In a rugged knot of mountains in
northern British Columbia lies a spectacular valley known to the
First Nations as the Sacred Headwaters. There, three of Canada''s
most important salmon rivers-the Stikine, the Skeena, and the
Nass-are born in close proximity. Now, against the wishes of all
First Nations, the British Columbia government has opened the
Sacred Headwaters to industrial development. Imperial Metals
proposes an open-pit copper and gold mine, called the Red Chris
mine, and Royal Dutch Shell wants to extract coal bed methane gas
across a tenure of close to a million acres.
In The Sacred Headwaters, a
collection of photographs by Carr Clifton and members of the
International League of Conservation Photographers-including
Claudio Contreras, Paul Colangelo, and Wade Davis-portray the
splendour of the region. These photographs are supplemented by
images from other professionals who have worked here, including
Sarah Leen of the National Geographic.
The compelling text by Wade Davis,
which describes the region''s beauty, the threats to it, and the
response of native groups and other inhabitants, is complemented by
the voices of the Tahltan elders. The inescapable message is that
no amount of methane gas can compensate for the sacrifice of a
place that could be the Sacred Headwaters of all Canadians and
indeed of all peoples of the world.
The Sacred Headwaters, is a
visual feast and a plea to save an extraordinary region in North
America for future generations.
Published in partnership with the
David Suzuki Foundation.