Beneath the Great Bear Rainforest

Radical Tides

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For the better part of four years, I have been held captive by the area on the north-central coast of British Columbia, dubbed The Great Bear Rainforest by environmentalists in the 1990’s. It is an immensely powerful global icon of interchange between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and is among the few last remaining threatened cultural wilderness-landscapes on this planet.

It is also ground zero for the equally powerful interchange between indigenous and settler ontologies–ways of knowing. It is a place where beautifully symbiotic relationships are forged between First Nations and colonial settlers, and also where tense, combative, and polarizing relationships with deep wounds struggle to heal.

It is the resting place of a dying economy, and the birthplace of a new generation of people who are building new relationships with the land. They are not synthesizing what western economic loyalists might call ‘progressive new business models’. No, they are creating…

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