A unique partnership hopes to attract visitors to Deline, NWT. First hand exposure to Dene culture is a major drawing card.
Deline (pronounced day-li-neh) is located near the headwaters of the Bear River - Sahtu De- where it rushes out of Great Bear Lake on its journey to the Mackenzie. Deline is located in the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories,on the western shore of Great Bear Lake and is 544 km (338 mi) northwest of Yellowknife. Délįne means “where the waters flow”. The community offers a range of guided services to visitors, including fishing, boat cruises on the big lake, and guided sightseeing to Sahtu cultural icons. Deline has a population of 472 people.
Destination Deline, is a tourism partnership of the Deline Land Corp., Grey Goose Lodge and BC-based tourism consultants Hotkey Marketing Group – with support from the GWNT department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. Deline Chief Leonard Kenny told The Northern Journal that the tourism business is simply an extension of welcoming visitors, something the community has always enjoyed. Destination Deline came together in record time for a tourism program because the community already had the necessary infrastructure on-hand with Grey Goose Lodge, as well as the pristine natural environment and a preserved cultural way of life.
A tour package posted by Road Scholar features a day on the Dene traditional way of life, a mining history lesson with a prospector, a walking tour of the town and a flight tour. Great Bear Lake is known as a fishing paradise, by virtue of giant trout that have been caught.
If the 4 tours planned for this summer are successful the partnership will grow the business. The net economic impact is around $180,000. Another operator is looking at winter packages as well.
One article mentions this partnership tourism package is a ‘poster child’ for aboriginal tourism in the north. Certainly, there is plenty of upside potential particularly in communities like Deline, that have not fully tapped into the tourist market. Aboriginal tourism is a growth segment for sure.