Yukon, 2025. Dempster Highway, about 100 km south of Eagle Plains.
“I used to come here when I was your father’s age.
“I often came here to drop off or pick up people that went on canoe trips in this area.
“That doesn’t happen much anymore. The magic is gone.
“It may be hard for you to imagine, looking around now, but this country, even at the beginning of your life, was incredibly beautiful and unspoiled.
“All these roads and cut lines that you see every mile or so, with drill sites and pump stations, didn’t exist when you were a baby.
“It makes me sad that you never had the opportunity to see it before all this.
“Just 15 years ago you could stand right where we are standing now and imagine that you were the first person ever to set foot on this spot.
“Caribou used to migrate through this area in the tens of thousands. It was an absolutely awe-inspiring sight.
“Depending on the season you could smell the life on the land, the flowering plants and the berries.
“That rotten egg smell that you smell now, wherever you go, is hydrogen sulphide, deadly to humans and other animals.
“It is incredible to realize that this area had remained unchanged since the last ice age over 10,000 years ago and then, in just the last 10 years… this.”
“How did this happen?”
“The government of the day, corrupted by the money and power of the huge multinational energy companies, ignored the wishes of the people and allowed this to occur.
“They promised jobs and money.
“Now the jobs are gone, the money has migrated outside, and we are left with this.”
“Grandpa, how could you have allowed this to happen?”