Iqaluit has been the heart beat of the global discussion regarding climate change over the past couple of days. People we want to interview are everywhere and we have been connecting with them.
Yesterday, the Lafontaine-Baldwin Symposium - sponsored by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) - wrapped up with a town hall meeting around Siila Watt-Cloutier's keynote speech. It was an engaging meeting with people speaking their minds and holistically pulling together the themes mentioned throughout the day. We were fortunate enough to also have an interview with ICC's co-chair, John Ralston Saul, and he and I had a great conversation about western rationalism and indigenous thought in the context of climate change and globalism.
This morning, Zacharias and Michaelle Jean, Canada's Governor General, had an engaging and personal conversation about issues related to Inuit culture, climate change and future generations in the Arctic. Michaelle told us about her spiritual connection to the land and people through the sharing of "country food" with elders and her belief in the importance of indigenous knowledge in the climate change debate. She was passionate and earnest about the issues and no doubt, like John Saul and Adrienne Clarkson has an affinity with the people of the north.
We finished off our month long shoot by sitting down with Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the national Inuit organization of Canada. Mary laid out the complex history of how the seal controversy has adversely affected Inuit culture and communities, going back to the 1970s to present. It's a complex story with complex implications, which shows how Inuit have been unfairly judged by animal rights organizations for practicing a sustainable way of living that goes back thousands of years.
Indeed, by speaking with a diversity of people, we're getting to the heart of the issues, and we thank everyone we've met for their time, openess and true insights. You've invigorated our project and have given it life.