Untamed, unspoiled, and undiscovered. If you love adventure, travel, and unique getaways that are a world away; but a whole world closer than you’ve ever imagined, keep reading, because that place is called Nunavut. It’s one of the most pristine places on the planet; and an immense region in Canada’s northern boundaries. O2 Media ™ is happy to welcome Colleen Dupuis. She is the CEO of Nunavut Tourism.
O2 Media: Good morning, Colleen.
Colleen Dupuis: Good morning.
O2 Media: The phrase “Nunavut Sannginivut” is a beautiful expression. It means what?
Colleen Dupuis: It means “Our land, our people”. Basically, that’s Inuktitut – which is one of the four languages of Nunavut. Our four official languages are English, French, Inuktitut, and Inuinnaqtun. Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun are very living languages, and are used all the time.
O2 Media: What is the weather like in Nunavut?
Colleen Dupuis: We have seasons – some of them are just cooler than others. We can get up to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit in some places, in the summer; and, we can get below minus 40 in Celsius and Fahrenheit cross at that point in the winter. We get lots, and lots, and lots of sun. When the sun is out, it will be melting the snow; and even at 15 degrees Fahrenheit, you can sit out in your bathing suit, in the sun, and get a suntan. So, it’s a great place to get a suntan.
O2 Media: Are you kidding me? Wow!
Colleen Dupuis: That is, if there’s no wind. Wind can be the enemy.
O2 Media: Tell me about the culture. The traditions of this region date back thousands of years. How is daily life influenced by these traditions?
Colleen Dupuis: The life in Nunavut is, is very much a combination of tradition and modern society. You have to look at the Inuit culture as something that, even as late as the 1950s, people were living in sod huts. And now we’re in the jet age. Everyone’s on computers, for example. We fly on planes all the time, because there are no roads to Nunavut. So, planes are our taxis; or our busses.
O2 Media: I see.
Colleen Dupuis: People still blend a tradition of hunting with their normal wage economy; and it’s a great blend of culture. It works really well, and it’s great when visitors come, because people are very happy to share their culture. We have amenities that people are looking for when they travel; so it’s a good blend, and it’s worked very well.
O2 Media: Let me ask you this. Are the people friendly there? I’m sure the answer is probably “yes”.
Colleen Dupuis: Very much. People welcome people into their home, welcome people to share their culture. It’s a very warm, open society.
O2 Media: I know you’ve been there for about 20 years?
Colleen Dupuis: Yes.
O2 Media: I know there’s so much to share about this arctic paradise. There are all kinds of attractions for fellas who are into hunting and fishing – are there things that might appeal specifically to women vacationing?
Colleen Dupuis: We have a few things. Just as you go to Africa for a big safari, and they have their big five, we have a big five. So, we have great wildlife viewing. We have beluga and narwhal – which is actually the one with the tusk, which is its left incisor tooth. We also have musk ox, caribou, polar bear, and walrus. We also offer a cruise product, which most people are not aware of. It’s not the love boat. They’re small boats of about 150 people, and everything’s included. You visit a variety of communities. It’s a great way to see a lot of things; and it’s very popular with a lot of people – especially with women. It’s a little more palatable than camping on ice.
O2 Media: What are the overnight accommodations like in Nunavut?
Colleen Dupuis: We have hotels, we have bed and breakfasts and we have some wilderness lodges.
O2 Media: Do you have any options that are more adventurous than the wilderness lodge?
Colleen Dupuis: One of our more popular products is actually something called a “flow edge trip”. The flow edge is where the open water meets the sea ice. During our spring, which is May/June, you’re still on ice, and there’s snow, and you go out from the community for three or four hours, by snowmobile and komatik (which is a sled that’s pulled behind). You travel where the flow edge is; and you have a pollenia form, which is the feeding ground for a lot of animals— whales, seals, polar bears. There, you camp on the ice.
O2 Media: That’s certainly more adventurous than a wilderness lodge.
Colleen Dupuis: Yes.
O2 Media: It’s been so great meeting you, Colleen; and really hearing about Nunavut. It’s a place I hadn’t heard about before, so I appreciate the information you’ve shared.
Colleen Dupuis: Thank you.
O2 Media: If you’d like to find out more about this breathtaking land, visit nunavuttourism.com.
O2 Media ™ is a Florida-based production company that specializes in creating original television programming for women. In addition to The Balancing Act, the award-winning production company produces Designing Spaces, which also airs on Lifetime Television. O2 Media has been producing quality television programming for fifteen years and is currently working on a new culinary reality show called All Mixed Up.
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