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“We need to respect and protect our mother earth with unyielding tenacity:” Robin Lohnes

Dominion Diving marine support facility

The importance of indigenous history month to me is about increasing awareness of indigenous history, and the contributions made by the indigenous community towards building this country. Also, with the recent unfolding of the unfortunate events from the past, the only way forward is to work harder towards recognising and respecting all ethnicities and cultures to live in harmony. And by believing in it, we at Dominion Diving help improve the lives of our indigenous community by providing them with employment opportunities. 

My younger brother Matt Lohnes and I are members of the Eastern Woodland Metis Nation of Nova Scotia. Together as business partners we run a diving and marine services company that was started in 1969 by my father, that he proudly named Dominion Diving.  

We provide primary marine support where we employ a variety of personnel here including female divers, indigenous male divers, and a female indigenous Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) pilot technician. The company is a fully indigenous owned corporation that was established independently 52 years ago.  

Belonging to the indigenous community, importance of nature and how closely we all are connected to each element of the earth was something we were taught from a very young age. These cultural values make me feel closer to my heritage and made me think deeper about the environmental welfare. And hence, I strongly believe in respecting our environment and keeping the health of our oceans, lakes, and forests in the highest priorities. 

Forget not, Canada is a country with the some of the vastest unspoiled natural resources in the world. But with an increasing population and the increasing need for a greater draw on our resources to prosper and live, our first instinct should be to protect our mother earth with unyielding tenacity. Partially because of the nature of the work we do, in, on, and around the oceans and lakes primarily in Eastern Canada, we have grown to have a huge respect for the natural resources. 

As I continue to speak on the eminence of heritage and elements, I should mention that it has also been important to our family to acknowledge the amount of damage that has been done and hence we strongly try to propagate sense of balance to our future generation. 

One quote my father was famous for saying and applying to his approach to almost every obstacle was: “Don’t fix the blame, fix the problem!” My Dad’s statement may seem like an obvious statement similar to “Don’t put garbage on the ground, put it in a garbage can”, but his message was much deeper. There is always a source to any problem, maybe it’s a person or an action or a particular substance that is having a negative effect on something else. Going to the root to fix it, is always the solution! 

The solution is quite often not contained in the item or person of blame, that may only be one small component in investigation to get to the solution. And since hearing this, I have always made it a point to keep my cultural values and roots of my community alive instead of waiting for someone to bear the torch. I do this by spreading awareness about the importance of nature and how we all are connected to it. If we respect the mother nature, she will give us in abundance and if we don’t we are the ones at loss.