Over the past few months, this column has made a case for a closer look at Winnipeggers’ relationship with trees, both past and present. I have been able to consider what they do for humans, as well as their own agency, and to think about how they became so central to Winnipeg’s identity as a city.
When I was 12, my best friend’s dad died suddenly. One minute, he was this gentle, funny and active man, and the next, he was gone.
Trees are often caught up in human politics and drama on all scales. Every once in a while, these politics centre around a single tree. Such was the case of the Wolseley Elm.
In order to get a sense of how Winnipeggers were thinking about trees during the first couple decades of the 20th century, I returned to local newspaper archives.
Over the past year, I have been learning about the history of colonialism on the prairies, and I have begun to wonder: how do trees fit into the early settler vision for the plains?
A few years ago, while working as a research assistant, I stumbled upon a photo of an early version of the St. Boniface Cathedral and the Grey Nuns’ convent. My first thought was: Where are all the trees?