The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Mining, environmentalism and social justice in the Far North

On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, environmental activist Kevin O'Reilly talks about his work on mining and resource extraction issues in the Northwest Territories.

You could make a pretty convincing case that, historically, a central reason that 'Canada' exists in the form that it does is in order to facilitate powerful, colonial institutions in extracting resources from the land, in the form of furs, minerals, lumber, oil, gas, fish, and agricultural products. This function seems to have been reemphasized and reinvigorated by the current federal government. While there is a beleaguered but still significant manufacturing sector in some parts of the country, and there is of course the pervasive service sector that is common to the rich countries of the world, across much of the country taking resources from the land continues to be the focus of a great deal of money and effort. And across the country, despite many different forms of struggle across many years, that process remains very colonial, very harmful to the environment, and constitutive of a very unequal society.

Kevin O'Reilly is an activist with a group called Alternatives North, a multi-issue social justice and environmental coalition based in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. One of the organization's areas of work, and O'Reilly's own focus, has been pushing for sound public policy when it comes to mining and other sorts of resource extraction activities. O'Reilly talks to me about their general work around mining, about their interventions related to the remediation of the toxic Giant Mine goldmine, about the process around the proposed Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline, and about some of the specific features of being an environmentalist in the far north.

To learn more about Alternatives North, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.

You can also learn more about ways to listen or go to the show's page on rabble.ca. To learn more about suggesting grassroots groups and organizations for future shows, click here. For details on the show's theme music, click here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.