Secret Life of Canada

Sasquatch and Ogopogo deserve better than a crappy T-shirt

In the first full episode of Season 3, Leah and Falen explore the truth behind two very old stories. Sasquatch and Ogopogo are legendary creatures of land and sea — but how exactly did they go from sacred figures in Indigenous oral histories to terrifying beasts and dopey-looking mascots?
Quatchi (left), one of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Mascots, was inspired by Sasquatch. Meanwhile, a fiberglass statue of Ogopogo (right) has found permanent residence in Kelowna, B.C. (Reuters/Jaimie Kehler)

The Secret Life of Canada is back for an all new season! In the latest episode — Sasquatch in the Gift Shop — hosts Falen Johnson and Leah-Simone Bowen look into two legendary creatures of land and sea, Sasquatch and Ogopogo and how they went from being deeply rooted in Indigenous oral history and culture to selling everything from hot sauce to beard oil as dopey-looking mascots.

Falen chats with Coralee Miller from The Sncewips Heritage Museum to learn about the Okanogan connection to The Spirit of the Lake and how honouring these creatures is connected to respect for land and water.

Listen for:

  • How the Monkey Dog first turned Falen on to mysterious creatures.
  • The time there was (maybe?) a hit on Chewbacca. 
  • How an Indian Agent anglicized the word Sasq'ets to Sasquatch. (Reminder: Indigenous words are the root of many words we now use.) 
  • Leah and Falen learn about Sasquatch Days and make plans to go when they are allowed outside again.
  • A vivid description of Leah and Falen's ex-boyfriends.
  • Specific stories from Sts'ailes and Okanagan Nations. 
  • Just how we went from N'ha-a-itk to Ogopogo and what an English Music Hall song had to do with it. 
  • What Sasq'ets and N'ha-a-ik teach us about our responsibility to nature. 

Key References

Ogopogo, the 'bashful monster'

43 years ago
Duration 2:52
Sightings of Okanagan Lake's Ogopogo help the region's tourist trade.