Cathleen’s letter in the Citizen on removing the bear/salmon sculpture.

Posted by on Mar 24, 2013 in Blog

Cathleen’s letter in the Citizen on removing the bear/salmon sculpture.

Iconic symbol of the Canadian wild

Letter to the Editor, Ottawa Citizen, March 23, 2013

Re: Widow irate at plan for Stanley Cup monument, March 19 and Widow might OK moving sculpture, March 20.

Let me get this straight. Canada’s National Capital is planning to remove a sculpture – Bruce Garner’s Territorial Prerogative – an iconic symbol of the Canadian wild, and replace it with a monument to a trophy?

For those who don’t know the importance of bear and salmon, I had the good fortune to live for some years very close to the Adams River in the interior of B.C., the location of the world’s largest run of sockeye salmon. Every year, thousands of salmon swim up the Fraser and Thompson rivers from the Pacific Ocean to the stream where they were born, where they mate, lay their eggs and die.

The dead and dying salmon are dragged into the woods and eaten by bears (bald eagles eat them too). The results fertilize the trees, which in turn protect the rivers and keep them cool enough for the salmon to return. This is the basis of a centuries-old sustainable economy.

The salmon-bear-forest system is not just an historical artifact. It is a living system which can continue as long as we don’t mess it up (that’s part of why indigenous people see it as sacred). A sculpture expressing this relationship is a constant, and necessary, reminder of our need for humility and respect in our use of what we call “natural resources.”

The only reason I can think of for replacing this symbol of national importance with a monument to the Stanley Cup is to make sure that the cup actually has a presence in Ottawa, regardless of the success of our hockey team.

This is simply pathetic.

Cathleen Kneen, Ottawa

Cathleen speaks up for bear/salmon statue.