If you need a snowmobile, you go buy one! But these two brave young men made a plan, a very amazing plan to bring home their new snowmobiles! Amory Wood and Brent Nakashook of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut flew to Yellowknife, NT on regular scheduled flight. Upon arriving they bought their snowmobiles but now needed to get them home, so they planned a journey to bring them home – not by air cargo, but by driving them home by land and sea.
They planned their trip from a map, carefully looking at some rough terrain, ice, snow and weather conditions were all laid out. Planning their rough route involved studying previous travelers’ trails, mining company roads and ice road routes to bring home their new toys. Now they needed alliaks (sleds) to carry their supplies and gas, so from scratch they both built two sleds.
The journey of roughly 850 kilometres took 11 days, with an extra four days waiting for snowmobile parts. They waited it out at Kingaut (Bathurst Inlet) in houses more like mansions after days on the land, equipped with oil stoves, kitchenettes, and a power grid which was hooked up to a honey bucket, which was a nice change for them.
Wildlife was seen along their amazing trip – muskox, foxes, wolverine, wolf tracks, caribou, also seen this early in the season were ptarmigans and other migratory birds at Kingaut. Since Brent grew up on the land hunting and fishing, he noticed evidence of climate change happening, such as steam rising where there is open water along their trail.
Brent remembers boating only till September each fall time, but now this past fall they were boating till November. He was happy to share his experiences and stories and photographs to teach the younger generations living their dreams and aspirations. While growing up with grandparents living a traditional cultural lifestyle was where he began his lifelong love of Inuit life.
With youth facing changes such as suicide, depression, trauma, abuse, addictions, alcohol and drugs it was time to try and make a change to help his fellow youth and Inuit, to show youth fun can be had being sober and clean and by this trip which they did to show the kids they can do like what Brent and Amory did. Moving forward for us all, let’s do it. In loving memory of Nakahok and Kablok, Quana Brent for the stories.