Innu activists descend the Grand River (Churchill) after the Lower Churchill project is announced, 1998. Photo credit: Alexis Lathem

Damming Muskrat Falls: Land and River Protectors in Canada Recharge the Debate on Mega-Dams

Almost twenty years ago I made an eleven-day canoe journey down one of North America’s grandest rivers, the Grand River in Labrador, Canada. Our guides were four indigenous elders who had grown up traveling the river. We listened to their stories. We ate porcupine and goose and salmon. The trip ended at Muskrat Falls, where we hauled our canoes up a trail that had been used for generations by the region’s indigenous people. Today, Muskrat Falls is the site of a 12-billion-dollar mega hydroelectric project; the falls no longer exist.

They Came for the Children: Truth Commission Sheds Light on Canada’s Genocide Against Indigenous Peoples

Imagine a village with all its children gone. For aboriginal peoples all across Canada, this was their lived reality, not the stuff of imagination. The story of what happened to the children – who were forcibly removed from their families and sent to military-style camps that were euphemistically called “schools” – has at last been told, compiled in the monumental six-volume Truth and Reconciliation Report released in 2015.

Marching against dam

Innu Continue to Protest the Plan Nord and Romaine River Hydro Project

On the morning of June 10th, a group of Innu people from the community of ManiUtenam, near the Quebec City of Sept Isle, set out on a 360 kilometer march towards a Hydro Quebec dam construction site on the Romaine River. Dressed in florescent vests, they departed from an encampment at the entrance to the reserve, beside Route 138, the only major road in the region, where the group has maintained a continual protest since the end of April.


Assessing the Legacy of Norman Borlaug: Did the Green Revolution Prevent Famines?

Norman Borlaug
In the last month, following the announcement of the death of Norman Borlaug, we have been reminded of the sweeping claims that have been made about the successes of the green revolution. Borlaug was an agricultural scientist who, under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation, developed dwarf varieties of wheat and rice that are widely reported to have produced miraculous yields, and which "saved the lives of millions of people" in the developing world who would otherwise have starved.


Why Carbon Trading Won’t Save Us From Catastrophic Climate Change

Sugar Plant in Florida
One of the hopes attached to a regime change in Washington was that a new administration would at last take action on climate change. The refusal of the nation responsible for the largest share of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, and with the world's largest economy, to participate in the international treaty on climate change, has isolated the United States from the international community and has stymied the world's ability to address the problem.