Title

The Wealth of Wilderness

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Source Publication

The Nature of Canada

Publication Date

5-1-2019

Editor

Colin M. Coates, editor ; Graeme Wynn, editor

Publisher

On Point Press, University of British Columbia Press

City

Vancouver, Canada

ISBN

9780774890366

First Page

167

Last Page

183

Department

History

Publisher Statement

Snow-capped mountains. Pristine lakes. Crystalline glaciers. Big-sky sunsets. “Canada” is synonymous with nature, and throughout history people have been drawn to it for its bounty – from fish and furs to gold, wheat, and lumber.

Intended to delight and provoke, these short, beautifully crafted essays, enlivened with photos and illustrations, explore how humans have engaged with Canadian nature and what those interactions say about the nature of Canada.

Tracing a path from the Ice Age to the Anthropocene, some of the foremost stars in the field of environmental history reflect on how we, as a nation, have idolized and found inspiration in nature even as fishers, fur traders, farmers, foresters, miners, and city planners have commodified it and tried to tame it. They also travel lesser-known routes, revealing how Indigenous people listened to glaciers and what they have to tell us; how the weather is not what we must endure but what we make of it; and how even the nature we can’t see – the smallest of pathogens – has served the interests of some while threatening the very existence of others.

The Nature of Canada will make you think differently not only about Canada and its past but quite possibly about Canada and its future. Its insights are just what we need as Canada attempts to reconcile the opposing goals of prosperity and preservation.

Enthralling and engaging, The Nature of Canada will appeal to anyone interested in Canadian history, national identity, and the future of the Canadian environment. -- publisher

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