The boreal forest, also known as taiga, is a vast biome stretching across the northern regions of North America, Europe and Asia. The epitome of the great outdoors, it is characterized by dense coniferous trees such as spruce, pine and fir, with cold winters and short summers.
The boreal forest plays a crucial role in the global climate system and provides a habitat for diverse wildlife. In Canada, the boreal forest is central to the country’s natural environment, history, culture and economy.
“I’ve always been in the boreal forest, I was born and raised in the mountains,” Brenda says.
“I think the forest really tells the true stories of my people. It’s a very harsh and unforgiving landscape; blistering hot summers and brutally cold winters.
“I think about the fact that my people were real masters and experts to exist here for thousands and thousands of years. They didn’t do it piecemeal, they did it by thriving. And they did extremely well, otherwise I would not be here right now.
“People are often amazed that we do medicine walks in the winter. They’re stunned at the fact we can find anything. But for my people to live and exist in this landscape (there were no cities for them to go to and find a heated building), they had to have this knowledge. This is a real interesting piece to the story that we relate to our guests.”
“My grandmother often said to me ‘It doesn’t matter what illnesses have ever been, what illnesses we’re facing now or whatever comes in the future, the answer is always going to be in the forest no matter what happens.’”