World Heritage Sites in Canada
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, a sub organisation of the United Nations, has the task, among other things, of trying to preserve histories and important landmarks which are significant to regions and cultures. It does so by establishing World Heritage Sites that are of either cultural significance or of natural significance. Being deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO gives them the status of protected sites under international treaties. There are 20 such World Heritage Sites in Canada, some of them meeting the cultural criteria and others the natural criteria. These important sites in Canada represent either the diverse stories of migration and settlement in the country or they represent the natural wonders that are abundant in Canada. All of these World Heritage Sites in Canada have not just national significance but also international significance, in terms of histories of cultures and nature. Here is a list of the most famous and unique World Heritage Sites in Canada that no visitor to the country should miss out on.
Writing on Stone, Alberta
Sacred to the Niitsítapi indigenous people of Canada as well as to some other aboriginal tribes, Writing on Stone is a Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, which is famous for being the site of the most rock art found anywhere in North America. Nowhere in Alberta’s park system is so much prairie land protected as at Writing on Stone. Besides, the park does not just protect the natural environment by preserving this site but also contributes toward preserving First Nations art, including rock painting and carving, as cultural and historical artefacts. These include numerous petroglyphs and artworks that go into thousands. Apart from witnessing some fascinating historical art, tourists can also participate in such recreational activities here as camping, hiking, and canoeing and kayaking on the Milk River that runs through the place.
A part of the Boreal Forest, which is a snow or coniferous forest in Canada, Pimachiowin Aki is an ancestral land belonging to a few First Nations tribes that is found in parts of the forest located in Manitoba and Ontario. Including also two provincial parks, the Manitoba Provincial Wilderness Park and the Ontario Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, the site is important both culturally and for the natural resources at its disposal. Meaning 'the land that gives life', this site was the first ever mixed World Heritage Site in Canada, which means that it consisted of things that made it both of natural importance as well as of cultural and importance. The site is also significant because it is still under indigenous stewardship, which means the indigenous people haven’t had to leave their land.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Around a 2 hour drive away from the city of Calgary in Canada, this Park is located in the Red Deer River Valley, an area famous for its badland terrain, which is a terrain that is dry, consisting of steep slopes, next to no vegetation, almost no solid deposits on rocks, and most importantly, soft sedimentary rocks set in clay like soil which have all been eroded to quite an extent by wind and water. The Park is famous worldwide and a World Heritage Site because it is one of the most anthropologically significant places in the world . This is because it is one of the richest with dinosaur fossil sites in the world, so much so that as many as 58 dinosaur species have been found here and more than 500 specimens removed to museums, etc. If you visit this tourist attraction in Canada, you can also go to the visitor centre located inside where you will get to learn more about the history and geology of the place and about that age when dinosaurs existed.
Old Town Lunenburg
This is a port town in Nova Scotia that was one of the first British Protestant Settlements in Canada, founded in 1753. House to the largest fish processing plant in Canada, Old Town Lunenburg is mainly famous for the 19th century feel the Town has, especially because of the surviving architecture from the time. More than its historical architecture, however, it is deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is considered to be one of the first attempts at planned colonial settlements in North America by the British. The status of a World Heritage Site is also to preserve the town's traditions, which include not only the architecture and buildings it has inherited, but also the kind of economy it has inherited, which is one that is dependent mainly on fishing, an economic undertaking whose future is uncertain in today’s world. It is also a National Historic Site of Canada.
Landscape of Grand Pré
A rural community in Nova Scotia, Grand Pré's name means Great Meadow. Located at the edge of the Annapolis Valley, Grand Pré stands on a peninsula that juts into the Minas Basin. It is full of dyked farm fields, surrounded by Gaspereau River and Cornwallis River. Founded in 1680, the community was established by an Acadian, that is, a French settler from the Acadia region of North America. He brought with him other Acadians who started a traditional farming settlement in Grand Pré, which was an exceptional task because this coastal area had one of the highest tides in the whole world. The farming alone makes the place have great historical significance, but apart from that, Grand Pré was an amazing settlement because the Acadian diaspora who arrived here lived in complete harmony with the the indigenous people of the area. This inheritance of multiculturalism and of traditional farming is what makes the place a special World Heritage Site.
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