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    Conversations on ecological justice, healing, and decolonization

    If those of us who care about the earth are to have a chance at actually stopping its destruction, we need to expand environmentalism way beyond its conventional boundaries.

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    Monkeywrench murder mystery

    The Slickrock Paradox, by Alberta-based mystery author Stephen Legault, wraps its twisting plot around one central mystery. There are crimes for the protagonist to solve, including more than one murder, but they are almost peripheral; the core riddle is the absence of a body.

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    Trespassers on their own land?

    Economic development based on resource extraction and other high- impact activities continues at the expense of traditional Indigenous land-based economies. While military, oil and gas, and uranium industry development in traditional Dene, Cree, and Métis territories offers some wage labour, it displaces traditional labour such as hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering.

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    The spoils of an undeclared war

    The presence of drug traffickers in Laguna del Tigre hasn’t affected oil production. In fact, there’s a renewed interest from oil companies in Guatemala’s oil.

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    Boiling point

    The lack of safe drinking water in First Nations communities is just one example of the long-standing underfunding and neglect that has led to the substandard living conditions that plague First Nations communities across Canada.

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    Fractured land

    The first question asked when the issue of fracking on Kainai territory is presented to new ears is often, “How could this happen?” It is a difficult question to answer, but there are four major players: the gas and oil companies; government, both provincial and federal; the Blood Tribe chief and council; and the Blood Tribe member population.

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    Awaiting justice

    For three decades, the traditional territory of the Lubicon Cree in northern Alberta has undergone massive oil and gas development without the consent of the Lubicon people and without recognition of our Aboriginal rights.

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    Flooded and forgotten

    Around much of northern Manitoba, “hydro” is a dirty word, and for good reason. These projects have reconfigured the landscape of the entire region, drying whole rivers and engorging lakes.

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    Stepping up for future generations

    In summer 2011, several people from communities in northern Saskatchewan walked 820 kilometres from Pinehouse to Regina to raise awareness about the storage and transportation of nuclear waste in the province, and to oppose a proposed nuclear waste dump near Pinehouse. This is an excerpt from their radio interview with Don Kossick following the walk.

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    Canadian mining on trial

    As a court battle ensues between the Salvadoran government and Canadian mining company Pacific Rim, the disappearances and murders of anti-mining activists are a tangible manifestation of the lack of respect for individual and collective rights in the face of highly lucrative development projects.

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    The next generation of land defenders

    Meet the youth at the heart of a movement to raise awareness about a proposed nuclear waste dump near their communities. These five young people participated in an 820-kilometre walk from Pinehouse to Regina, Saskatchewan to oppose the storage and transportation of nuclear waste in the province.

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    The colour of food

    Farm workers and their unions have always been at the forefront of the battle to reduce the toxic pesticides served on our fruits and vegetables, fighting for environmental food standards before most consumers were aware of the concept of organic food. Yet today, many food activists seem concerned solely about directly supporting their local farmer, with farm workers’ conditions absent from the seasonal garden tour map.

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    ‘Play in the Hay’ and other agricultural ventures

    While there is a long history of some agri-tourist ventures like pick-your-own fruit farms, contemporary agri-tourist ventures are responding to specific contemporary realities: urban ignorance about food production and the economic need to instill a love and appreciation for local food in local customers.

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    Oil and water don’t mix

    On September 8, 2010, more than 500 people marched through Dakelh Territory in downtown Prince George, British Columbia, in a protest led by the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.

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    Fracturing solidarity

    When representatives from environmental organizations took the stage last May together with logging industry groups to promote what they billed as a new deal to protect Canada’s boreal forest, the announcement came as a surprise to Indigenous peoples across the country.

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    We say no

    Last November, hundreds of people gathered in the community of Tlet’inqox to thank the land defenders and praise the federal government’s decision to turn down Taseko Mines’ Prosperity project, a proposed gold and copper mine on Tsilhqot’in territory in northern B.C.

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    Breeding disease

    Many Canadians first learned of flesh-eating disease or necrotizing fasciitis in 1994 when then-Bloc Québécois leader Lucien Bouchard lost his leg, and very nearly his life, to the affliction. Media reports of Bouchard’s brush with death described the disease as “extremely rare.” It was at the time, but has since become more commonplace.

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    Commodification

    Consumer culture is having significant repercussions on our physical and mental well-being. One hormone-injected cheeseburger or the placement of an offensively loud advertisement where a tree once stood will not singularly ruin one’s health. But all of these intrusions into our physical and mental space, experienced routinely and en masse, are devastating to our collective quality of life.

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    Cultivating community

    Nestled in a small park in the bustling central Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale is a community garden project that is improving the health of the environment, the neighbourhood and the gardeners involved by reducing the social isolation and homogenization that often come with gentrification.

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    The Aeolian Recreational Boundary Institute

    Barbed wire fences are ubiquitous on the prairie landscape. They symbolize domination of the land, ownership, entitlement and control. Wire fences are a western settlement paradigm that was brought to North America by settlers and land surveyors who sought to tame the limitless territory with mathematical delineations of latitude and longitude and monetary measures of land value.