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"This is Indian Land"

Updated on November 8, 2011

I wrote this a few years back ... I think it is still relevant though.


    Perhaps one of the saddest traits of being human is that we do not always appreciating what we have. Most of us are caught up in the hectic flow of life, thinking about our past while we try to figure out our future. We do not always have the time to stop to think and fully appreciate what we have.

    Census Canada recorded that there are 11, 410, 046 people living in Ontario as of 2001. Almost half of us (residents of Ontario) are living in Toronto (4,366,508) and Ottawa (Ottawa Hull – 827,854). I get the impression that most of these people hardly leave the city in order to see the rest of the province or country for that matter. To describe or to define Ontario as the heart of the "industry sector" as most people do, would do it great injustice! Although it is the center of business and commerce, Ontario has so much more to offer. The small ‘motto’ on our driver’s plate (“Yours to discover”) is a small hint into understanding this province and ultimately this country.

    “This is Indian Land”! I first saw the big uneven white letters, painted on the brown background of a metal bridge on the north side of the highway while I was driving from Sudbury towards Sue St. Marie several years ago. I travel every summer now and every time I head north-west towards Lake Superior and beyond I pass that bridge. It is clearly visible, to the right (north) while you drive on highway 17 from east to west. I smile every time I drive by – it makes me happy – it reminds me why I love this province so much. In Ontario and ultimately in Canada one can find some of the most beautiful places on earth; untarnished nature.

    Most of us (Canadians) live in urban areas; most of this country’s land is strange to us – while in Pukaskwa National Park I only saw one other group of people and they were Germans. And when I was hitching a ride back to my car after backpacking in Killarny Provincial Park for several days again it happened that a family of Germans picked me up. The following day when I was driving into Killarny town I saw a lady walking on the side of the road with two of the biggest backpacks I had ever seen. I pulled over and offered her a ride. The lady was in her fifties and she had also been backpacking in Killarny. I noticed a strange accent and asked where she was from. The answer stunned me. She said she was from New Zealand and that she came here to back-pack. I immediately felt sad that I can hardly find anyone that I know to come with me on my road trips, while others come here from New Zealand to ‘explore’ our vast wilderness knowing that our world is become scarce of such places.

    Canada is a ‘dreamland’ for many around the world. Americans often go “up-north” to fish and hunt; Europeans come to see ‘the wild-life’ (as I was told) while the native people here try to maintain and protect the land of their ancestors. Thus, ‘we’ the city dwellers have I believe a certain ‘duty’ to understand our country as it really is – Indian Land, and if not explore it at least respect it.

    The great tragedy though, is that most of us do not realize how fast our ‘up-north’ is changing due not only to global warming (an issue known to most people now) but also clear-cutting and mining. Companies such as Domtar are rapidly changing the face of our northern parts of the country. They alone have stated that they have shipped ‘approximately 1.3 million tons of pulp in excess’ of their internal requirements in the year of 2005. The biggest problem is that not many people are witnessing or seeing the hills covered in stumps, nor the bears scrambling through garbage bins due to the fact that they are now in closer proximity.

    Thus, if we are to blindly satisfy the demand of the world for our natural resources soon enough we will be left with empty hills and many more species of animals and birds heading towards extinction. It will be a heavy cost to pay and if that happened it would simply be because we do not understand and we are not aware of what we have.


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    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Haha ... I do love our conversations Mr. Spirit Whisperer.

      I have not successfully expressed what I meant. There is a thought I am failing to convey and you are understanding it as something else.

      I am thinking something about competing wills and illusions ... there are many wolves out there: our illusions overlap one another. I can will things into existence or I can will things out of existence. We all can.

      So, with all that in mind: is your illusion only affected by you? Is your illusion the only one out there? Or mine, for that matter?

      Enough for now. Thank you.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      "All" is the correct word in my world. For me Mogadishu or anywhere else in space and time cannot exist as separate from mind. It is the mind that creates what we perceive. And I say both beauty and ugliness lie within the perceiver who chooses what wolf to feed.

      The video is another treasure I have added to my collection from you.

      Thank you.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "all the beauty and the ugliness we perceive lies within" - "All" is too strong of a word I think Mr. Whisperer.

      Can you head to Mogadishu and write to me about beauty from there? (I am implying nothing here.)

      Thanks for dropping by! Have a great week-end!

      P.S. You might enjoy this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1uJidwo77s&fea...

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      In my experience I tend to find what I look for and that is why I take care about where I aim my attention. Yes, there is much to criticise for those who look for things to complain about but there is also much to be thankful for and to praise. I think your hub succeeds in reflecting this.

      You are very lucky to be so close to so much beauty but then again what has luck got to do with it. It matters little where a person lives because ultimately all the beauty and the ugliness we perceive lies within.

      Thank you.

    • lobonorth profile image

      lobonorth 

      7 years ago

      Great hub - I wonder what part greed plays in the hurry to take today what either can never be replaced or will take many, many years to regrow? Clear-cutting seems to be particularly destructive as well as being ugly to behold. It is sad that our values place money above all else. Hopefully reservations will be able to protect what is left of their land and what is good in their lives.

    • mquee profile image

      mquee 

      7 years ago from Columbia, SC

      Very well said. I have heard from many people how beautiful Canada is. Clearcutting is going on here as well and nobody seems to care.

    • gg.zaino profile image

      greg g zaino 

      7 years ago from L'America- Big Pine Key, Florida

      I'm intrigued... thank you for sharing this write. You were correct in you assumption- "It is as relevant today as several years ago... more so I believe!"

      This planet has no owners, and we are all just passing through... the past and future aren't important - not so important as the present and enjoying our great blessing the earth.

      Peace brother ~ greg z

    • profile image

      Pachuca213 

      8 years ago

      sounds beautiful

    • lelanew55 profile image

      lelanew55 

      8 years ago

      I have been to Winipeg, Manitoba several years ago in the cold winter, It was completely covered with snow. I didn't get to see much but I enjoyed the snow. we humans need to stop building everywhere and cutting down trees. We need to realize we share the planet with all the other life forms.

    • Amata76 profile image

      Amata76 

      8 years ago from Central Illinois

      And this is why I miss Canada SO MUCH!!!!! :( I miss the wild beauty! I know what you mean about the deforestation as I grew up in British Columbia. It is good of you to bring this subject to a new group of people who may not know about it. Perhaps we can all work together to save our beautiful Canada! I am planning a trip back home to BC this summer and I plan on taking my girls out to see all the beautiful nature my hometown has to offer (I lived out in the sticks lol)

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for this interesting Hub. I visited Canada in 1997 for two weeks but it was a business trip with little free time so I only got to see Ottawa and a bit of Montreal. Loved the country and the people though.

      Thanks again

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I enjoyed reading about your perspective on Canada and your lifestyle, MH. I love traveling to Canada and have always enjoyed how it is not like the US. I have been to Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Winnepeg and Quebec City and each trip has been a complete joy. You have a great country. I hope it remains unique.

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