In this Jasper National Park wildlife-focused video, I met with Joe Urie, the owner and head guide of Jasper Tour Company, a wonderfully animated, personable, and knowledgable Métis guide, full of great stories and a perfect guide to help safely experience wildlife in Jasper!
The Wildlife Adventure tour is one of a few tours Joe and his wife Patti operate through the Jasper Tour Company.
On a tour, you may encounter bear, elk, coyote, sheep, wolves, moose and more! You’ll also learn about the animals (even if you don’t spot them) and the mountain ecosystem that supports them.
Something I really appreciated about Joe’s tour is the unique Métis perspective he adds to everything he tells you, like the various Cree and Michif names for different wildlife you may encounter, like ‘maskwa’ for black bear, or ‘waskiso’ (in Michif) for elk.
I loved Joe’s perspective:
“We started this company so I could get out onto the landscape with people and bring it to them in a manner that allowed them to connect with the land. Ultimately what I want to hear from people is that when they leave here, that they feel a greater connection to this place than they had when they got here. I’m hoping that you have taken those connections back to where it is you’ve come from and you’re trying to re-discover wild spaces where you live or help wild spaces proliferate where you live.” – Joe Urie, Jasper Tour Company
While Joe’s Wildlife Adventure tour is a driving-based tour, there also may be opportunities to get out and explore on foot (so be prepared for a slight hike to access better viewpoints or photo opportunities where and when safe to do so.
Joe will sometimes begin his Wildlife Adventure tours with a smudge, a traditional Indigenous ceremony where certain plants (medicines) are lit, and the smoke used as something of a blessing (or cleansing). In our case, Joe says we smudged to “begin your day, say some good things, think some good things” (our good thoughts included hoping to safely spot wildlife!)
It was such a pleasure spending the day with Joe—and the wildlife in Jasper National Park, located just under four hours west of Edmonton. Be sure to watch the video to see what we spotted during our trip, and reach out to Joe to plan your trip!
And be sure to subscribe to Travel Alberta’s YouTube Channel for more video ideas to explore the province.
My final video in this summer video series with Travel Alberta will be showing you some urban Indigenous art experiences in Edmonton! Stay tuned for that!
Note: this post is NOT sponsored by Travel Alberta. I’m working with them as a contractor for video production but not for blog / social media (these are just things I’d share about anyway lol).
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