Still from preview of Wild Canada on CBC-TV, which showcases human interaction with and shaping of the environment dating back to ancient times.

CBC Documentary Showcases Landscapes Designed by Pre-Contact Indigenous Peoples


From the prairie grasslands that nurtured bison, to the salmon-rich rivers near the Pacific coast, Indigenous Peoples in what would eventually be called Canada took an active hand in shaping their environment, according to a new documentary series premiering on CBC-TV.

In the vast grasslands between Manitoba and the Rocky Mountains, creative burning kept trees at bay so that bison could have much more roaming room, CBC News said. Meanwhile, in the west, the Heiltsuk people were adept at transplanting salmon eggs from one river to another, enabling the nourishing fish to proliferate throughout river systems.

Shot in ultra-high definition, the four-part Wild Canada “takes viewers on an exploration of some of our country's most spectacular landscapes, and intimate encounters with the animals that live there,” CBC News reported. It was produced by nature documentary filmmaker Jeff Turner, whose credits include such series as the BBC’s Planet Earth. Hailing from British Columbia, Turner has always wanted to film his home country, he told CBC News. Others spearheading the film have worked on the BBC series Human Planet, another series that profiles the close relationships between humans and their environment.

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The series, which debuts at 8 p.m. on Thursday March 13, is part of CBC-TV’s The Nature of Things and showcases the ways that humans have been influencing their environment since time immemorial. The main protagonist of the series, though, is nature itself. 

More information can be found at CBC’s Wild Canada web page, along with many interactive features and behind-the-scenes information on the making of the series, which involved shooting 500 hours of footage on 20 cameras. 

In addition, true to the juxtaposing of modern tech capability with ancient knowledge, there is an app for that. The WILD CANADA App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is free until Friday, when it gets priced at $3.99. The interactive app is a virtual digital coffee table book featuring “lush, high-impact HD video and photography from some of Canada’s most remote locations, as well as 360° panoramas, immersive soundscapes, fly-throughs, interactive infographics, and a wealth of exclusive Wild Canada material available nowhere else,” according to the series website


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larrymoniz's picture
Submitted by larrymoniz on
Nice public relations piece but likely bears little resemblance to reality. Indians damaging one form of nature to benefit another species rings false to me. If this is supposed to be in pre-history, A: How would they know; B: PaleoInians traditionally took down trees by girdling them with controlled burns as they did for longhouses and palisades. To clear enough trees for bison to roam would have required a monumental effort. Just my thoughts on the subject. Final thought: Never believe what you see in a television program as it's primarily meant to entertain and sell advertising rather than inform.