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Environmentalism

When Entrusted To My Care was first published in 1966, Grant MacEwan raised environmental issues not yet broadly discussed by the media and general public. MacEwan's greatest passion may have been uncovering the stories of Western Canadian history; however, environmental awareness became part of his writing, particularly in his later years.  MacEwan's decision to write on issues of conservation and other related topics can be directly related to industrial development in the post-World War II era. When Entrusted To My Care was published again in 1986, MacEwan sternly issued a sobering reminder about how little progress had been made regarding conservation. Environmentalism reflects his personal philosophy - advocating conscientious use of resources - and reveals his love for nature. MacEwan's writings on the topic were informative and educational yet they also contained serious criticisms about greed and waste. He advocated responsible stewardship by all for all.

MacEwan's second edition of Entrusted To My Care consists of a careful balance of both positive and negative observations. MacEwan believed some progress had been made in understanding and remedying human impact on the environment, yet certain problems continued to persist and, moreover, new problems arose. His objective when writing this book was to awaken concern for the care of Canada's resources, sending a clear message to young Canadians.

His passion for the environment come from his father and Dr. William Motherwell, an expert on Saskatchewan agriculture. Dr. Motherwell, who would later become Canada's Minister of Agriculture, encouraged MacEwan to write about protecting Canada's soil, grass, water, trees, and other resources.  MacEwan's pen, thought Motherwell, could be an excellent tool for spreading the message about conservation. MacEwan's father shared a similar message: a person's motivating purpose was to leave things better than he found them. MacEwan's father was an avid tree planter and appreciated nature in all of its forms. Young MacEwan recalled his father trying to avoid stepping on insects. A seemingly impossible task, the example nonetheless demonstrates his father's respect for the natural environment. Entrusted To My Care, covering a number of environmental topics, is MacEwan's best effort to carry his father's legacy and awaken a greater concern for our environment.


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