History Slam Episode 135: The Nature of Canada

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By Sean Graham

With the federal election campaign in full swing, the environment has emerged as a prominent issue for the parties vying to form the next government. The news of hundreds of young Canadians pledging not to have children until Canada takes significant steps towards addressing its carbon emissions highlights how environmental policy continues to sway voters.

For environmental historians, the ever-increasing importance of environmental policy has further highlighted the need for all Canadians to better understand the nation’s relationship with nature. The country’s imagination and the image it projects to the rest of the world is one where open space, beautiful vistas, and majestic wildlife are pristine and easily accessible. The reality, however, is not always as worthy of a commercial.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Colin Coates, one of the editors of the new book The Nature of Canada. We chat about the book, its approach to Canadian environmental history, and the process of putting it together. We also talk about the role of nature in informing Canadian identity, understanding the environments role in reconciliation, and Canadians’ relationship with nature.

Sean Graham is a contributing editor to Activehistory.ca and the host/producer of the History Slam Podcast.

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