Episode 71: Water and Anishinaabe Territory
The history of the Winnipeg River watershed and Lake of the Woods is a story of loss, survival, colonialism, and ecological injustice.
Between 1893 and 1895, the Norman Dam was installed on the Winnipeg River in Treaty 3 territory upstream of the Dalles 38C Indian Reserve to power local lumber mills. This resulted in the raising of the Lake of Woods high water level by 1.8 metres, and with its released water, the random flooding of downstream manomin fields, wildlife habitat, and winter ice roads that helped sustain the Anishinaabe peoples. In 1958, the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario commenced operations on its large-scale Whitedog Falls Generating Station downstream of the Anishinaabe territory. Trapped between two dams, unregulated sewage from the nearby town of Kenora and waste from the neighbouring Ontario-Minnesota Pulp and Paper Company mills poured into the waters of a river that had nowhere to go. The resulting contamination of the waters and fisheries that had sustained generations of Anishinaabe peoples led to the abandonment of the Dalles 38C community less than 20 years after the completion of the Whitedog Falls station.
This episode features an interview with Professor Brittany Luby and Chief Lorraine Cobiness about the new book Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory.
Luby, Brittany. Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2020.
Sainte-Marie, Buffy, “My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying,” 2017, Track 4 on Medicine Songs
“Soft Piano” by Blue Jay Studio
“Success” by Joystock
“Kenora Powerhouse” Source: Brittany Luby, 2018.
Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 71: Water and Anishinaabe Territory” Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. 12 April 2021.
Latest posts by Sean Kheraj (see all)
- Nature’s Past Episode 72: What’s Next for Canadian Environmental History? - July 12, 2021
- Nature’s Past Episode 71: Water and Anishinaabe Territory - April 12, 2021
- James Scott: How to Write Like a River - February 28, 2021
- The First Post-War Oil Pipeline Hearings in Canada - February 9, 2021
- 2021 Melville-Nelles-Hoffmann Lecture in Environmental History: Brittany Luby and Chief Lorraine Cobiness - February 8, 2021
- Top 5 Posts of 2020 - January 5, 2021
- Nature’s Past Episode 70: Environmentalism and the Company of Young Canadians - September 2, 2020
- Interview Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times - August 12, 2020
- Nature’s Past Episode 69: Environmental Racism and Canadian History - July 29, 2020
- Whose Nature? Race and Canadian Environmental History - July 7, 2020