FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2023
We are delighted and honoured to announce that Frontier Lodge has been named NWT Tourism’s operator of the year for 2023. The award was one of three handed out at a dinner and celebration during NWT Tourism’s annual conference in Yellowknife. On hand to receive the award was our board president, Saniz Catholique-Baton, and general manager, Corey Myers.
“We are very humbled and honoured by the recognition. Connecting the community and culture, and maintaining the business through a pandemic and now wildfire evacuations has been a challenge. But through it all we continue to work towards the best future for our lodge and the North. Corey has done a great job as our manager. Our priority is always Frontier and our guests, but we always bring it back to the community, in any decisions we make and how we can all work together. This award highlights our commitment to the betterment of our lodge and community, through the growth of tourism in Thaidene Nené. We're very proud of what we've accomplished so far and will use this award as motivation moving forward. Mahsı,” says Saniz Catholique-Baton, Łútsël K’é Dene First Nation member and president of the Frontier Lodge board
Frontier was honoured to be recognized alongside Jackie Challis, the former tourism director for the town of Inuvik, who was given the lifetime achievement award, and Cabin Radio, who received the service excellence award for its coverage of the summer’s wildfires and evacuations.
The operator of the year award is given to an operator who has “demonstrated all-around excellence and models best practices in the industry resulting in strong growth and/or a record of success.” The award also recognizes “commitment to education and training” and “community involvement and leadership.”
The lodge was nominated by Jackpine Paddle owner Dan Wong for our efforts to support the community of Łútsël K’é and others stranded on the East Arm after the evacuation of Yellowknife due to wildfires in August of this year. Not only did Frontier donate all of our remaining food to Łútsël K’é after the lodge’s season was abruptly ended, but we worked with the Łútsël K’é Co-op to fly food into the community, ensuring Łútsël K’é was able to weather the disrupted supply chain. The Frontier team also provided logistical support and assistance to others in the area at that difficult time, including staff and guests of Jackpine Paddle.
“Like every operator we’ve been through a lot in the past four years, and we’ve tried to put our best foot forward every step of the way, including when things got tough this year with the fires and evacuations,” says general manager Corey Myers.
For more than 60 years, Frontier Lodge has welcomed fishing enthusiasts from around the world to the East Arm of Tu Nedhé (Great Slave Lake). While we continue to offer world-class fishing experiences to international clientele, there have been important changes at Frontier since the Łútsël K’é Dene First Nation purchased the lodge in 2019. Perhaps most important is the work that has been done to connect the lodge to the land and the Dënesųłıné people who have called this place home since time immemorial.
Through community meetings and interviews with local Elders, we made a plan to ensure that local history, traditions, stories, and culture are shared with our guests in a respectful and appropriate way. Seven culturally significant places from across Thaidene Nëné (the Land of the Ancestors) were selected to be the themes for our rejuvenated guest cabins. Through bilingual signage; local paintings, carvings, and hides; archival photographs; and Elders’ stories, guests are surrounded by Dënesųłıné history and culture when they visit Frontier.
We are currently developing scholarship opportunities for Łútsël K’é Dene First Nation members and making plans to hire a cultural officer.
In addition to NWT Tourism and our nominator, Dan Wong, we would like to thank our hard-working board of directors, the incredible support from the community of Łútsël K’é, our dedicated staff, our loyal client base, and our partners at GNWT Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, CANNOR, Parks Canada, Account on Us, Aurora Geoscience, Daryl’s Shuttle Service, Summit Air, Air Tindi, Łútsël K’é Co-op, Gordon Food Service, the Chateau Nova, and the Explorer Hotel.
“As Chief of the Łútsël K’é Dene First Nation, I am very pleased that our Indigenous tourism operation, Frontier Lodge, has been recognized by NWT Tourism with this award. The Łútsël K’é Dene First Nation is proud to own and operate a world-class fishing lodge. The Łútsël K’é Dene First Nation and our members look forward to welcoming visitors to Thaidene Nëné, the land of our ancestors, and our Dënesųłıné territory,” says Chief James Marlowe.
Our collaborators and colleagues in conservation currently have the following job opportunities available:
Slave/Talston Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area Project
The Slave/Taltson IPCA Project (via DKFN/FRMG) is seeking an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) Coordinator. This is initially a term position to March 2025. Taking direction from the Slave/Taltson IPCA committee the IPCA Coordinator will lead project management for the proposed community IPCA referred to as the Slave/TaItson IPCA Project.
The deadline to apply is November 17, 2023.
Government of the Northwest Territories
The Conservation, Planning, and Implementation Unit in the GNWT's Department of Environment and Climate Change is hiring for two positions.
Manager, Conservation Planning (2 yr term)
Located in Yellowknife and reporting to the Director, Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods (Director), the Manager, Conservation Planning directly supervises 8 full time staff as well as associated casual positions. Please note: This job opening is limited to employees with the GNWT/WSCC in indeterminate and term positions.
For more information, visit: https://www.gov.nt.ca/careers/en/job/24385.
Senior Conservation Areas Advisor (1 yr Term)
The Senior Conservation Areas Advisor (Senior Advisor) supports the establishment of conservation areas and manages Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT)'s partnership, including promoting the conservation and advancing GNWT roles associated with candidate conservation areas.
For more information, visit https://www.gov.nt.ca/careers/en/job/24386.
You can learn more about all of these activities in the October newsletter. You can also read a report on the wildfire season and get updates on Thaidene Nëné Xá Dá Yáłtı and Frontier Lodge.
In this short video, travel through beautiful Thaidene Nëné with Łutsël K’é Dene Elder JC Catholique. See the magnificent vistas and hear why this place, the Land of Our Ancestors, is so important to our people.
Evaluation Tools in Development will Help Łutsël K’é’s Thaidene Nëné and Wildlife, Lands and Environment Departments Gather and Share Important Information
Northern Indigenous communities like ours are well aware of the benefits of guardian and harvester programs, which include serving as the eyes and ears of our communities on the land and water and supplying our people with food and medicine. Unfortunately, the value of these programs and the impacts that they are having is not always recognized by decision-makers and funders.
Ni Hat’ni Dene is one of four hunter/harvester/guardian programs currently being supported by MakeWay to develop evaluation tools that are easy to use and provide information that is of use to our communities while also satisfying the expectations of funders. The others are the Joint Secretariat, which administers the Imaryuk and Munaqsiyit Monitoring Programs in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories (NWT); the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning in Yellowknife, NWT; and the Ittaq Heritage and Research Centre in Clyde River, Nunavut.
The four programs met in person for the first time in June 2022 at Dechinta’s camp on Mackenzie Island. Over four days, the twenty-five participants shared about their programs and the opportunities and challenges they face in carrying out their work. Since then, each program has been working with an evaluation partner to design responsive tools that can collect, analyze, and share important outcomes related to their programs, such as harvest distribution, on-the-land learning and skill development, and intergenerational knowledge transfer.
One evaluation partner, Tiffany Scurr, was in Łutsël K’é in last month to meet with Ni Hat’ni Dene guardians and other members of the Thaidene Nëné and Wildlife, Lands and Environment departments. Over the week that she was in town, Tiffany learned about the different ways the two departments are currently gathering information and shadowed the guardians during regular daily activities. She also talked to guardians and administrators about what is and is not working in the related processes of collecting, analyzing, and reporting on data. Mostly importantly, staff in both departments identified what information they need and what stories they want to tell.
Over the coming months, the guardians will work with the evaluation partners to design tools that meet the needs of the Thaidene Nëné and Wildlife, Lands and Environment departments. They will also develop tools that will translate the information being gathered into a format that works for funders.
Over the longer term, the four programs will work with evaluation partners to develop an economic evaluation model that will demonstrate the value of harvester and guardian programs so that funders can see the “return on their investment.”
This work builds on the development of the Hunter/Harvester/Guardian Evaluation Toolkit, which was released in 2021. The toolkit was developed in collaboration with northern Indigenous communities and organizations to support the design and implementation of evaluations to assess the impacts of hunter/harvest/guardian programs. The hope is that by using a common approach to evaluation, programs across the North can learn from one another and also communicate the benefits of these programs to decision-makers and funders.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
We are the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation. Our vision for Thaidene Nëné is:
Nuwe néné, nuwe ch'anıé yunedhé xa (Our land, our culture for the future).
We’re working with our partners to permanently protect Thaidene Nëné—part of our
huge and bountiful homeland around and beyond the East Arm of Tu Nedhé.