With their fiercely staring eyes, pointed razor sharp fangs, and sleek powerful bodies, wolves have captured people’s imaginations throughout the ages. This popularity is perhaps to their detriment since people have begun breeding them with dogs and then swiftly learning that wolfdogs make rather terrible pets. Given how many are surrendered to shelters, who tend to have a kill-on-the-spot policy for animals that are suspected to have any wolf in them, sanctuaries for wolfdogs like the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary are extremely important.
With so many stunning trails and views picking a highlight of Jasper National Park can be a challenge, but hiking in the Tonquin Valley must be a contender. The combination of sky high views of the rugged “Ramparts” range jutting up from serene alpine lakes, and the chance to see rare wild mountain caribou make it as worthy a destination as any. It is also an accessible backcountry trail that can cater to many ability levels and even be trekked on horseback. Considering all these factors, it’s easy to see why the Tonquin Valley is a popular area for locals and tourists alike. But it just may be getting a little too popular for its own good.
June in Canada is National Aboriginal month, with June 21st being also being National Aboriginal Day, a day which should become a national stat holiday in my humble opinion. As Canada marks its 150th anniversary of its confederation, any good Canadian will tell you that this beautiful land was home to Indigenous peoples since time immemorial.
Perhaps an even more important milestone than Canada 150 is the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report in 2015. A long and painful read, the report includes the testimony of brave residential school system survivors and outlines the painful legacy of Canada’s colonial past on Indigenous peoples. The report finishes with 94 calls to action, some of which focus on improving education about Indigenous peoples for both citizens and newcomers to Canada. By learning about Canada’s troubled history with Indigenous peoples, as well as their inspiring culture and history, Canadian citizens, newcomers to Canada and tourists alike can do their part to facilitate reconciliation.
It is no secret that the natural world inspires us here at Zen Travellers and what better way to show it than by celebrating Earth Day and supporting causes that aim to protect it. That is why on this Earth Day 2017 in Calgary, we are challenging ourselves to climb the staggering 1,188 stairs in the Bow Tower to raise funds for the Alberta Wilderness Association’s conservation efforts.
Few places in the world have ever inspired as much awestruck in me as Africa. Not only is the continent huge with an incredible diversity of ecosystems and culture, it is a friendly, beautiful and otherworldly place. I have had the tremendous fortune to spend time in countries in West Africa, East Africa and North Africa and I cannot speak highly enough of the experiences.
Right now everyone is reeling from the awful, senseless terror attacks in Paris where so many civilians lost their lives so I felt compelled to write this now even though I have 90% of my next post drafted. The attacks have also spawned ugly and hateful backlash against Muslims in general. Muslims who are our neighbours, friends, colleagues and community members. In short, Muslims who are people like all of us. Continue reading “The Muslims I met When Travelling”