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Clayoquot Sound: Diverging Interests of Native and Environmentalists

Mark Hume has a terrific article in the Globe and Mail (or here) about the politics surrounding aboriginal involvement in the environmental movement in BC. For example:

One of the ironies in Clayoquot Sound is that the native company now fighting environmentalists was saved from financial collapse two years ago by Ecotrust Canada – a leading environmental group.

Ian Gill, president of Ecotrust, said a 20-month management agreement with Iisaak ended just this week, with the company now financially strong enough to go it alone. Like the others, he is not surprised by the enviro-native clash.

“The allegiance of first nations and environmental organizations over the past 25 to 30 years has frankly been a bit of an uneasy one,” he said. “You know it hasn’t always been one where there is an absolute congruent goal. I think what that relationship has been historically based on is a common agenda … of [seeking] environmental justice and social justice.”

Mr. Gill said environmental groups and native bands often joined forces with different end objectives, with one seeking to stop logging to save the forest and the other wanting to stop logging to preserve future options on land subject to treaty claim.

The article is worth a careful read.

Also: Environmentalists renew calls for opposition to development in Clayoquot Sound (Canadian Press)

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