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Jonathan Taggart May 27, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Canada.

British Columbia, Canada 2008

Jonathan Taggart (b.1985, Canada) is a Vancouver-based photojournalist and a founding member of the Boreal Collective. He received his BFA in Photography from Ryerson University in Toronto and has since exhibited internationally, and in Canada with the support of grants from the Arts Council of Ontario. He is a Scotia Bank Magnum Workshop Scholarship recipient and a National Magazine Award nominee, and has worked for the likes of Greenpeace Canada and Free The Children. Jonathan continues to document social and environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest, with particular focus on those impacting First Nations communities. His current work on Indigenous Foster Care was recently featured on the New York Times Lens Blog.

About the Photograph:

“In 2008 I was working with a First Nations (one of many names adopted by Canada’s indigenous peoples) group a few hours north of Vancouver. Their communities were spread out along 200-odd kilometers of flood-prone logging road that could be traveled at about 40km/h, tops.  The isolation faced by these reserve communities is tremendous – the hamlets littered with broken vehicles that are cheaper to replace than repair – and they remain incredibly poor despite numerous hydro power and forestry operations in and around their territories. Walker (above) is waiting by his VHF radio for a call from his uncle – there’s no cell phone reception and no power grid, so this is how they are forced to communicate between their communities. It’s a long-term project: there is a treaty being negotiated that will (in theory, anyway) improve living conditions in this valley, and I intend to go back to document how things have changed when self-governance is in place.”