David Suzuki attends the Assembly of First Nations National Climate Gathering

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

Some of my earliest memories are watching CBCs The Nature of things with my mom in the late 1980’s before social media existed. Most people are familiar with the iconic voice of David Suzuki but is anyone really listening to what he is saying? I was taught at a young age that it is our responsibility to care for the land and the environment. I have always made an effort to do my part. I hope to share this knowledge with our youth. Recently I was given the amazing opportunity to meet and talk with award-winning geneticist and broadcaster David Suzuki. We were at the Assembly of First Nations National Climate Gathering. Here is what David Suzuki had to say.

“Im here in Whitehorse because I'm interested in the indigenous response to climate change and what they can do to help us get out of this mess. I mean it seems to me that the only guidance we've got now in terms of the very uncertain future we've created, and it's not just climate change, it's the mass extinction of animals. It's the destruction of the oceans. Changing the chemistry of the oceans.

Humans are living in a way that is destroying the very things that keep us alive. I think that we've got a lot to learn from the guidance of indigenous people who are still wedded to the land and say they have a responsibility to care for the land. The dominant society only looks at land as an opportunity, a resource, but there's no built in responsibility to care for that land.

You know, you just have to look at Alberta and look at the oil industry that has taken so much out of the soil and there's no responsibility at the end when they're done, they just move on. There's over 100,000 abandoned oil Wells that are leaking methane into the atmosphere. And there's no sense. Nobody is saying "we better fix that up" Just fly over the tar sands that have been exploited.

I mean, that is such a mess. Any indigenous person would look at that and say, I weep for the earth. All I'm saying is that we have to get leadership from the indigenous community. So when you look at something like the Unist'ot'en Camp in Wet'suwet'en territory, they're giving the dominant society, a gift. They're saying, our job here is to take care of the land. They're saying we have a responsibility to care for the land. If we learned the lesson from them, we would all do a better job all across Canada.”

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