This is at a gas station in Ford Liard, Northwest Territories. Not the most glamorous place up north. Just driving up to it reminded me of being in a third world country. It’s strange how a place so close to B.C. can feel like a totally different world, culturally as well as economically. In this bleak, gloomy looking town there were buffalos wondering on the streets, kids getting around the dirt roads on little bikes and quads, lifting a wave of dust behind them. Some little kid was trying to sell us drugs in the open by the gas station, inside of which seemed to be more of a community centre/hang out spot than a gas station. The only thing reminding it’s still Canada (as people know it) were the governmental signs in the washroom, trying to encourage kids to wash their hands. The change was sudden just like the tarmac road turning into gravel right at the border. As we were leaving our screaming engines brought some curious families to their windows and as I looked around I saw kids, men and women happily waving at us from all directions, making me wish I could stay longer to get to know these friendly people.
Of course not all of Northwest Territories is poor. In certain areas there is much more wealth brought by the well established industries. But then there are places like Ford Liard, whose residents’ main income seems to be coming from construction of a pipeline creeping its way up north from B.C.