The Thomas Berger Mackenzie Pipeline Inquiry Exhibit will be found in the Roderick Mah Center for Continuing Education during the week of September 8 and throughout the 2014 Under Western Skies conference. The inquiry exhibit features first person stories from thirty young people who spoke out during the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry led by Justice Thomas Berger in the 1970s. Inquiry raises questions about large resource projects that continue to spark debate in Canada (e.g., Keystone and Northern Gateway pipelines). The exhibition, which features images by Calgary photographer Linda MacCannell, was designed over five years with the help of more than 200 elders in 25 Dene and Inuvialuit communities of the Northwest Territories.
Drew Ann Wake, the curator of the exhibition, will be leading interactive seminars for Mount Royal classes during the week of September 8th, 2014, in concert with the Under Western Skies 2014 conference. Students read first-person stories and debate four key issues: protection of the Porcupine caribou herd, protection of the Beaufort Sea, land claims, and the promise of jobs. This is a unique interdisciplinary opportunity that spans the interests of many faculties and programs. It has been highly successful across Canada for students in law, natural resources, sociology, English, economics, environmental science, and journalism, just to name a few.
Students are asked to put themselves in Judge Berger’s shoes and negotiate recommendations for Canada. Finally, they compare their ideas with those of other students from ten other universities across Canada.
Just as many students will have the opportunity to attend the Berger inquiry exhibit during the conference, one third year journalism class will have the opportunity to interact with Justice Berger in person on the morning of Tuesday, September 9, just after his keynote address at the conference (Ross Glen Hall, 10:15 a.m.). Students will have a chance to question Justice Berger in a mock press conference about the inquiry, linking it to present day discussions about the sustainability of pipeline projects. In the weeks that follow, these students will also be exploring how this inquiry exhibit represents an intersection between journalism and social science research and consider what it means to translate knowledge about key environmental events.