informants. Permafrost scientists in particular could produce knowledge about the Arctic environment without Inuit expertise and apply that research in governmental construction projects without consulting locals” (108). The Inuits began to view the government scientists as pests, “they arrived in summer ‘in lusty swarm’ and were just as annoying” (108). Many researchers come during the warm months and gather information that allows them to cut ties to the indigenous people. The use of modern technology in the north forces Inuit to work menial jobs and completely change their way of life in order to survive in the modernizing landscape. While the industrial system has brought many valuable things to them, the Inuit are no longer needed or heard. If it is in the best interest of the oil industry, a pipeline would be built right over their homeland, even if they are still on it.

      Annotation drawn form Stuhl, Andrew. Unfreezing the Arctic: Science, Colonialism, and the Transformation of Inuit Lands. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

    3. The native people have had some hard things to say about the government, about the oil and gas industry and about the white man and his institutions.

      It is no secret that there was a lot of tension between the oil and gas company and the indigenous people of Canada and Alaska. In the 1950's and 1960's there was extensive drilling in areas of Alaska and Canada. Almost all of these decisions were made without consulting with the native people living in these areas. The drilling and exploration of the oil and gas fields had severe impacts on the ecosystem in the region. These impacts included the destruction of habitats from marine and terrestrial wildlife. This created many problems for the Native people who relied on hunting and fishing for a living. The Native people felt slighted by the actions of the oil and gas companies who refused to recognize their claims to the areas. Much of this problem was related to the fact that the Canadian and American governments also did not recognize them as people with claims to the land. The "Inuit in Canada faced a federal government that developed some powers-- in this case, to the territorial rather than the state government-- but nevertheless disregarded Aboriginal rights in the pursuit of Northern development." This stance from the government without a doubt led to the same dismissive attitude from the big oil and gas companies. Eventually, in the 1960's the native groups began to take steps in getting themselves recognized by the government and oil industry. It was through the help of environmental agencies that the native people started to be known. Many environmental agencies made it clear that activities in the Arctic such as oil drilling is extremely detrimental to the ecosystem and that it should not be continued. Many native groups piggy-backed on this stance and made themselves heard on the topic. Through this act both the oil industry and government began to recognize them as a legitimate body.

      Stuhl, Andrew. Unfreezing the Arctic. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.