Members of the Bateman Foundation have been producing a podcast that encourages awareness and respect for nature and intertwined Indigenous values.
Marketing and communications head Lauren Ball and video producer Chantal MacDonald strive to create an immersive experience with their Value Nature podcast, which pushes listeners to better understand, value and connect with the natural world.
“We really do need to be looking more towards traditional knowledge and that idea of balance and equilibrium that can help us shift our collective consciousness,” said Ball, adding that Victoria is an especially nature-rich place to produce an environment-oriented podcast.
The first episode, recorded at Point Ellice House Museum and Gardens with executive director Kelly Black and Tsawout First Nation artist Perry LaFortune, discussed the importance of native arbutus tree restoration and the past’s role in the present.
For the second episode, Ball and MacDonald met with WSANEC nation artist Sarah Jim and Tsawout First Nation elder Earl Claxton, Jr. at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, to learn about native plant restoration and preservation of Indigenous culture.
“We can’t talk about colonization without talking about the culture that existed before,” MacDonald said.
“Right now, we are going through a massive awakening, and revitalization efforts in culture, language and environmental protection all go hand in hand.”
To find content for their third episode, Ball and MacDonald spent hours getting lost along logging roads en route to Fairy Creek, showing up unannounced to interview an array of old-growth protesters.
Set to be released the last week of July, this episode will feature Pacheedaht First Nation elder Bill Jones and Olympic bronze medalist and protester Pamela Leila Rai.
MacDonald stressed the importance of both actively protecting nature and respecting Indigenous knowledge, with the Western world formerly dismissing First Nations’ understanding of local biodiversity.
She also mentioned the invasive colonial practices of harvesting, mowing lawns and growing personalized gardens contrasting with learning about native plants and letting them grow in harmony with the land.
“We really need to take a step back from our own belief systems and understanding and consider what was here for time immemorial.”
Instead of being the main speakers in their podcast, Ball and MacDonald prefer letting their passionate and knowledgeable guests take the floor to discuss environmental preservation.
“We hope to inspire people to protect nature,” said MacDonald.
“And to just generally live more sustainably and thoughtfully,” added Ball.
To listen to their first two podcasts, visit batemanfoundation.org/podcast/.
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