With files from Jeremy Harpe, CFWE-FM
The Friends of Historical Northern Alberta Society are developing a new app that will promote tourism in northern Alberta and bring knowledge about the area’s many points of interest.
The app is to be released this summer.
Spokesperson Sheila Willier said the app is actually an idea that came about through group of stakeholders that were interested in the history of Northern Alberta.
“Everyone was saying there is so many historical sites that are not known. People just don’t even know they are there unless they stumble across them.”
So the question became how do you fix that and an app was the simplist way to be able tell the history, where it happened, or near it.
The biggest feature of the app is something called “Near Me”. Click it and users will see all the points of interest around them.
And the society is working with Indigenous groups in the areas. In the society’s opinion, said Willier, many of the stories that have been told have been one-sided, and there’s information there that’s never been portrayed from an Aboriginal stand-point.
With the approval and cooperation of First Nations and Métis, the board wants to put those stories out there, Willier told Jeremy Harpe of CFWE-FM.
“I think with Truth and Reconciliation coming up, it’s time,” she said.
Need to find a visitor information centre? You’ll locate it with a click of a button.
The app will be social media interactive, so you can share any point of interest to your Facebook page. And if there is something a user comes across that isn’t noted, they can send a comment to suggest its inclusion.
It also may solve a lot of issues that were challenging tourists.
Willier worked for a while in the Slave Lake visitors centre, and there were motorhomes coming through that wanted to take the newly-paved highway 88, but didn’t because they didn’t know if they could get gas.
“So, it makes sense that people will explore more if they know they can fill up and not run out of gas on the side of the road.”
Visit the website to contribute to the site at http://fhnas.ca/ . It’s currently still under construction but there is a small settings icon on the right hand bottom side where you can check in.
Willier said she hopes users will start exploring Northern Alberta’s history, and learning that northern Alberta isn’t just this vast, vacant landscape. There’s a lot in the north, and “it’s beautiful.”