I wrote that at a time when I was reflecting on an intense period of work arising from my sense of personal history, not long after I'd escaped the city to raise a seventh generation of my family in the home place. The sheer rapaciousness of human activity in southern Ontario’s countryside — the naked erasures of both heritage and our capacity for a secure, local food supply — compelled me to investigate. For forced by food shortages to emigrate, six generations ago my Scottish ancestors settled in Southern Ontario, 140,000 square kilometres of stolen land that for millennia — and until not long before — had been homeland to successive waves of indigenous peoples. That land would become part of what is officially called the “Greater Golden Horseshoe,” source of 20 per cent of Canada’s wealth, including, until recently, over one-third of our country’s class 1 farmland.
Meanwhile when driving down through the mid-western United States, I begin to fully comprehend the ubiquity of the cookie-cutter pattern of short-term thinking imposed by its interlopers on this continent — Turtle Island, as it is known to its indigenous peoples — and the extent of those erasures. With growing clarity, sharpened by the evidence of climate interruption colliding with incessant human need, greed and desperation, I curse our collective madness, the squandering of our plunder, and I lament the meagre inheritance of future generations.
Jackson’s Point, 2016