2020 is on the way out and the CICK News journalists and producer chose their favourite interviews from this year.
Chris Gareau chose his interviews with Independent Investigations Office (IIO) Chief Civilian Director Ronald J. McDonald. The IIO is an organization that conduct investigations into police-related incidents of death or serious harm to determine whether or not an officer may have committed an offence. Chris also chose his interview with Chief Superintendent Warren Brown, the North District Commander of the RCMP about the RCMP's history, present and future in the North and especially in relation to the many First Nations communities the RCMP serves.
Chris chose an interview with Dr. Rakel Kling from Northern Health about a statistical report released accounting many (but not all) numbers of overdoses in northern communities in BC. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the area of northern BC also suffered an epidemic of drug overdoses, many of which were due to drugs being cut with dangerous substances due to the boarder closures. Lastly, Chris chose his interview with Nathan Cullen, the MLA for Stikine region, who found himself in hot water when he was given the riding seat for the New Democratic Party over Anita McPhee, a Tahltan councillor and Indigenous woman, who, according to the NDP's own equity mandate, should have been elected to run for the riding.
Producer Pam chose three interviews from this year that stood out. First, her interview with UNBC Professor of Biology Ken Otter about the recently discovered "new" call of the White Throated Sparrow. Professor Otter's research and report was very welcome non-COVID-19 good news in the summer.
Secondly, in July, on the island of Haida Gwaii in the midst of the pandemic, the Great West Fishing Lodge and Queen Charlotte Lodge (QCL), two high-end fishing clubs, chose to open their business against the wishes of the Haida people who use the waters to sustain food. Videos of QCL fishing boats antagonizing the small fishing skiffs used by the Haida fishers went viral. Pam spoke with Adeana Young, a representative of the G̲aandlee Guu Jaalang or “daughters of the rivers" and Haida Matriarchs who declared their land and waters sacred, and that the lodges were bringing Canadian and American fishermen to their waters without consent or care for newly appointed COVID-19 protocols.
And lastly, one of our favourite 2020 interviewees was Dr. Charles Menzies. Menzies is a professor of Anthropology at UBC. In November, he released a video of his latest research, the study of Mati or (mountain goats) that live on an island off the coast of British Columbia near the Gitxaala Nation community, of which he is a member. These are the only mountain goats in the world that live on an island.
Daniel Mesec brought us back to our very first broadcast in March of 2020 with his interview with Katherine Brock, a local Smithereen to get her opinion on the pandemic which was about to change our lives. It is astounding to listen to how we thought this pandemic was going to roll out. Second, Dan spoke with Len Vanderstar, a biologist and avid mountain climber. He has been researching the herd of caribou that live in the Telkwa range for decades. The proposed Telkwa Coal Project which would reinstate a metallurgical mine would highly disrupt the livelihood of these animals, whose numbers have dwindled over the past 20 years.
Dan finished off his choices for best of the year with two "streeters." The first was at the Black Lives Matter rally that took place in Smithers in June of 2020. There was a large, supportive presence of the Wet'suewt'en community who stood with the Black Americans and Canadians to protest police brutality in Black communities.
Lastly, we finished with Smithereens' thoughts on the US Election. Dan took to the streets on Nov. 21 to ask Smithers what they thought about the most recent election.
We had a blast. 2020 was a hard year, but we loved it. Stick to the end of the show for outtakes from Pam, Dan and Chris!
The featured clip is a portion of Pamela Haasen's interview with representative of the G̲aandlee Guu Jaalang, Adeana Young.