This week on Terra Informa, we’ll hear two stories about Haida Gwaii; one about a non-profit working to bring renewable energy to the community and another about the man behind cutting down the sacred Golden Spruce.
Renewable Energy for Remote Communities
If you live in the city, try to think back to the last time you flipped a light switch and nothing turned on. Now, imagine depending on a plane full of diesel to come into town before you get power back on again! If you live in a remote community in Canada today, this is likely the energy system you rely on. For you, moving towards a more local renewable energy system is about more than just climate issues.
In an interview we originally broadcast in 2012, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips speaks to Alia Lamaadar , the former CEO for Cleantech Community Gateway. We’ll learn about Cleantech Community Gateway, a non-profit working to help the communities of Haida Gwaii build a new energy system.
If you were living in British Columbia in 1997, you may remember the story about forest engineer Grant Hadwin and the Kiidk’yaas or Golden Spruce.
It was a rare Sitka spruce tree that grew along the Yakoun River. Its glowing golden needles sparkling against the lush green forest. Regarded as sacred to the Haida Nation, the tree met a tragic and completely surprising fate. Hadwin cut down the Kiidk’yaas in protest against the logging industry.
Hadwin confessed to his horrific act and was summoned to court, but failed to appear. In fact, Hadwin has been missing since February 14, 1997 and is presumed dead. But his story lives on and the symbol of the Golden Spruce has evolved. An award-winning book called The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant has now inspired a documentary film called Hadwin’s Judgement, directed by British filmmaker Sasha Snow.
Natalee Rawat spoke to the two before the film’s debut at Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival.
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Photo by Stef Olcen