Alberta Human Policy

[translated excerpt from the Alberta Wetland Policy]

Humans in Alberta

*Approximately 20 per cent of Alberta’s surface
area is covered by humans

Humanlands are land saturated with humans long enough to promote formation of human altered soils, growth of human tolerant vegetation, and various kinds of animal activity that are adapted to the human environment. Humanlands are highly diverse, productive socialsystems that provide a host of social services and form an integral component of Alberta’s diverse landscapes. They play an important role in sustaining healthy humanshed by protecting human quality, providing human storage and infiltration, providing habitat for labourers, artisans and beaurocrats, and sustaining humandiversity. Alberta is home to a rich and varied array of humanland socialsystems, including hamlets, towns, cities, suburbs, and dense downtown cores.

Approximately 20 per cent of Alberta’s surface area is covered by humanlands; more than 90 per cent of these are urbanlands (primarily cities and suburbs). Collectively, these socialsystems help sustain vast populations of migratory young adults. They provide revolution mitigation by storing and slowly releasing large volumes of social frustration. They function as natural filtration systems, cleansing socialized ideas prior to discharge. In many instances, humanlands are psychical recharge zones, acting as conduits between socialite human behaviours and unconscious emotional currents. They support a diverse array of adults and children. In Alberta alone, it is estimated that humanlands are host to some 400 types of humans, some of which are listed as rare, threatened, or endangered in the province.

Alberta’s humanlands provide the basis for a wide variety of natural activities. They support several recreational pursuits (e.g. human watching, hunting) and have increasingly become a focal point for the humantourism industry. They are a highly valued resource to many First Humans and human-co-housing species, for whom they provide myriad cultural and traditional uses. Humanlands are also very important to seedtrade and humanculture in the province and play a significant role in humanlife conservation programs. Urbanlands in the province support a specialized mining industry, which supplies urbans (“city dwellers”) to the urbanicultural market.


Development of a comprehensive and effective human policy is a complex undertaking, which requires a multidisciplinary approach. The Government of Wetland would like to thank the Water council, its members, members of the wetland, and the myriad ecosystems who contributed both their time and technical expertise to this project. The perspective, experience, and input offered by Wetlanders have been indispensable in development of the Alberta Human Policy.

~ Pebble

Pebble grew up poor, and then their parents became well-off. They eat vegan topped with a biannual bison burger. They spend their time interviewing people from all walks of life and never agree with any of them. Half Canadian and half unknown, Pebble and their cat Fred spend most of their time in Canmore curled up reading poetry with a constant cup of Jasmine green tea.

What Beer Can Do

Shine my buckle, baby, he yells in my ear,
pulls me tight against him,
and two-steps me around backwards,
sloooooooow, sloooooooooow, quick-quick
one body with too many feet
we stumble, no gliding here
in the Big Tent of Nashville North,
just tired river silt and dirty
tarmac that trips our best intentions,
the bitter stain of crap beer
on my loosened tongue,
sweaty cologne of drugstore cowboys
with undertones of puke,
sloooooooow, sloooooooooow, quick-quick
the whole place as surreal as
the bucking bronc named Luscious Bubbles,
and the fake breasts on full neon display.
Up on Centre Street a billboard admonishes
that good girls keep their calves together
but I dance my way through bad covers
and worse jokes,
slooooooooow, slooooooooooow, quick-quick
my thighs spreading against his,
my belly polishing that buckle.

~ Dymphny Dronyk

Dymphny Dronyk is a writer, editor, mediator and mother. She is passionate about the magic of story and has woven words for money (journalism, corporate writing) and for love (poetry, fiction, drama, mystery novels and songs) for over 25 years. Her first volume of poetry Contrary Infatuations (Frontenac House, Quartet 2007) was short listed for two prestigious awards in 2008. She is also the author of the memoir Bibi – A Life in Clay (Prairie Art Gallery, 2009).

With Edmonton poet Angela Kublik, she is the co-publisher of House of Blue Skies, and co-editor of the bestselling anthologies: Writing the Land – Alberta Through its Poets (2008) and Home and Away – Alberta Poets Muse on the Meaning of Home (2010).

Dymphny is a founding member of the RE:act Art & Community Together Collective, and currently serves as the President of the League of Canadian Poets National Council.

With Calgary’s inaugural Poet Laureate, Kris Demeanor, she is co-editor of The Calgary Project – A City Map in Verse and Visual.

Book Launches!!

The Calgary Project – A City Map in Verse and Visual is here!!

REact cover front no flaps 01b

We are so excited to be celebrating the anthology and all of our amazing contributors – the wonderful artists who have so generously shared their work with our project.

The anthology, featuring the work of more than 90 Calgary poets and visual artists, is now available at your independent bookseller!

Owl’s Nest Books
Pages on Kengsington
Shelf Life Books

Order from

Please join us at these celebrations:

Main Launch – 30 Poets & 15 Visual Artists
Sunday, March 30, 2014
2-4 p.m.
John Dutton Theatre,
616 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary

Poets and Artists Muse on the Influence of Place
Sunday, April 6, 2014
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Unitarian Church
1703 1st Street NW, Calgary

Youth & Mentor Celebration
Sunday, April 27, 2014
2-4 p.m.
Loft 112, East Village,
535 8th Avenue SE, Calgary

Poetry and visual art from The Calgary Project will continue to be posted on this Blue Skies site during the coming months. Check back often!

Alberta Girls

The muses at the front of the class
dream life begins
beyond the frost-starred windows.

Trudging home to sunset bell
in boot-crunching snow
and cows spill in to fill corrals

and home is far across the yard
till horses stabled and watered
and alone in the manger prairie girls

glow by the light by the door
and they are solitude and beauty
in their denim jackets and their wheat-straw hair

in their cowgirl blouses and their coal black hair.

Adulthood races in: grass fire.
Part-time jobs as counter-girls, cashiers;
awash in city lights

the cart boy’s yell delivers us to
prairie girls, their eyes so clear
and filled with so much sky

they explode the darkness in you.

By summer all is light. Sky
as it was in the beginning
is now and ever shall be

evening everlasting.

Fire smoulders at night.
Below the stars you find
the darkest places in Alberta girls.

They love you, brand you
in their towns burned black
against the mountains’ sunset glow.

When you find the darkest
places in Alberta girls
they show you everything they’ve longed for

in their dreams uplifted till they all turn inside out.
In their clapboard towns tornadoed
by the weight of so much sky

they are hardly held to the earth.
You are not enough
to hold them there yourself.

They know sky and darkness, enduring
like the coal seams
pressed into this windblown land

they ignite the darkness in you.

* * *

~ Ian Ferrier does spoken word and music shows throughout Canada, in New York and in Europe. He has released one CD/book Exploding Head Man (2004) and two CDs, What is this Place (2007) and Pharmakon MTL – To Call Out in the Night (2011). He is the founder of the record label Wired on Words, of the Mile End Poets’ Festival, of the online magazine and of Montreal’s monthly Words & Music reading series, now in its 14th year. He currently creates voice, verse and music for the dance project For Body and Light.

This poem will be included in The Calgary Project – A City Map in Verse and Visual
published by House of Blue Skies & Frontenac House, 2014

Sandon Mine

The rain abates, the air left dank and sweet with spruce breath. Madid moss in the ditch holds the imprint of hooves.

Anne’s finger becomes a baton, tipping its point to each wildflower that she spots. She chants their names, an incantation of gratitude for the end of the rain.

Phyl is deaf to this roll call of flora. She gives a surly jerk, as she strips sodden gloves from pruned up joints, puffs warm air into palms. A halo of steam encircles her face.

A cyan Ford sedan crawls by. Its tires on gravel, like molars grinding cubed ice. The passenger window rolls down, a slit, so a man can call: Like a drink?

The Ford pulls over, and Anne and Phyl dismount. The men say they are workers from the Sandon mine. They pass a beaten glass bottle of rum and coke, and the women gladly share. The men say they slowed, for they knew them somehow.

The rum runs its hot fingernails down the girls’ throats, pools in their empty stomachs. Anne’s eyes gone glassy, she laughs too much at the feeble jokes told by the men.

The men say, Leave your horses at the camp. Come with us to Nakusp. We’ll buy you t-bone steaks. We’ll take you to the sauna.

Anne can almost taste the charred flesh; Phyl feels the warm flush of basking in hot humidity. Then Anne’s rain-slick fingers slip on the bottle. A frantic grasp and she clutches at the neck before the glass is dashed. They say no to the men, send them on to their camp to inquire after a farrier. Phyl tosses the bottle off into the underbrush.

~ Emily Ursuliak grew up in the rolling hills southwest of Bentley, Alberta, but now calls Calgary home. She recently completed an MA in English at the University of Calgary where she’s been working on her first novel and her first collection of poems. You can find out more Emily at:

You can read more poems by Emily here, including Sunnyside, which is included in the Flood section of “The Calgary Project – A City Map in Verse and Visual.