Preliminary Trip to the NWT

Erinn on the shores of the MacKenzie River


Nick and Erinn visit Yellowknife, Norman Wells, and Tulita
October 2016

After months of planning and collaborating with partners in the north, Erinn and Nick set out for a preliminary trip to the Northwest Territories in October 2016. With an itinerary full of meetings in both Yellowknife and the Sahtu region, the team absorbed information and advice from community advisors throughout their trip, leaving them with an excited energy to continue the collaborative development of the project.

As with many trips to the NWT, Yellowknife was the first destination for the pair. Exploring the city by foot and canoe, Erinn and Nick gained an appreciation not only for the distinct cultural atmosphere of the city but also for the natural beauty of the taiga shield. Meetings with local conservation groups, community champions, and likeminded organizations gave the Trails in Tandem team a better understanding of the north and the ways in which they could engage in a meaningful way. 


The next stop on their journey was Norman Wells. The trip to the Sahtu was only a short plane ride from Yellowknife but the contrast between the regions was stark. Nestled on the shores of the Mackenzie River, Norman Wells is a small town of ~800 people and acts as the business hub of the Sahtu Region. Although a small hamlet, the town boasts a huge personality and extreme generosity. Passionate individuals, fascinating Sahtu Dene and Métis culture, and an epic natural landscape captured Erinn and Nick for the duration of their visit. 

From Norman Wells the pair took the short flight to Tulita, watching the mountains fly by out the windows of their small NorthWright plane. Tulita, the political capital of the Sahtu, is a captivating town full of life and history. Buzzing with potential and a proud culture, the community presented Erinn and Nick with opportunities to reflect on the north-south divide and the value of strong and connected communities.

Saying goodbye to their home in Tulita before heading back down south

Saying goodbye to their home in Tulita before heading back down south

The hospitality and kindness we were shown was astounding, and many thanks are required. So thank you to each and every community member and community organization that hosted, guided, and mentored us during our stay.

We cannot wait to be back soon. 

Nick Castel