The mountains that call me home.....

October 1st, 2011, 10pm

I grew up right next to the Riding Mountain National Park. We farmed and lived alongside the park and treasured everything that nature provided us with. I grew up seeing elk and deer grazing in our pastures and hay crops and watching moose as they ambled by. Each night we were serenaded by the wolves and coyotes howling. I do not come from an indigenous background, but we respected the land much like those past inhabitants of the land must have. We hunted, but it was only for enough food to sustain our family and never for sport. We often walked along the old game trails throughout the bush and visited the beaver dams and salt licks. It was an amazing place to grow up. Before talking Native Studies courses, I never made the connection between the old trails we walked down and the people who may have gone before me. I always felt a deep connection to that mountain and still do even after living somewhere else for over twenty years. It is still home and still part of my life as my family still lives and farms there. The Riding Mountain National Park sits atop of the Manitoba Escapement and was once part of Lake Agassiz that covered most of Manitoba during the ice age. It is a protected area that is home to three distinct ecosystems; prairie grasslands, boreal forests, and aspen parkland. It has one of the largest black bear populations in the world along with wolves, elk, moose, deer, hundreds of birds, and insect species. It is also home to a large captive bison herd located at Lake Audy. It became a protected park in 1929 and the infrastructure was built during the great depression as part of its relief programs. In World War II, it was the site of a German POW camp which was disbanded after the war. It became a biosphere reserve in 1986. The only commercial town in the park is Wasagaming along the Shores of Clear Lake. Sources

David Wade, Jo and Joanne said thanks.

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Barb Manko

I love the person I have become because I have fought to become her.

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