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.
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.