In Nebooktook, Mike Parker once again pays homage to our wilderness heritage and those who, in days gone by, revelled in a life in the woods. In today’s world, primitive wilderness places are more “visionary” than “actual. ” The call of the loon is being drowned out by the industrial roar of “men who dig up and tear down and destroy.” Newspaper headlines bemoan a myriad of environmental concerns and issues almost daily as beleaguered politicians and bureaucrats, entrusted to responsibly manage natural resources and safeguard the environment, are taken to task.
In order to keep us grounded in the environmental riches we once possessed and where we should be heading, Parker reminds us of the beauty and power of the wilderness. He goes beyond mere documentation and offers a heartfelt call to see the wild places of Nova Scotia as more than a source for pillage and profit. Nebooktook, which in the Mi’kmaw language means “in the woods,” is an eclectic mix of history, heritage, ideology, nostalgia, philosophy, poetry, and prose. Set in Nova Scotia, the more than three hundred early-twentieth-century images appearing here could just as easily have been taken in any number of wilderness areas stretching from the Adirondacks to the Rockies. The book’s message is equally timeless and universal, spanning centuries and drawing upon scores of voices from a variety of disciplines and professions. Nebooktook is reflective, introspective, meditative, and thought-provoking. While it decries the practices and doctrines that wantonly destroy and pollute, more importantly the book celebrates the traditions, natural beauty, and intrinsic values of our woods and waters.