Page 6 of 7
The fact is that our aboriginal brothers and sisters live in greater poverty, have less access to relevant education, have generally higher rates of illness, and a shorter life expectancy than non-native Canadians. Their poverty is not due to “laziness” or a weaker work ethic — the ethnographic and historical record shows that First Nations dominated early colonial economies — but is rather due to historical injustices, institutional inequalities, and dispossession of their lands and resources. Talking about “stolen lands” is really a way of talking about needing access to the resources, lifeways, and sacred places that are meaningful to aboriginal peoples.
The colonial government (until Canada grants the right of self-determination to First Nations it remains a colonial government) has tried assimilation, with disastrous results — just look at the residential school debacle. Aboriginal people are voicing what will work for them, and it is time to listen.
Action speaks louder than words
Is global warming a global emergency?
Yes it is, and it is being recognized as such more and more.
On March 19th, Avaaz campaigners hand-delivered a 100,000-signature climate change petition to the environment ministers of the world's most polluting countries and it worked. The chair of the meeting, Sigmar Gabriel, German environment minister, waved the petition in the air, calling on his fellow ministers to act — and they agreed that climate change would be the #1 issue at the G8 summit in June.
Closer to home, Whistler2020 is recognizing climate change and global warming as the most important challenge Whistler has to face while moving toward sustainability. As mentioned at the first Whistler2020 meeting of the 2007 task force process, sustainability presents challenges and opportunities. As our resources decrease and population increases, there are greater chances to hit the wall of the funnel and the room for quality of life decreases. For ski resorts, the biggest wall is climate change. Like quantity of fish affect the fishery industry, the number of skier visits affects ski resorts and climate change represents a real economic threat to Whistler.
March 23 and 24, Hilltrip presented the first Energy Film Festival in Whistler at MY Millennium Place. Over a hundred movie goers and concerned locals, enjoyed the 15 documentary films and speakers in the two-day mini-festival aimed at providing an entertaining way to educate the public about global warming and inspire the audience to action.