Journalist writing about Indigenous rights, the environment, the arts, and social justice. All about reading, podcasts, coffee and comfy clothes. Citizen of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation and reporter for The Narwhal.

Stories

Seabridge Gold asks B.C. for more time to begin KSM mine construction, citing COVID-19

The mine’s owner, Toronto-based Seabridge Gold, originally received approval for the project in 2014, under an environmental assessment certificate that stated the project must be “substantially started” within five years. In 2018, the company received a five-year extension to its environmental assessment certificate. If Seabridge’s request for an emergency extension is granted, the mine will end up having 12 years to achieve a substantial start on the mine from the time it was initially approved.

Four reasons 2020 is set to see the lowest Fraser River sockeye salmon return on record

Scientists at the Pacific Salmon Commission knew 2020 wouldn’t be a great year for Fraser River sockeye salmon — but they didn’t know it would be this bad. Returns of adult sockeye averaged 9.6 million between 1980 and 2014, ranging from two million to 28 million per year. The commission predicted just 941,000 salmon would return this year. But returns have been so low this summer, the commission had to update that projection in early August. It now expects only 283,000 adults will return, which would be the lowest return ever recorded.

Meet the people saving Canada’s native grasslands

It’s home to bears, elk, coyotes and birds, as well as people. It sequesters millions of tonnes of carbon. It’s taken millennia to become so biodiverse. It’s one of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet. It’s not the rainforest. It’s the grasslands. “In the prairie around here, it doesn’t look like much,” said Kansie Fox from Kainai Nation / The Blood Tribe, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. “You go out there, it just looks like grass.”

Who owns Northern Pulp? The B.C. company embroiled in Nova Scotia’s Boat Harbour controversy

After 50 years of having effluent pumped into their waters, the people of Pictou Landing First Nation in Nova Scotia are happy Northern Pulp has finally turned off the tap — a tap that ran up to 90 million litres of liquid waste directly into the harbour every day. The mill stopped producing in January, but the story of Northern Pulp isn’t over yet. On June 19, the company — represented by its B.C.-based owner, Paper Excellence Canada — was granted creditor protection by the B.C. Supreme Court.

Roberts Bank Terminal 2 would make Fraser River estuary a ‘giant parking lot,’ observers warn

When Tsawwassen Chief Ken Baird, whose ancestral name is swənnəset, looks at where the Fraser River meets the ocean, he worries about the effects of industry on the water that is a life source for his people. “It’s a real challenge to protect our land given all that is happening on the Fraser,” he said. “It’s becoming harder to be stewards of the Salish Sea.”

How a salt marsh could be a secret weapon against sea level rise in B.C.’s Fraser delta

Biologist Eric Balke was biking through Richmond, B.C., a few years ago when something caught his eye. He stopped at the dike and looked over to the other side — and saw a huge salt marsh expanding in front of him. He was surprised he’d never known it was there. “I’m a biologist. I should have known better,” he mused. “It’s like you build a dike and that’s the end of the world, that’s the end of the area we care about.” “But these marshes are truly the gem of the Fraser estuary.”

B.C. old-growth data ‘misleading’ public on remaining ancient forest: independent report

According to the B.C. government, 23 per cent of forest in the province is old growth, about 13 million hectares. Yet a new study found only three per cent of B.C. is capable of supporting large trees and within that small portion of the province, the ecologists found only 2.7 per cent of the trees are actually old as “old forests on these sites have dwindled considerably due to intense harvest.”

‘We’re going to have no protected land at all’: locals fight wetland development on Vancouver Island

A quiet wetland home to waterfowl and amphibians is at the centre of a clash between a conservation group and the local leadership of Qualicum Beach on the east coast of Vancouver Island. The green space in the corner of town, called the Laburnum wetland, is favoured by locals for recreation with walking trails a sort distance from the sandy beaches of Parksville. So when the local government decided to approve a 4-hectare housing project on the wetland, it spurred disagreement over what development and environmental protections in the region should look like.

Adapting to coronavirus: how B.C. First Nations balance food security and conservation

When Chief Byron Louis was a boy, he would walk into his grandmother’s root cellar and see a combination of garden and traditional foods. The 58-year-old, now chief of the Okanagan Indian Band, remembers that cellar well. He said it was filled with fresh produce from their gardens, tree fruits and canned vegetables and meats. “You’d look up into the shelves, you’d see saskatoons, you’d see huckleberries, you’d see soap berries,” he said, adding that the stocked cellar was necessary “so we could survive” since they didn’t rely on any outside supply.

B.C. First Nation ‘flooded’ with resource project referrals from industry, province amid coronavirus lockdown

In many ways, industry and services in B.C. have ground to a halt due to COVID-19. But according to an employee of the Skeetchestn Natural Resources Corporation, resource extraction proponents appeared to be operating as usual after the band office shut its doors and reduced community services. The office was “flooded” with about 30 referrals from industry and the provincial government between March 9 and March 23 regarding resource extraction projects, according to Joanne Hammond.

Coronavirus forces Wet’suwet’en to explore online talks on rights and title agreement

An all-clans meeting to discuss Wet’suwet’en rights and title could be moved online as the COVID-19 crisis upends plans for in-person talks, according to a spokesperson for the Gidimt’en. “We’re looking at possibly doing something online,” Jennifer Wickham told The Narwhal, saying discussions were also delayed by a death, unrelated to the novel coronavirus, in one of the communities. “I’m not sure what that’s going to look like but there’s definitely multiple things delaying the process.”

B.C. taxpayers on the hook for $1.2 billion in mine cleanup costs: chief inspector report

British Columbians are still on the hook for more than $1 billion in clean-up costs for the province’s mines, according to a new report from B.C.’s Chief Inspector of Mines. The recently released 2018 annual report says the province has secured $1.6 billion in bonds from mining companies to cover land reclamation costs but estimates the total cost of reclamation is $2.8 billion.

How the Wet’suwet’en crisis could have played out differently

Dozens of arrests. A week-long raid on Wet’suwet’en camps. Grainy videos of armed officers. Doors blocked at the B.C. legislature. Railways stalled across the country. For a conflict that began in a remote place, the impacts of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline are now reverberating across the nation. As tensions flare and politicians seize on the moment to criticize their adversaries, one has to ask: was this escalation inevitable, or could it have been avoided?

RCMP backtracks, says officers won’t stop journalists from reporting on Wet’suwet’en raid

Journalists reported being threatened for photographing police in tactical gear, and some were physically removed from the site. But on Thursday evening the RCMP wavered in the face of outrage to infringement on press freedom. "We may be already seeing some tangible results on the ground in terms of justice for reporters," said reporter Justin Brake. "At the same time, I don’t want to celebrate what’s happening. Indigenous people are still being removed by police from their unceded lands.”

How a resurgence in Indigenous governance is leading to better conservation

Even when governments have good intentions — like promoting conservation — they don’t necessarily move forward with plans for Indigenous territories in a productive or helpful way, according to Kelly Brown, director of the Haíɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) Integrated Resource Management Department. “A lot of work that takes place around management planning with the province or the federal government — they get all the work done, and then they come to us,” Brown told The Narwhal.

Inuit, reporters call out New York Times for 'trauma porn'

It’s not the first time Indigenous people have been burned by the media. Indigenous people and journalists regularly call out mainstream media for inappropriate wordplay, criminalizing victims and undermining violence against Indigenous people. Most recently, it was an article about Inuit in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, published in the New York Times, entitled “Drawn from Poverty: Art Was Supposed to Save Canada’s Inuit. It Hasn’t.” Many critics have been taking to social media to call out the New

Courts deny most First Nations injunctions

Shiri Pasternak suspected corporations likely won more injunctions than First Nations did in land disputes. But she was shocked after she and her fellow researchers began crunching numbers. The team at Yellowhead Institute, an Indigenous-led think tank, reviewed nearly 100 injunction cases. They found corporations succeeded in 76 per cent of injunctions filed against First Nations, while First Nations were denied in 81 per cent of injunctions against corporations.

'Where were you 10 years ago?' Musqueam activist asks climate strikers

“I recognize you’re here with open hearts and open minds, and I have heavy truths. One of those truths is that most people aren’t acting until it directly affects them. And how many women did we lose in that time? How much land did we lose in that time?” Musqueam land protector Audrey Siegl looked out at a sea of thousands of protestors gathered in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Oct. 25 as she asked them these hard questions. The crowd had gathered en masse for the chance to greet Greta

Singh talks reconciliation and affordability on election night

The room erupted in applause and dancing as party leader Jagmeet Singh entered the room and took the stage. His party lost 15 seats, but that didn't stop him from being full of energy. Singh centred reconciliation and affordability in his speech, starting with acknowledging the territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Kwikwetlem First Nations before thanking the volunteers and his family.
Load More Articles
Close