Pod Recap – Big Stick Energy – What is Mountain Culture with Nahanni McKay

Tori Anderson & Renee McCurdy May 30, 2022 270

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Big Stick Energy – E31 – What is Mountain Culture?

Big Stick Energy is back on The Out of Collective platform with your exclusive undomesticated outdoor podcast. Tori and Renee bringing to light such a killer conversation, that it needed to be broken up in to two parts. Mountain culture. What does that even mean? We all subscribe to the concept, but how did it start? As they dive into this convo, they welcome this week’s guest Nahanni McKay, an artist and photographer from Banff. But enough gabbin, let’s start recappin!

Nahanni McKay

Nahanni is a Metis-Cree artist and photographer hailing from the Treaty 7 Territory in Alberta, Canada. As Tori and Renee put it her work highlights the human impacts on surrounding natural environments. And it focuses on how we all need to learn to co-exist with wildlife and the decolonization of land. Not sure exactly hat that means? No worries. That’s what we’re here for!

Nahanni and her art both at home in the wildscape of Canada. (photo cred IG @nahanster)

Nahanni breaks it down for us what it’s like discovering her native roots. Having to prove who you are to the government, turned to be an eye opening moment. Immigrants given free land when they got to Canada, but those who were here first, need a card? That’s a trip. Education about indigenous people and colonization is seriously lacking and trust me it’s not just Canada. Why? Cause it s pretty fucking bad look. But if you think of it even education is a colonial structure.

Check out Nahanni’s art work here : https://www.nahannimckay.com/

But colonialism while it may have changed over the centuries and decades, still isn’t gone. Is marketing today’s colonialism? Targeting and identifying specific groups to feel and act a certain way within a defined space? Buy this. Go there Be that. Sounds like a little place we call “mountain culture”.  And while the needle may have moved slightly to be more inclusive, a deeper look often reveals tokenism more so than it does actionable inclusion.

Just Another Mountain Culture Asshole?

This entire episode is heartfelt and deep and raises plenty of questions. Not all have answers. Why do we even name mountains? And who gets that right? See what I’m sayin? As a white male cis-gendered American, my ability to actually contribute to these ladies conversation is limited. But? I don’t have to. I can just listen. And so can you, full episode below and stay tuned for another intense episode next week!

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