Wild Northerner Magazine 2015/16 Winter Issue - Page 57

Q- You also said you live in the bush and heat with wood. This lifestyle, what has it done for you in your life?

A- At my home, we with wood heat, we have a septic system, a laundry line, a garden for vegetables and live on well water. I find that living this way grounds you to the earth a little more. You pay attention to the water that comes from the earth. You pay attention to the weather a little more because it will affect what you grow. It just makes sense to live this way.

Q- You've done a lot in life. You are a politician, writer, musician, and historian. What else do you want to do?

A- I still haven’t decided what I am going to do when I grow up. I would like to continue with my band Grievous Angels. We put out an album last year. I also want to continue historic research. I have just published my seventh book Children of the Broken Treaty. It tells the story of the Cree youth leader Shannen Koostachin, and her struggle for equitable education for children in James Bay. I am now in the early stages of research for a new book about the early days of the Cobalt silver rush. Northern history is often presented as a simplistic panorama of a plucky prospector hitting the great discovery which leads to settlers moving in and everyone more or less living happily ever after. The messy and sometimes darker pieces of our history are often air-brushed out. I am interested in the pieces of our history that didn’t seem to fit the stereotypical narrative. I am looking at telling an alternative history of how we came to be here in the north.

Q- The spring bear hunt is being expanded for 2016 and beyond. What kind of impact do you see it having in your riding of Timmins-James-Bay?

A- The cancellation of the spring bear hunt had a devastating impact on northern outfitters and local businesses. I think it will take some time to rebuild confidence in the regional outfitters with the reintroduction of the hunt. The other huge piece in terms of bear population is the abandonment of wildlife management by the MNR. This abandonment of northern wildlife oversight has detrimental effects on northern communities and on the incredible wildlife diversity of our region.