Auyuittuq National park on Baffin Island, a backpacking
guide course offered by Nunavut Tourism and the Kakivak
Association is seen as a first step to help tourism
benefit the local economy.
In the summer of 2001, four
men recommended by outfitters in Pangnirtung and
Qikiqtarjuaq embarked on an eight-day backpack guide
course with Iqaluit guide Paul Landry.
Logan said itís relatively
easy to find guides who will take people out on snow
machines and dog sledding trips, but for the many
backpackers who visit Auyuittuq near Pangnirtung each
year, the options for guides are slim.
"To just go for a walk isnít
something a lot of local people do," Logan explained.
Landry, who along with his partner runs Northwinds
Arctic Adventures, said there is a lot of potential in
the tourism adventure travel industry and its great to
see young local people show interest in it.
The main objective of the
course was safety, Landry said, and to show that guides
are responsible for ensuring their clients have a safe
"The key focus here in the
Arctic is polar bears, river crossings and the Arctic
weather," he said. "Another main area is leadership,
making sure people offer professional leadership and
look after not just the safety skills of their group,
but also the well-being of the clients." The course
was taught in the park, so the weather dictated when and
what he could teach.
Landry and the four guides,
Jamesie Alivaktuk, Juta Qaqqasiq, Mosesee Duval and
Jimmy Akulukjuk, went back into the park this past
summer for three days to develop a marketable trip
Part of the objective was
for them to create a brochure they could use to market
what Landry calls The Arctic Circle Loop - a three-day
trip that takes people to the Arctic Circle and back.
Landry also wrote a guide manual that includes route
descriptions, where to cross rivers, where to camp,
distances and time, suggested menus, equipment and
clothing. The trip brochure will go to Kakivak this
week, Landry said, so it can be marketed this winter.
Park was chosen for the course, Logan explained, because
itís the most developed park in the region and attracts
the most visitors. He would like to see a similar course
for more northern parks, such as those on Ellesmere
And once again the very same
Paul Landry received an award for bravery at the highest
level from Nunavut Commissioner Peter Irniq. Landry of
Iqaluit was nominated for an incident that occurred at
the end of July 2001, when he was leading a trip in
Auyuittuq Park, outside of Pangnirtung.
The water was high, he said,
and crossing the rivers was a challenge. The group set
up camp near a glacier to wait for the water to recede.
Landry was cooking breakfast at about 5 a.m. when he
spotted members of another group attempting to cross the
"I watched as one by one
they were swept away," he said quietly. Three out of
five members of the group were clustered together in the
water several metres from shore in Glacier Lake, named
for the glacier that keeps its waters frigid.
One person had not attempted
to cross and one man, Michael Graves, was on his own in
the lake about twice as far out as the others. Landry
went to his own group and asked Peter Gladden, the
strongest of the bunch, if he would help him attempt a
rescue. Gladden, a U.S. citizen, agreed and he and
Landry swam out to the cluster of three people and
dragged them back to shore. Graves was not responding to
shouts from the shore, so the two agreed to go back in
on the condition that if either one felt they weren't
going to make it, they would turn back.
"[Graves] was alive, but I
didn't know it at the time," Landry said, describing how
he and Gladden dragged his body to shore. "Both Peter
and I couldn't stand up. We had to crawl out of the
As the two moved their
limbs to try to get warm, they saw bubbles forming at
Graves' mouth. They knew then he was alive. With the
help of members of both groups, park officials and his
young Inuit assistant-in-training, Juta, Landry lead
everyone to safety. Landry didn't speak of the incident
publicly until this week because he said he didn't feel
comfortable being praised for his actions.
In December, Landry will
receive the Governor General's award for bravery in
Department of Fisheries and Oceans is offering $50,000
toward a scientific hunt for beluga whales in James Bay.
The money is in addition to the $50,000 announced in
June to help Nunavik hunters organize a hunt after their
quotas were slashed.
reduced harvest quotas to 15 whales per community to
protect the dwindling beluga population. Biologists had
warned that without cutting quotas, the animals would
become extinct within 15 years.
Under the management plan,
each of the 14 communities can harvest a maximum of 15
beluga from Hudson Strait and James Bay. Hunting is
prohibited in Ungava Bay and the eastern part of Hudson
Bay. Because the announcement came late in the season,
DFO offered $50,000 to Makivik Corporation to help the
communities that needed to redirect their hunt. It was
to be used for things such as gasoline and boat rentals.