Category Archives: Canadian Environmental History

Changing Ecologies

In Alan MacEachern’s article, “Changing Ecologies: Preservation in Four National Parks, 1935-1965,” MacEachern attempts to shed light on an important time in Canadian environmental history that is consistently overlooked and regarded as a time in which nothing happened. According to MacEachern, the notion of the years between 1935 and 1965 being of little consequence to Canadian Environmental history is factually inaccurate. Read the rest of this entry

Environmental Racialization in Mid-Scarborough

In Cheryl Teelucksingh’s article, “Environmental Racialization: Linking Racialization to the Environment in Canada,” Teelucksingh analyzes a historical case-study of Mid-Scarborough, Ontario in order to explore the concept of environmental racialization.  Before delving into the historical case-study, Teelucksingh first discusses the theoretical aspects of the term environmental racialization, differentiating it from the narrower problem of environmental racism. Read the rest of this entry

“Rivers of Sawdust”

The article “Rivers of Sawdust” by R. Peter Gillis is an analysis of the political maneuvering and legislation regarding the practice of dumping saw mill waste into waterways in the Ottawa Valley. Gillis kicks off his article by making the observation that the same issues that draw criticism today and that we view as a ‘modern’ problem, are in fact similar to issues faced by Canadians in the late nineteenth century. Read the rest of this entry

The Appropriation of Landscape in Lower Canada, by Colin M. Coates Chapter 11

In today’s society, it is no longer difficult for a person to distinguish between the country and the city. In fact, many differentiate them based on the abundance, or lack thereof, of nature still present. In the country one still finds rolling hills, sporadicly placed trees or abundant forests, wildflowers, and natural waterways flowing down a seemingly natural path. In the city, concrete buildings replace trees, and four-lane highways replace fields, with little space designated for parks, and those that exist have undoubtedly been rehabilitated to preserve a minimalist amount of nature. However, what many Canadians have never given a great deal of thought to, is how much of Canada’s landscape came to be. Coates proves in his case study that many cities are in fact quite similar to the abundance of countryside in which Canada is covered in, and that both have been greatly influenced and “improved” over the centuries by those who immigrated, and entered into the colony. Read the rest of this entry

Embodied Histories Joy Parr

It is no surprise that human beings learn by doing. When thinking of this phrase one can reminisce on all of the experiences they’ve had thus far that shape the world around them. For example one might think of watching someone walk as a toddler and clumsily mimicking those actions until they’re strongly moving on their own two feet. Another example of this would even be listening to those around you to understand and partake in a language being spoken.  This experience helps us to relate and figure out the world in which we live in, making meanings by doing and systematizing our consciousness through physical action. This notion is exactly what Joy Parr aims explicate within Sensing Changes Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday. Read the rest of this entry

Making a Garden our of a Wilderness by Ramsey Cook

There is no question that currently humans have had a huge impact on the local environments. Being at Acadia, it is not very far to look to see humankind’s impact on the local environment – the dykes, the botanical gardens, the University, the farms and the wineries – have all been altered by people. Cook discusses the way that the Acadians of Maritime provinces of Canada had drastically altered the local region with their limited numbers. The changes in the area have, and will continue to drastically affect the world around us. Read the rest of this entry

Canadian Environmental History: William M. Denevan’s article

William M. Denevan, in his article “The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492”, argues that the Americas were not untouched before contact with the Europeans.  Using written archeological and other sources, he asserts that the “Indian” populations of North, Central and South America had great impacts on their environment prior to contact with Europeans. Read the rest of this entry

The Ecological Indian

There are a number of different points that Darren J. Ranco make in “The Ecological Indian and the politics of representation” which are important to take into consideration when taking into account the validity of the arguments made in The Ecological Indian by Sheperd Krech III. Ranco explains:

1)    How Krech passes judgement rather than analyse the current state of Indian identity practices

2)    Shows how colonisation and different US policies relating to resource extraction have devastated their lands.

3)    Show how Indians have had to fight for their rights because the courts recognize people such as Krech as experts in relation to Indian affairs. Read the rest of this entry