Instagramming Canada - Northwest Territories September 24, 2015 · 5 min. read
When I started this post, I had the same question as you: "What is there worth seeing in the Northwest Territories?" I expected snow, ice, permafrost and igloos. I wasn't wrong, but I was far from the truth. While learning about this stunning territory, I found out all sorts of things. I won't bore you with them, but there are two interesting places worth mentioning.
The first is the Giant Mine, a gold mine that entered production in 1948. It ran until 2004 and produced 7 million ounces of gold. In 1992, during the height of a labor dispute about the mine, an explosion ripped through it, killing nine people. It was discovered this explosion was caused by a bomb set by Roger Warren, and he was convicted for nine counts of second-degree murder. He claimed the union had "dehumanized" the strikebreakers (somebody who refuses to go on strike during a labor dispute) and had the union, security or the company listened to the strikers, he wouldn't have done it.
After the mine closed, it was discovered the land was poisoned with around 17,000 tons of arsenic and asbestos. This includes nearby lakes, rivers, forests and houses. The company said it was the responsibility of the Canadian and Northwest Territorial government to clean up. The containment is lethal, even in small doses, and the cleanup effort is being called the "greatest challenge associated with the remediation of Giant Mine". In 2014 the Canadian government put forward $900 million to a billion dollars to clean up the area through freezing the contaminants and transporting them somewhere safe. Once completed, it is expected that the Northwest Territories' first mining museum is to be built on the property, although there is no set date.
I didn't include any pictures of the Giant Mine on my blog (as it's kind of depressing...), but if you're interested, there are several on Instagram.
The other location I learned about was about Nahanni National Park. I had never heard of this park before, and I almost wish I never had. The moment I typed it into Google the result "Nahanni National Park mystery" came up. Clicking that I discovered the article "The Mysterious Valley of the Headless Corpses".
Apparently, Nahanni National Park was once inhabited by a violent group of aboriginals called the "Nahanni", which mean "The People Over There". Stories say that the inhabitants of the park would occasionally leave and attack nearby camps, decapitating anybody they found. Then, as mysterious as they appeared, they'd vanish. This happened one day, but the Nahanni never returned. That is until gold was found by the European settlers in the early 20th Century, and the beheadings began again. Four people within a ten year period were decapitated, one was flash frozen although he was sitting next to a fire and an additional 44 went missing in 1969 under "mysterious circumstances".
Adding to the mystery, Nahanni National Park is one of the least explored places in Canada, if not the world. Accessible only my plane and boat, the park has only been surveyed from the air. In 1964 Jean Poirel explored the area and discovered over 250 unknown caverns. The most important one was Dalerie Cavern, which held the skeletons of over 116 sheep that had starved to death over 4,500 years ago!
You're welcome to read more about this national park and its mysteries, but you might want to keep an open mind. The article talks about Bigfoot, aliens, UFOs, the undead and, of course, Middle Earth. Pictures of the park are also directly below.
Before we start, I would also like to give credit to Darren Roberts for the image I used in my cover photo. He was recommended to me as one of the best photographers to follow when it comes to the Northwest Territories, so be sure to check him out!
Without further adieu, I bring to you "Instagramming Canada - Northwest Territories"!
Nahanni National Park
Sunset and Sky
Lakes and Rivers
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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