Silence and Stories: Labour, Marijuana, and Rural British Columbia

Rural British Columbia; Photo by Dr. John Bodner
Rural British Columbia; Photo by Dr. John Bodner

Most studies of the marijuana industry prior to legalization examined the consumer side of the sector. Dr. John Bodner, a Professor of Folklore at Grenfell Campus, was interested in learning more about the labour, lives, and livelihoods of those who illegally produce it. To do so he travelled to rural British Columbia (BC) where the production of illegal marijuana serves as a major part of the underground economies of many small communities.

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Chasing the Gray-cheeked Thrush

A Gray-cheeked Thrush; Photo by Darroch Whitaker
A Gray-cheeked Thrush; Photo by Darroch Whitaker

The Newfoundland Gray-cheeked Thrush is a songbird found breeding across the island, part of the broader breeding range of the Gray-cheeked Thrush which extends across North America along the northern fringes of the boreal forest, and even into Siberia. These island birds have a story which stretches from Gros Morne National Park all the way to Sierra de Perijá National Park in Venezuela, where some spend the winter near the border with Columbia. But their story has not been so happy since the 1980’s, when thrush numbers began to decline on the island – unlike their mainland cousins who seem to be doing okay. Dr. Ian Warkentin, a Grenfell Campus environmental scientist, is working with collaborators, such as Gros Morne National Park’s Dr. Darroch Whitaker, to try and find out why their numbers have dropped.

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