The Legend of the Spirit Bear Must Continue to Thrive in the Great Bear Forest

Target: Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper

Goal: Protect the Kermode Bear (“Spirit Bear”) from environmental threats due to a proposed gas pipeline.

The Kermode bear is also called the spirit bear because its rare white coat gives it a ghost like appearance. It is a subspecies of the black bear; one in ten of their population has white fur. There are only about 500 of these bears left in British Columbia and they inhabit the Great Bear Rainforest; a mysterious place abundant with life. This rich habitat is under threat by the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, the planned route for this project comes dangerously close to this untouched eden of life.

The spirit bear has been protected by the Gitga’at, one of the 14 groups that are part of British Columbia’s Tsimshian people of the Northwest coast. “Our people never hunted the white bear,” says Helen Clifton, a clan matriarch who lives in a small fishing village. For these people the ghostly bear represents the hardships of past times, its white coat is a symbol of the ice age when blankets of ice and snow covered the universe. The bear also symbolizes peace and harmony to them, so they always protected it as a legend of the past. Even when poachers and trophy hunters threatened the black bear, the Gitga’at always kept a watchful eye on the spirit bear, they still do.

Poaching is no longer a problem in the Great Bear Rainforest, but the construction of a pipeline could threaten the pristine habitat of the spirit bear and the surrounding life. This pipeline would pump toxic unrefined crude or bitumen from Alberta to Kitimat, crossing through this delicate habitat and likely resulting in an oil spill. This also puts the aboriginal people in danger who respect their environment and the surrounding life so greatly, as we all should.


Dear Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper,

The proposed plan for the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline would damage the delicate environment of the Great Bear Rainforest and the life that inhabits it. The Kermode Bear or Spirit bear inhabits this area, there are only around 500 of these rare animals left in that area.

This plan would also put the aboriginal Gitga’at people at risk who respect their environment so greatly, as we all should. For them the spirit Bear represents hardships past, peace and harmony. The Great Bear Forest is a pristine paradise rich with life, we cannot risk running pipelines through this ares as an oil spill would be fatal to the abundance of life that lives there and the last of the rare spirit bears.


[Your name here]

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One Comment

  1. Jacqueline Edmundson says:

    Please don’t destroy this beautiful pristine habitat for big oil. Destroying our land to feed China and India’s insatiable appetite for natural resources is stupid.

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