A Nahanni Future

Our 1% for the Planet membership sees us apply at least 1% of revenue towards conservation based projects. Working with the Western Arctic Youth Collective we brought indigenous youth from across the NWT, Yukon and Alaska to paddle on the Naha Dehe. They were led by Bobbi Rose Koe and graduates from the 2022 Indigenous Youth River Guide Training Program.

We are excited to see what fruit these efforts will bear in 2024!

This letter was written to the youth after the trip as I reviewed photos. It will be included in an upcoming book compiling the expedition. Stay tuned!

Youth of the Nahanni:

When I am leading expeditions it is usually the first experience of the land that sets the initial hook. Towering, highly defined stone walls, gauzy sunsets wrapping the horizon, glimpses of fall lines and silver currents tug on our emotions, laying the foundation for memories that will last a lifetime.

But when we really engage with the journey it is the people that we are with that will define our memories.

Looking at these photos you cannot help but see the relentless, life giving power of the Dene lands. The impact of connecting with animals, the forest and the stone that make up this international treasure of geography, geology and culture.

Your eyes, your postures and smiles tell us what it is to be moved by the currents of air and water flowing through this ancient land.

For me, much of what has happened as I have lived my life amongst these valleys and peaks are my own special memories that I share awkwardly, reluctantly. I hold onto them, shy with fear of discovery as though if others were to find out the magic of this place that they might disappear. I feel afraid that they might not believe that it is real.

But to see others fall in love with this land, over and over and over, cements for me the value of this space and this work.

Whoever decides to travel inevitably contributes to the land’s repository of experience. However, each of us will have to decide for ourselves how much to share with others.

I will see you on the river again.


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