Fellow tree planter: Native Toby Awashish


 Source: RÉCIT national de l'univers social

Why am I working as a tree planter?

Because it’s a good way to make some decent money while working in nature. Here I’m in my element; my ancestors always lived in the forest and they knew how to exist in harmony with nature, thanks to the abundance of natural resources.

Since the arrival of European settlers, however, First Nations people have been pushed farther and farther north in reserves, while the southern part of the province developed and urbanized. We’re lucky there’s any forest left in which to practise our traditional activities of hunting and fishing! I think it’s disrespectful of the government to give forestry companies the right to exploit the forests, when we have had to fight (and still do) to maintain our Aboriginal rights in forest territories.

The Algonquin were here long before the Europeans arrived. The forests therefore belong to us too, don’t you think?

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