The Canadian Rockies are known to some as the “Shining Mountains” or the “Backbone of the World,” to Joe Urie, a Métis guide and owner of the Jasper Tour Company, the Canadian Rocky Mountains are simply “home.” Urie comes from a long line of proud Métis who have been living and guiding along the Athabasca River since 1860.
The first of Urie’s people arrived on these shores from the Métis Settlements at Red River, in what is now Manitoba. Urie, who considers the Athabasca River to be “the blood in my veins,” invites you to experience this region of Canada through his eyes, whether it’s viewing the grandeur of the Rockies, hearing stories of the region’s First Peoples or learning about the wildlife that roams here.
When out exploring with Urie, expect to encounter animals such as deer, moose, black bears, wolves, marmots, pikas, eagles, grizzlies, and elk. “Tourism is an awesome means to tell our stories, and there are so many stories to tell about this part of Canada,” says Urie, adding that his tour company, which specializes in half-day tours year-round, offers an excellent introduction to Jasper and its surrounding areas. “People often do a tour with us before their bigger adventures in the area, just to get a handle on where they are.”
He keeps groups intimate so guests can connect with each other, and with the natural world around them. “Humanity is so disconnected from nature,” says Urie. “My hope is our guests will go home, reflect on their experience and try to bring more nature into their daily lives.”
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