In search of the deep spiritual roots of today’s environmental crisis, Sobhanā ​Dilani Hippola ​traces the footsteps of a pioneer spiritual ecologist, Gilean Douglas, from an old miner’s shack in the Cascade mountains to the majestic land of Channel Rock here on Cortes Island.  Gilean’s life and nature writings offer insight into the importance of dwelling close to wilderness and protecting sacred places.

Episode #2: Finding Gilean Douglas & The Protected Place

by Sobhanā Dilani Hippola | Deep Roots

Giliean Douglas

Gilean Douglas, Cortes Island’s best known ecological philosopher:

“Whatever comes, I shall have had this - I shall have known what it is to work with my hands and brain on my own land and for my own sustenance. I shall have known what it is to work for the community, by labour traded back and forth and by supplying vegetables. I shall have known what it is to live completely alone with nature, for sometimes a whole winter will go by without a single human visitor.

That is very good. It means that I can learn to know myself and live with myself, that I can discover the ways of silence and beauty. There are long thoughts then and, I believe, good ones …”


Credits / Special Thanks To:
-Jill Milton, Howie Roman, Libba Pinchot, Gifford Pinchot III, Lalita Calabria, Kristen Scholfield-Sweet
-Ann Mortifee ( - reading quotes from ​the writings of Gilean Douglas
-Ken Hanuse​ (Klahoose First Nation)​ - reading excerpt of ​Kwelte-sqet legend from​ GIlean Douglas’ book,​ The Protected Place
-Music by Cris Derksen (, Jessita Reyes & Nature Tribe
Top photo credit: Gilean Douglas lived close to the Gorge, on Cortes Island, where Gerry Thomasen took this photo (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)