It’s strange how much my world has changed, just as I thought I had left it behind.
The telegraph has come to Canada. It’s a little machine the taps out clicks and clacks, and men listen to these clicks and clacks, and translate them into words, like how we translate bird calls and tracks into information. They have long wires that stretch across so much land – more than you could walk in 30 days – and they can send these click and clacks on those wires to the other end of the Earth! It is amazing what you can build with the metal and skills the white men brought. But I am not convinced that this change is entirely for the better.
The white men are running out of metal. They are digging it out of the veins of the earth, tearing it out from the ground. There are silver mines north of the Great Lakes, iron mines at Trois-Rivieres, and coal mines on Cape Breton Island. How can this be good for our planet, to turn the land inside out and scrape out the metals it holds? What happens to the forest, the grassland, the rivers that used to run over these mines? The coal mines run deep underground, blasted open by dynamite, and the tailings (waste debris) of the iron mines leach heavy metals into the delta of Trois-Rivieres. Right now, no one is expecting any effect of the mining, but I am very concerned. Once they have mined everything from the surface, how deep will they continue to dig? Once dug up, these materials will not be replenished for hundreds, no, thousands, of years. And how will we make telegraphs then?
There are some upsides to being dead. In my tribe, I would never have experienced this technology. Now, I float around and I see public lighting in the streets of Montreal, Toronto and Halifax; I see factories making mowers, ploughs and threshing machines for farmers; I even see photography, which I still don’t understand, capturing the land. There is a lot of wood being cut to build great ships, and I see plans to builds a machine that sews clothing far faster than by hand. I am worried for the forests of our land. It seems we are producing an endless supply of ships. If the land were a people, I would say they are enslaved and bade to do the will of the merchants. We have logging, farming, fishing, mining, and ships incessantly coming and going from our harbours. The only domain we have not yet spoiled is the air – who knows, they may start selling and signing treaties over that too!
Such are my worries from the spirit domain. I just hope that the people currently alive in this country realize the consequences of their actions before it is too late, and their children are left in, as the late Mr. Issac Brock used to say, “a right mess”.