Nature's Invitation is a documentary about Canada's quest to get new immigrants in touch with nature.
Nature’s Invitation is a documentary by by Canadian filmmaker Brandy Yanchykfollows new immigrants as they explore Canada’s national and provincial parks, as part of new outdoor wilderness programs developed by Parks Canada and Alberta Parks. It also shows new Canadians, as they get involved in nature programs in the Albertan cities of Edmonton and Calgary. The goal of these initiatives is to help newcomers become educated about the wilderness available to them in Canada by taking away barriers that stop them from exploring. These barriers include the cost of transportation, accommodation, park fees, fear and lack of knowledge. “It is incredibly important that everybody gets out and learns about nature,” says Robert Bateman, Canadian Wildlife Artist and Environmentalist. “New immigrants if they want to really partake of Canada, devour Canada, become a bit more Canadian. I think that nature is absolutely a must.”
The program’s objective is to help new immigrants gain access to the social and health benefits of being in nature. “It is a challenging endeavour to go to a new country and to begin a new life,” explains James Bartram, the Education Director of The Palisades Stewardship Education Centre in Jasper National Park. “So I think the mental and physical health benefits of taking some time to get out of the cities and come and visit some of these spectacular wilderness areas. It’s a real opportunity for new Canadians to rejuvenate themselves and be sustained and feel a sense of pride and ownership.”
Another aim of these programs is to encourage new immigrants to think about getting jobs with Canada’s national and provincial parks and to create future stewards of the land.