The Promised Land

FTLComm - Red Earth - January 12, 2000
Is this the promised land or is it the land of promise. Though Canadians will show you their Canada as a land of endless prairie, monster mountains, scenic valleys and lush treed city streets, the actual reality is that Canada is almost entirely empty, devoid of any people and it looks like this. Endless miles of mixed forest, scrubby bush country, home to smiling moose, black bears, lynx and timber wolves. Human (the vast majority of them) inhabitants of the land are found clinging to a sliver of property with in two hours drive of the US border, the 49th parallel.

Thirty minutes North of Winnipeg to a line thirty minutes North of Edmonton, join those to dots on the map and everything North of that looks pretty much like this. the further you go North the shorter the trees and the more outcrops, the further you go South from that line there are fewer evergreens. The land itself in BC and Western Alberta is considerably different because of the mountains but you are still looking at a similar kind of vegitation and almost all of the Yukon looks like this.

Many people are entirely unaware of the emptiness of this country and sometimes when you hear politicians talk about it you wonder, as they stand with their feet firmly on Italian marble, if they have ever really seen anything like what their country is really like. But
for those who live and work
amidst the real environment
that makes up most of Canada there is a bond that can not be put into words or pictures.

You will get a sense of that bond when a Cree man tells you about the moose hunt and how the moose is there to provide him with sustainance and how he is grateful to the creator for his brother the moose

There is a look in the eye of the Northern Canadian who after hours of blasting through the waist deep snow on a snowmobile, shakes the snow from the cuff of his mittens and smiles, smiles with a look of acceptance and
satisfaction at having met the challenge of such a land and enjoyed its utterly bone dry atmosphere, and watched the sun set behind the coal black trees of winter.