The Canadian Prairies

 

 

 THE  PRAIRIES  

 

During our trip to the Maritimes, we met some Canadians from Alberta

speaking French. We wanted to check it and that's the reason for our trip this year.

Until 1869, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta were part of Rupert's Land and owned by the company

of Hudson Bay, which was the fur trade and employed mostly French. In 1869, Rupert's Land was sold to Canada.

Arriving in Winnipeg, we discovered the existence of Louis Riel and the Metis people.

In 1869, Canadian Prime Minister did not want the English of Ontario to be surrounded by Quebec on one side

and by a majority of French territory to the other. He sent a planes walker on site but residents have not

accepted his presence and he went to get one of them who had studied in Montreal and who spoke English.

This man was called LOUIS RIEL and was to be the leader of the rebellion. He would create the state of Manitoba

in Canada rather than join United States because he wanted his people to retain their religion and language.

Louis Riel stood at the head of Manitoba for 2 years. His head was set to price by Ontarians

and he exiled himself in the United States.

In 1883 he obtained American citizenship and in 1884, a delegation of the Métis of Saskatchewan found him

teacher in Montana and asked him to come and defend Métis interests with the Canadian government.

Louis Riel accepted. This will be the defeat of Batoche, capture, trial and hanging of Louis Riel in Regina.

PLACES VISITED

The buffalos of Manitoba

 Saskatchewan and Batoche

Prince Albert National Park

Prairies National Park

Alberta and Edmonton

Wheatland and Drumheller

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump

Waterton National Park

 

 

 

WINNIPEG and surroundings

 

 

 

Winnipeg is the capital Of Manitoba with about

700,000 inhabitants. The town is built at the confluence of

Red River and Assiniboine River.

The largest square of Winnipeg is called

LOUIS RIEL

in honor of native son

 

 

The remains of the cathedral of St. Boniface destroyed

by fire in 1968. Saint Boniface is separated of Winnipeg by

the Red River. The city has 12,000 inhabitants francophone

and a French college by XIX century.

 

 

South of Winnipeg we are in a French-speaking region.

Unrelated to our French city

 

 

Saint Malo is much larger than La Rochelle.

There is a beach and even the Lourdes grotto.

The notable of the tourist information office did not know the

 existence of Saint Malo in France.

He beleived us when we presented Charles's passport.

 

 

In October, the beach at Grand Beach Provincial Park is

 no longer attracting the citizens of Winnipeg.

 This is the domain of birds and the American white pelican.

 

 

About thirty kilometers from Winnipeg, we find

 the protected marsh Oak Hammock with its

interpretive center. In early September, it was

the area of Canada geese.

 

 

We returned at the end of our trip and we have seen

 snow geese, white and smaller than the barnacle.

 

 

Richardson's ground squirrel inhabits grasslands,

 but that is found today only in protected areas like

Oak Hammock because of galleries they dig into the earth.

These charming little creatures were decimated by farmers.

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The buffalos of Manitoba

 

 

 

 

 

In Riding Mountain Park, we saw plains bison for the first time.

In the past millions of bison lived in the plains and fed the people

 of the first nation before the arrival of Europeans.

we can only be sad now knowing this animal exists only because

 it is protected in national or provincial parks.

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SASKATCHEWAN

 

 

Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan and the place of trial

and execution of Louis Riel in 1885.

We visited the tourist information office and even Parliament

 to visit the hall of the trial and the place of execution.

Strange,

 Louis Riel is unknown in this city except by visiting the

Museum of the Mounties who speaks a little but that does

 not say if he was imprisoned in this place.

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BATOCHE

 

Batoche is where the battle which opposed the Métis people to the Canadian Mounted Police.. Louis Riel wanted to make

the capital of the interim government of Saskatchewan. 300 Métis and First Nation members were opposed

to 800 Canadian soldiers well equipped between 9 and 12 May 1885. The Métis were led by  Gabriel Dumont.  He was able to

escape to the United States after the war and was even part of the team of Buffalo Bill.

 

 

We arrived at the site around noon. We asked to have a tour in

 French but unfortunately, this visit took place on the morning.

The reception was then called to a French speaking guide and

we have been supported for at least 3 hours.

We were driven all 2 in an amphitheater and we had a

private projection of Batoche.

A big thank you for this welcome.

 

 

The cemetery of Batoche at the site of the ancient battlefield

 

 

In the foreground, the rectory which contains different objects

dating the XIXth century. In the background, the church

and on the path our nice Canadian guide.

 

 

The belt Métis

 

Its long fringes were used for Métis sewing kit when they went to the buffalo hunt.

It was also a key ring, a first aid kit, washcloth, towel and, in emergencies,

it could even serve as a bridle or saddle blanket.

 

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NATIONAL PARK PRINCE ALBERT

 

 

We had a warm welcome to the tourist information office of the City of Prince Albert. We wanted to stay inside

Park located approximately 80 km from the city and our charming hostess spent many phone calls to

accommodate us in Waskesiu, the accommodation center of the park. Each morning we enjoyed the cakes

served hot with cinnamon to the unique village bakery

 

 

 

The Prince Albert Park extends over an area of 400,000

hectares. In the north of the park, we find the nesting area

 of white pelicans. Despite the advice guides, we have not seen

 them. we were during the deer rutting season and we have

 filmed mule deer and elk

 

he first night we arrived in Waskesiu, the owner of the hotel drove us inside the

village to observe the elk. Every night they come with the sunset. The other day we

took images of deer early morning and late evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Prince Albert Park is a place of observation

for Canadian wildlife. We recommend it.

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THE NATIONAL PARK OF PRAIRIE

 

On the way back to Winnipeg, We stopped in Swift Current for going to the Prairie National Park

 located on the border with the United States. This park was the first park created in North America and this

to preserve the a virgin state prairie. It is also a place where lives a colony of prairie dogs and many

rattlesnakes. At the information desk, the guides have asked us to watch out for snakes.

Warm welcome at the office of the guides.

 

 

 

 

 

you have an overview on the plains of the North American continent before the arrival of the white man.

Prairie dogs are bigger than Richardson's ground squirrels and would be less wild.

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ALBERTA

 

After Saskatchewan, we continued the great plains and arrived in Alberta by visiting the capital

state, Edmonton and Elk Island National Park located near the city.

 

 

 

 

At the end of September at Elk Island, migratory birds replace the summer holiday on the waterways.

Bison circulate freely in the park.

EDMONTON

 

Saskatchewan River separates the old from the new Edmonton. The city, state capital is a boomtown of

937,000 inhabitants including 26,000 French. Edmonton is known for its giant mall of

800 shops, the largest in the world with a luxury hotel, a casino, the largest indoor amusement center

of the world, an ice rink approved for hockey games, a pool with waves and even attractions.

Worth a visit ......

 

parks in the city

 

the mansions

 

 

the legislative building

 

the river Saskatchewan

 

 

 

the Mall is the attraction of the city

Food Place

 

Amusement Park

 

the ice

 

the wave pool

 

attraction, a plunge from the roof of the center

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the Wheatland

 

From Edmonton, we crossed the Wheatland, wheat fields everywhere that end with the impressive

horse foot Canyon just before reaching Drumheller in the Badlands.

 

 

 

 

horse foot Canyon

 

view from the canyon

 

Drumheller

 

After the foot of horse canyon, we are in Drumheller where the main attractions are the "dinosaur trail" with its many

hoodoos and the "Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology." Drumheller was previously a mining town.

 

symbol of Drumheller

it was mined coal

 

 

 

Drumheller is an old mining town and a place where they found oil, the wealth of Alberta with wheat.

Do you know that Alberta is the second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia and the leading supplier of America?

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed the Royal Tyrrell Museum and the work of researchers who collect dinosaur bones

with a wheel dentist. TO SEE

Museum technicians spend part of their time on the ground and the rest in the laboratory

 

the entrance to the Royal Tyrrell Museum

 

 

laboratory work with a wheel dentist

 

the reptile Dimetrodon capable of reaching 3.5 m long

 

the Dilophosaurus one of the first carnivorous dinosaurs

 

Allosaurus, a common carnivorous in North America

 

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Dinausor Provincial Park

 

After visiting the museum we visited in the Dinosaur Provincial Park, where researchers of the museum

conduct their searches. Until today, we discovered a forty different species of dinosaurs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These territories were called the bad lands by French fur traders. It is now the BADLANDS.

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Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump

 

From there we went to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a great place to blow up the bisons of

the cliff top, the hunting practiced by the Indians before the arrival of the white man with his horse.

 

 

 

 

 

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Waterton National Park

 

Nous avons assisté à des danses indiennes avant de partir pour le parc national des lacs Waterton, à la frontière avec les Etats Unis.

Le parc est commun avec le parc des glaciers côté américain et le nom de ces 2 parcs est le parc de la liberté.

 

 

 

The hotel "Prince of Wales" is the symbol of the park

 

 

Hotel view from the village

 

 

Cameron Lake 17 km from Waterton and border with the

 United States

 

 

Red Rock Canyon 19 km from Waterton

 

 

 

We visited the Waterton Park the last weekend of September 2004 and one day of strike guides. With the indications of

a merchant of the village of Waterton, we observed elk in the evening and the next morning. As at Riding Mountain Park

there is a prairie bison paddock.

 

it's not a black bear but a grizzly

Females Wapiti

 

mule deer

 

mountain goats

Bison in Waterton

 

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