Noksana Mushing Tours takes a dogsled team toward a pingo outside Tuktoyaktuk. Entree Destinations/NWT Tourism
Bruce Noksana, who owns Noksana Mushing Tours in Tuktoyaktuk, credits word of mouth around his community with helping his business successfully rebound from the pandemic.
Noksana runs winter dogsled tours and skidoo rallies to the nearby pingos, the Arctic Ocean, and around the hamlet. Along the way, he shares stories about life in the region with his guests.
“This year was a really good year. We had a lot of tours, a lot of people from all over the world,” he said.
When people head North to Tuktoyaktuk to see the Arctic Ocean, someone usually passes on the tour company’s name, he said. Tourists call either him or his partner, Michele Tomasino, and they set up a weekend tour.
“It’s exciting. I get to meet a lot of people from all over the world,” he said.
“We talk, and I tell them everything about us, and they tell me about themselves, too.”
Noksana said word of mouth – and the company’s online presence – has led to the business slowly growing and getting noticed.
Change has been organic, he said, and responsive to what people want to experience.
“Usually, someone will call me and ask me to take them fishing, or build them an igloo. We try to accommodate everybody that wants to do a tour and do other stuff,” he said.
The response to the way he runs his business is part of what makes the job so rewarding, he said. That, and the opportunity to teach people about Inuvialuit culture.
“There was one guy who said I changed his whole life,” recalled Noksana. “I talked to him about the way we grew up on our land, how we use the snow for a compass and stuff like that.
“He was just overwhelmed by the stuff we did, and to just see us living in the community, how we thrive and are happy. It’s hard to explain, but he was really happy. Most people are really happy after they leave,” he said.
“It’s just something really different, to come here and to see it.”
This article appears as part of a paid partnership between Cabin Radio, NWT Tourism and the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment celebrating Tourism Week 2023 in the Northwest Territories. To explore more, visit Spectacular NWT on Youtube.