17,000 Kilometers through Canada
This two-part documentary takes us on a journey to the most remote locations and to the cultural centers of a country full of magical beauty and hope for a better life. And yet a lot of it is deceptive. Snapshots from a Canadian summer reveal how big and varied this country is.
The first part of this two-part travel report takes us to Canada's rugged north, where the people live in daily defiance of nature. On Fogo Island in the North Atlantic, our reporters meet fishermen of Irish and British extraction who are struggling to cling onto their traditional livelihoods. They're proudly unwilling to give up their simple, tough lives or their identity. "There has always been a strong will to survive here, and it still exists today," says Phil Barnes from the Fogo Island Co-operative Society. An eight-hour flight to the north, in the Arctic ice, a region almost six times the size of Germany and home to just 30,000 people, it becomes clear to us that there's no place on Earth that can isolate itself from the hubris of civilization anymore. Inuit hunters are on their way to one of the most inhospitable and yet most magical places on Earth. People at the northernmost end of the world have been coping with a merciless environment for 8,000 years. But today their lives are being shaken up by an alliance between the forces of Western progress - mining companies and Greenpeace. "You Europeans really believe all the nonsense you're told," says Charlie Inuarak, the mayor of Pond Inlet on Baffin Island. "And then you issue bans and quotas that affect our lives and that's wrong." It's a criticism we hear voiced all over northern Canada, not least in Old Crow in Yukon, 160 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle.