Back from the Horton
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, August 7, 2008
Each year, the Arctic Youth Leadership Expedition takes place in July, where a group of Inuvialuit youth are taken on a trip down the Horton River by guides from Outward Bound Canada.
The trip is sponsored by the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, Norterra and Nunasi Corporation.
Karis Gruben and Dwayne Storr Jr. of Inuvik took part in this year's trip.
They were joined by nine other youth from other outlying communities.
The group departed on the trip in mid-July and were on the river for 15 days.
Gruben said she first heard about the trip from her brother, who took it a few years ago.
"He was on the first trip on Horton River," she said.
Gruben said she wanted to be a part of this year's expedition for the experience that was to be had.
"I knew right away that I wanted to do it," she said.
Before the trip, participants were told to work out their arms in advance of the trek.
When the team left Inuvik, the next stop was on the Horton.
"We unpacked and camped the night, waiting to start the next day," said Gruben.
There were six canoes with the crew, all flown in by Aklak Air.
She explained the group would wake up each morning, eat and start their day of paddling.
"We'd go for most of the day and take breaks to eat and rest," said Gruben.
Storr said he heard about the trip from a co-worker.
"I didn't know anything about the trips, she told me to sign up for it," said Storr.
"I didn't even know we were going canoeing."
He said he wasn't sure about the experience, but once he was on the land, it all became clear that it was a good decision.
This was the first time Storr took to a canoe so he was a bit reluctant, but he said the scenery made the trip worthwhile.
"I saw the river, the canyons. I didn't even know we had canyons in the NWT," he said. "It was my first time in that region."
Wildlife seen on the trip was also a highlight for Storr. "We saw 29 caribou and a few eagles," he said.
Storr said he now wants to recommend the trip to any youth looking for a change from the regular summers in Inuvik.
"Find out more about it and see for yourself," he said. "It's worth it."