Replies: 21 - Last Post: Nov 17, 2012 4:36 PM Last Post By: littlechilds
Nov 11, 2012 4:17 AM
remote/primitive locationsGood Morning,
I am flying into calgary and plan to have a couple of weeks wandering round Alberta/British Columbia. I'm not really into the tourist stuff and wandered if anyone could recommend out of the way locations or small villages that are not really mainstream.I'd like to visit first nations areas but not the tourist type places, I really want to live the life not be a rubber necker. is this possible. Any suggestions ideas greatly appreciated.
Nov 11, 2012 6:42 AM
1I'd suggest the Crow's Nest Pass area of southern AB/BC. As for first nation communities, good luck not being a rubber necker, these communities are small & anyone new is noticed & talked about... Have you thought to check hospitality organizations & head to places where people indicate that they would like more guests? you get warm local hospitality & a chance to hang out with people not interested in tourism. PM me for suggestions.
Nov 11, 2012 6:43 AM
2Why would you want to visit first nations areas? They're Canada's biggest social problem. It's kind of the equivalent of going to New York to just to see Harlem in the 1990s, or going to Vancouver just to see East Hastings...
The reserves near Calgary are some of the better off and better managed ones in Canada, but even so, they still have lots of run-down houses and cars, stray animals, domestic problems, etc. Plus, unless you're going to their casinos, they generally don't want you on their land.
As far as where you should go, that depends on when you're going and what you intend to do. Banff and Jasper are very mainstream, but even there it's very easy to leave behind the crowds and feel like you're off the beaten path. The West Kootenay region (Nelston, Kaslo, New Denver, Nakusp, etc.) is a great area and not very touristy.
Nov 11, 2012 4:11 PM
Nov 11, 2012 5:48 PM
4Go to Haida Gwaii ...great First Nation area, beautiful nature and off the beaten track.
Nov 12, 2012 8:10 AM
5Its tough finding good reserves. Chiefs take all the money for themselves, and leave the rest with scraps. Ive seen dozens of reserves with one massive log cabin owned by the chief, and decrepit homes filling the remainder (very evident near penticton and south Alberta). Calgary has one good reserve (Calgary had offered them $500,000 million to build our ringroad on the edge of their reserve and they wanted more)...but at every road entrance there are dozens of signs saying do not tresspass. They dont like outsiders.
Nov 12, 2012 7:07 PM
6As someone who has spent most of the last 30 years in remote Canadian communities and worked a great deal with First Nations individuals and communities, I would take some of the less culturally sensitive comments here with a large grain of salt. Mind you, I have mostly been on the north coast of BC, and maybe our communities are just a little bit healthier than some others. And I would not want to be a Pollyanna and pretend we don't have immense challenges in our First Nations communities.
Having said that,I would recommend two places in northwestern BC: Haida Gwaii and the Nass Valley
Haida Gwaii is culturally very rich, and there have been whites engaged in the logging here for so long you would not stand out on the basis of race. It is a significant ferry ride from the mainland (Prince Rupert) across the active Hecate Strait. In fact, when I went there regularly for business, I tried to avoid travel at this time of year for fear of the Gulf of Alaska.
The Nass Valley is the home of the Nisga'a. They are well worth a visit and I have always found them warm and welcoming. There will be bed and breakfasts in at least a couple of the villages (Gingolx and New Aiyansh) — though you might want to phone ahead.
Highlights of a visit to the Nass would be the totems in every village, the new museum in New Aiyansh, the Nisga'a Lisims (government) building, the suspension bridge at Gitwinksilhkw (Canyon City), the moody feel of the ocean and soaring eagles at Gingolx.
Nov 12, 2012 7:14 PM
Nov 13, 2012 8:36 AM
8I tend to agree with most of the posts here, in Alberta I would never visit 90% of the tribes. Doing so will largely result in trouble, and you will be sorely disappointed if you're looking for 'culture'. I have some family that lives on reserves on the West Coast, so not sure if it's because I know people but I have always found them to be very welcoming.
As for awesome places to see, a great deal is dependent on weather- when will you be arriving? I know some absolute gem's for camping/ hiking, but many are inaccesible in the winter months. Things you can do year round are Drumheller, which looks like something out of a sci-fi movie with plenty of fossilized dinosaur's. As mentioned there is Banff, definitely pretty 'touristy' but still worth a day IMO, and also on the way to B.C.
Overall B.C is an absolute gem, it will be more expensive but very worth it. For in-country holidays I usually find myself somewhere around Uclulet or Tofino, but really aanything along the coast is wonderful. There are some wonderful parks along with nearly deserted beaches, it is usually very wet but this is what keeps the rainforests so green. Not sure where you're from but you may like the Vancouver aquarium, I do! And if you have a taste for seafood you will be in heaven.
Nov 13, 2012 2:17 PM
9^ any doubt that racism is alive and well in Canada? Our attitudes towards First Nations people are an embarassment.
Advice to the OP: stay away from reserves, if anybody gets any hint that you think of them as zoo animals you'll be visiting a dentist.
As for interesting, untravelled areas- and pretty close to Calgary- get on the Alberta Trunk Road off Hwy 3 near Pincher Creek and head north travel it all the way to Hinton or even Grande Cache. There is some spectacular scenery on the East Slope of the Rockies, usually plkenty of wildlife, and very very few people. Not many locals. much less tourists, travel this route. There are many campgrounds and generally they are deserted.
Nov 15, 2012 9:53 AM
10To the OP, you'd probably be better off going to a pow wow than a community. For example, here in xOttawa, the Odawa Native Friendship Centre holds a pow wow in May, and everyone is welcome to come and join in. You get to experience the culture, and it's a non rubber neck way to do it.
I've worked with several First Nation communities (and one reserve) in Northern Ontario, and honestly you're going to be disappointed, because it's not very different from the rest of the communities in Canada. The people are people, with the same problems that the rest of the world has. They don't live in teepees, they don't all eat bannock and pemmican, and they don't walk around in feather headdresses, skins and furs.
Nov 15, 2012 10:13 AM
Nov 15, 2012 11:10 AM
12Do I believe they are people? Yes. Do I believe that they are people like other people? yes - some are good, some are bad, some are young, some are old, some have health issues, some do not. Is there corruption? Sure - but hey, so does xQuebec!
Do I believe they have housing problems? Social problems, including addictions to substances such as alcohol, gambling, drugs, gasoline sniffing? Lower access to health care and education than other communities? Yes.
Other people in the rest of the world have similar problems. Communities in the xAndes (xChile, xPeru, xBolivia) have inadequate housing for the elements, and big multi-national conglomorants are trying to take their land to mine for minerals and metals, while giving them next to nothing. Those in power have, and those that are not in power do not - think Mobuto of xCongo. And quite unfortunately, addiction problems in remote communities is nothing new - it happens in plenty of countries, xRussia being one of them.
Nov 15, 2012 11:56 AM
btw, you make me sick.
Nov 15, 2012 12:06 PM
14hahaha, 274 million cash by Alberta was the first offer plus a large land swap...FACT, hence the approx 500 mil estimate by a local paper. Its now being relooked at with Nenshi with increased offer values on the table due to desperation.
ohhhh, its there land...how could I forget! Thats amazing logic. Tp...you have a no tresspassing sign on your front yard??
So disappointed I make you sick lol. Before you start name calling like youve done before LP, Im a educated successful redneck and proud of it....with a little native blood in me as well you self righteous douche bag....hence my f^%king name!
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