We have been monitoring the situation caused by the pandemic over the last few months gathering information from Federal, Territorial and Municipal governments. In this unprecedented time, taking care of our paddlers, staff and northern communities has been of primary concern. Our company’s values have been based on holding all of these people in our hearts respecting their feelings, needs and ideas.
In the past, when we faced challenges, we were quick to decide and act to resolve any issues. If anything, the pandemic has taught us a great deal about patience. Thank you to everyone for being understanding. We have been touched by the support we have received from our alumni, our 2020 paddlers and our friends. It is indeed an honour for us to experience the level of graciousness of spirit that we have been offered by everyone.
It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the cancellation of our 2020 expedition season in the Northwest Territories. In an effort to protect the remote, Indigenous communities where we operate, the Government of the Northwest Territories recently announced that health restrictions will remain in place for June, July and August of 2020. These restrictions include a requirement for any travellers to isolate in Yellowknife for 14 days before entering any community including Norman Wells; allowable group size of 10 people; and, social distancing constraints. Under these conditions, we can no longer think about taking our paddlers to the territory.
It is hard for us to imagine a summer of not visiting our pristine northern rivers with our intrepid paddle-mates and sharing tall tales, laughter, tears and deep emotion under the warm glow of the midnight sun.
We have always believed it is an extreme privilege to explore our free-flowing rivers in northern Canada. The authentic experience of a shared river journey in the face of pristine beauty reaches deep into your soul and changes you – forever. We sure you feel as we do – that when we come through the other side of the pandemic, time spent experiencing the natural world will remain a top priority. We are looking ahead to the 2021 expedition season with optimism.