It has been sobering living in British Columbia to be bombarded just in the last few days with the news of breaking heat records, Lytton basically being burned to the ground, 700,000+ lightning strikes from fire clouds, with over 450 deaths in BC alone likely directly related to the heat wave.
No issue exists in isolation; the environmental havoc throughout this province reminds me that Lytton has a huge proportion of Indigenous families, including the Lytton First Nation band government.
The loss of their land to heat/fire reminds me then of the protests at Fairy Creek, mostly of Indigenous people and allies trying to protect old-growth (thousands of years old) forests on Indigenous lands.
Thinking of that reminds me of how little people get to learn about the vital importance of old-growth (not just newly planted) forests in regulating the climate and protecting the environment. Which ties right back into the (and I hate to use this word now) unprecedented heat levels in the past week.
Of course everything is shadowed by the continuous mass graves on residential school sites in this province, and how we never — and still don’t — prioritise Indigenous voices, not when their children were taken away from them and killed, not when they have been saying since the beginning, that we need to love and protect these lands.
The mass deforestation, especially of old growth forests (so few of which are left in this province), the connection to climate destruction, the grief I feel from Indigenous people as the lands they live on are slowly being destroyed. It will take thousands of years — if not more — to ever regrow/heal some of the environment that has already been ruined.
It saddens me to see the recent news and know that unless people collectively advocate, put pressure on our government, and effort in listening to/supporting Indigenous people, things will continue to go this way.