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.
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.