Alberta w Kanadzie jest jedynym obszarem kraju, w którym nie występuje szczur wędrowny. Obowiązuje tam zakaz posiadania owego gryzonia w domu, a wszystkie osobniki żyjące na wolności zostają od razu zabite. Wojna z gryzoniami prowadzona jest od wielu lat. Alberta stosuje wszelkie środki, aby zapobiegać przedostawaniu się tych istot gdziekolwiek.
When people talk about propaganda, politically charged images from war times come to mind. Posters pushing issues of racism, sexism and religious conflict spread around the world trying to influence the opinions of common people. My home province, Alberta was and is not immune to propaganda. But there is one vital difference between Alberta and the rest of the world, the war being fought in Alberta was not against the Nazi’s, the Communists or even the Americans but against the common brown rat. The propaganda and resulting physical war against rats in Alberta is absolutely one of the most peculiar things in Alberta’s history. But the legacy of hatred and fear towards the rat has had a lasting impact within Alberta’s borders: today Alberta is the largest rat free area in the world.
In the 1940’s and 50’s when the rat was beginning to show up on Alberta’s doorstep, the government took quick action to take control of the threatened infestation. Public education programs were started and a vicious propaganda campaign was launched. One of the most unbelievable laws put in place was the Agricultural Pests Act of Alberta in 1942. This law stated that if rats were on your property you had to destroy them and had to work to prevent further infestations. If you did not, you would be persecuted by the government and could face jail time. In the 50’s there was 600 rat infestations. By 2000 this number dropped to zero. Populations were removed by guns, explosives, bulldozers, poison, gas and even incendiary devices (fire). If a building was consistently having rat problems it was torn down and moved. Alberta has faced one or two infestations a year since 2000. A control area by the border was created and is still closely monitored throughout the year to watch for the presence of rats (Government of Alberta).
To this day, the Alberta government and its citizens take rats very seriously. If you see a rat you call the government at their special rat line 310 - RATS. Albertan’s like to joke that the government agency which will show up first isn’t the police or firefighters but the rat patrol. Finding a rat, even a dead mummified one, can put you on the front page of newspapers across the province. Alberta’s obsession with rats isn’t limited to those who lurk in the dark, but also to lovable pet rats. Keeping a domestic rat in the province is illegal. If you get caught, the rodent will be confiscated and you will be left with a fine of $5 000 CAD (15 000 zl). Even with a handful of confirmed sightings a year, Alberta maintains its rat free status because breeding pairs are very rare. But people are happy to dispute the province’s claim. Even the Wikipedia page on the brown rat can’t decide if rats live in Alberta or not. The graphic has been changed 17 times since December 12 last year.
Government of Alberta:
Ratatoullie: Alberta Blocks Rats
W południowej prowincji Kolumbii Brytyjskiej znajduje się kraj Okanagan- jest to miejsce gdzie tradycyjne wierzenia stykają się ze współczesnością. Jedno z wierzeń, które do tej pory istnieje wśród tamtejszej ludności to istnienie wodnego potwóra, który zamieszkuje jezioro Okanagan. Ogopogo-bo tak został nazwany jest obecnie “maskotką” kraju i jego stałą częścią, w którą nadal wierzy wiekszość okolicznego społeczeństwa.
British Columbia is thought to be Canada’s most beautiful province. This is a much loved part of Canada and one of the most popular destinations for domestic tourism. In the southern part of the province, you can find Okanagan Country. This large valley extends from just north of the US border at Osoyoos to Vernon 150 km north. The area is famous for its beautiful weather, beautiful scenery and being home to the only true desert in Canada. Internationally the area is becoming more well known due to the impressive selection of local wine that can be found. If you visit this area you will be bombarded by majority Canadian culture, but undeniable traces of traditional culture remains. Okanagan Valley is home to one of the best examples of the clash of modern day with the traditional beliefs of the first inhabitants. A traditional legend of the Salish People remains the very heart of Okanagan culture.
Long ago a man named Kel - oni - won murdered Old Kan - he - kan, a highly respected elder. Kel - oni - won was turned into a lake serpent as punishment by the Creator. A punishment of remorse and shame to last for all of eternity. The Lake Goddess gave him the name N’ha - a - tk, or water demon and left him in the company of the animals, but none would have him except for the rattlesnakes. N’ha - a - tk calls the waters of the Okanagan home, a place named for the elder he killed. It is said he can be found near Rattlesnake Island (AKA Monster Island), a small island that is believed to be the final resting place for those of those who dared to cross the Okanagan Lake without giving N’ha - a - tk the payment he required. And the price of crossing was high. N’ha - a - tk requires a live sacrifice for a promised safe passage across the water. Small animals would be placed into the water and left to down. And when they did, the journey across the lake would begin.
But things started to change for N’ha - a - tk after the arrival of settlers to the area in the 1800’s. In the beginning, the white settlers did heed the warnings of the local Salish people. They even patrolled the shores looking for the water demon. Anytime there was an accident on the water it was because N’ha - a - tk was not being given the respect he required and he would physically lash out. In modern times N’ha - a - tk has been suffering an identity crisis. He is no longer the fearsome water demon, but he has become a tourist gimmick. He even got third name change to go with the new schtick: the Ogopogo. While sightings on the Okanagan are rare, you are guaranteed to find him in the tourist shops and in the Kelowna city park.
Jednym z najbardziej tajemniczych terytoriów w Kanadzie jest Northwest Territories w skrócie NWT. Brak dróg sprawia, że podróż do zakątków w tym obszarze staje się wręcz niemożliwa.
Obszar NWT jest bardzo słabo zaludniony. Najbardziej charakterystycznymi miejscami tam są
Bear Rock Sinokle tworzący masywny otwór w ziemi, powstały po zawaleniu się podziemnej jaskini, The Fairy Meadow-jedno z najpiękniejszych i najniebezpieczniejszych miejsc na świecie, do którego dostać się możesz tylko bedąc doświadczonym wspinaczem skalnym oraz ogromne jezioro Niewolnicze, które zwane jest również jeziorem bez dna - głebiny jego są niezbadane po dzień dzisiejszy. Przejazdy samochodowe po tych terenach o dziwo są łatwiejsze zimą, kiedy zamarzają jeziora i rzeki i budowane są drogi zimowe, w tym czasie tamtejsza społeczność może gromadzić niezbędny do przeżycia towar.
Similar to the Yukon, the Northwest Territories is large, sparsely populated territory in the far Canadian North. Unlike the Yukon, the NWT has not become a strongly touristic location. This is not to say it isn’t worthy of being a destination. The territory is over a million squared kilometers of wilderness. It is not just unpopulated wilderness, but it is unexplored and unknown. Even roads are hard to find here. In the winter months the ice roads are the lifeline of the province. The NWT is often referred to as a mystery, because even to this day there are more questions than answers about the land.
The territory boasts several strange natural monuments. One is the Bear Rock Sinkhole. A massive oval shaped hole appeared when an underground cave collapsed, opening the surface of the ground to its aquamarine waters. The beauty of the area and the bright waters look inviting, but if you jump in, you will never be able to climb back out (assuming you can even get to the sinkhole as there are no roads there). The Fairy Meadow is another incredible yet dangerous location. It is one of the most remote locations in the world, and requires you to be an experienced rock climber to even hope to survive the trek. But if you do, a vast meadow full of wildflowers will open up to you in the middle of a steep and jagged mountain range called Cirque of the Unclimables. Another popular location is the Great Slave Lake. This lake is the largest in Canada and the tenth largest in the world. While this location relatively accessible when compared to the rest of the territory, no one knows how deep the lake is. The official estimate is 614 meters, but the trenches are unexplored and are believed to be much deeper. For this reason the lake is affectionately called the Bottomless Lake and will most likely keep its secrets for generations to come.
The issue with travelling to the NWT is the isolation and difficult travel conditions of the territory. Even during the warmer months the land can be impassable. There are a lack of roads due to the huge numbers of lakes and rivers, dense forest, and spongy tundra terrain which is impossible to build stable roads on. The roads that are there, are usually gravel roads of varying quality. If you are braving the drive, extra tires and gas are strongly recommended along with extra food and survival equipment due to the isolation and the lack of reception you could be facing if things go wrong. During the colder months it is much easier to travel because of the ice roads. The ice roads are built between December and April from the frozen rivers and lakes and they break the isolation within the territory, allowing for easy road trips and allow isolated communities to stock up necessary goods to keep their communities alive. While ice roads are considered to be safe, the biggest threat is the slippery surface rather than breaking through.
Where the Highway Ends:
Cirque of the Unclimables:
My name is Madison. I am from Alberta, Canada. I like to read books, go hiking and explore new cities. Even though I am Canadian, I don't watch hockey and I don't like snow. I graduated from The University of Lethbridge in 2018 after studying English Literature and Art History for six years. I have travelled to the Mexican state, Nayarit and to Tokyo, Japan. I hope to travel all over the world.